William Hamilton: Iran: Bomb now or bomb later?
February 7, 2012
As this column is being written, it might be overtaken by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) attacking several places where Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, certain facts regarding Iran’s nuclear capabilities and intentions merit everyone’s attention.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad, the lunatics in charge of Iran, are committed to the production of nuclear weapons and also committed to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. One or two nuclear weapons hitting Tel Aviv would mean the extinction of Israel as a viable nation-state. Present day Israel occupies less than 2 percent of the land of the Middle East. It is the compactness of Israel that makes it so vulnerable to nuclear attack.
Mr. Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, in addition to cutting our armed forces in half and getting ready to pull the plug on Afghanistan, is worried that the IDF will attack Iran sooner rather than later. For his boss politically, the best time for the IDF to attack is this October, right before the November presidential election.
The Israelis are well aware that diplomatic and economic sanctions will not stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the Saudis know that it is not in the interest of Russia or Saudi Arabia to have neighboring Iran be a nuclear power. But when the USSR collapsed and Russia was so strapped for cash, Russia sold nuclear materials and scientific talent to Iran.
But now, cash-in-hand, Russia is sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program. Of course, the assassinations of five of Iran’s top nuclear scientists over the last five years are blamed on Israel’s Mossad and the CIA. The recent explosion at Iran’s main nuclear facility that killed the general in charge of the program is also blamed on the Mossad and the CIA. Also, someone inflicted the Stuxnet Virus on Iran’s computers.
The organization most likely to have carried out these acts is Russia’s Sluzhbra Vneshney Razvedki (SVR), which carries on the mission of the former KBG’s First Directorate, i.e., foreign intelligence operations. Not even the Mossad is capable of having as many agents on the ground in Iran as the SVR. If the CIA has any assets in Iran, that would be way above Top Secret.
When completed, what will be Iran’s nuclear capability? IDF General Aviv Kochavi says Iran has enough material to make four atomic bombs. Iran has missiles that can not only reach Tel Aviv but also New York, Moscow, and Beijing.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense minister Ehud Barak contend there is only a brief time before the Iranian nuclear program reaches the “zone of immunity,” when it would be too late to delay or destroy the Iranian production facilities.
Could this be done with non-nuclear weapons? Yes, the easiest way would be for U.S. B-2 stealth bombers to drop GBU-57 A/Bs on each of Iran’s nuclear sites. The GBU-57 can penetrate 200 feet of reinforced concrete. The GBU-57s should be followed immediately with GBU-43/B thermo-baric bombs. The GBU-43/Bs would suck all the oxygen out of the air and melt the underground facilities.
Viewed from above, such attacks would not be readily apparent, providing the Iranian dictatorship with a face-saving opportunity to act as if nothing had happened. A situation reminiscent of Soviet workers, who joked: “We pretend to work and the government pretends to pay us.”
Probably, the IDF has non-nuclear weapons to do the penetration; however, they might borrow thermo-baric bombs from Russia whose thermo-baric bombs are four times more powerful than our GBU-43/B. But a 1,000-mile delivery is a problem. To reach Iran, the Saudis would have to give overflight permission. Memo to readers: Vitamin D helps deal with nuclear radiation.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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