Israeli Strike on Iran by Spring 2011?

Col. Pat Lang, a former intel officer who blogs at Sic Semper Tyrannis, has a guest post by someone named simply “Harper.” This Harper was recently in touch with an American source who visited Israel and met with senior officials there, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

There’s a lot of information packed into the post: French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s support for Netanyahu’s determination to attack Iran; the politics of the February 2011 change of Israel’s army Chief of Staff; Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s plan to depart the U.S. administration before an attack; and Israel’s calculus of blowback from airstrikes and what to do about them — i.e. attack Southern Lebanon and Gaza just as planes take off for Iran.

But, after all that, the post ends with bang —  a discussion of the determination of Israel to attack Iran and the possible timeframe of such an assault.

Here’s Harper, on Lang’s blog:

When might such an operation be launched? My source believes that, if it does not happen before December 10, it will next be on the table for March or April 2011.

Netanyahu is considering, but has not finalized in his mind, to order strikes in late November 2010. All IDF vacations have been suspended as of this week; and IDF officers studying abroad have been summoned home temporarily. The line circulating around is: “No repeat of the Yom Kippur War when Israel was caught by surprise.” END”  Harper

Will we have an Israeli strike — without a U.S. greenlight — by this upcoming spring? Doubtful.

An Israeli friend informs me that his military-connected sources have heard nothing about an imminent strike and that a massive cancellation of leave never materialized. However, it does appears that some weekend leave was cancelled on the weekend when Iran did it’s own massive military exercises aimed at preparing for such an aerial attack.

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.



  1. I do read Pat Lang’s blog regularly, and it is frequently informative and, as far as I can tell, reliable. However, on this occasion, I was far from convinced. The idea that the french would supply military support that the US could not (or would not) deploy seems particularly far-fetched, especially given France’s large and restive Muslim minority. Why would Sarkozy line France up for potential terrorist retaliation that would make what happende in London and Madrid look like a mild disagreement at a church fete?

  2. An Israeli strike on Iran by next spring is “doubtful” in Mr. Gharib’s judgement. Bravo, you’re correct. Mr. Lang, I fear, is publishing “Harper’s” stuff because it might generate more attention for Pat Lang in the blogosphere.

    By the way, a surprise attack on Iran would NOT be preceded by a massive cancellation of leave. That’s called telegraphing your intentions or taking the “surprise” out of surprise attack.

  3. I can’t imagine a better way to force Iran to aquire a nuclear device than to do what Israel is doing.
    Threatening Iran with attacking them with “everything” on the table…….will fly back in Israel’s face eventually.
    I pray for the day when we invent computers with real intelligence and the ability to make copies of themselves. I say that because humans and countries like Israel do not have the intelligence to make sound decisions. They are willing to risk total war and complete destruction of their own society based on irrational fears. Does Israel really believe that Iran would risk a nuclear attack on Israel knowing full well that Israel would wipe Iran off the map?
    No one, except Israel believes that Iran would try anything so stupid.
    There is not one shred of evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear bomb and yet it is now falsely and repeatedly reported even by the BBC that this is the case.
    No wonder we find ourselves down this wicked path again and again as we did with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction debackle. Poor reporting ..where reporters refused to ask the right questions. (For example: How could Iraq “ever” prove that it didn;t have something? And yet the docile reporters never understood or fathomed the simplicity of that problem faced by Iraq. )

  4. Interesting. Strange that at this point in February 2011 most of the Arab world is erupting into protest. Libya, Yemen and Bahrain are going at it hard at the moment with many deaths. The destabilization in the area at the moment works in Israel and the US/UK favor.
    What a fantastic time for the US, UK and Israel to launch a regional attack on Iran, capture and secure the Suez canal, secure all the oil fields in the area. Hmmm, then what?
    Dividing the Arab world and keeping them all busy throwing stones at each other could be the perfect set up to take over places like Gaza, what’s left of the West Bank, the Whole Sinai Penninsular right up to the Canal Zone to protect Western interests. Anything really is possible, so long as the West keeps them A Rabs under a rock

  5. It absolutely amazes me how the French and the Germans always remain dormant and stay far behind their allies when it comes to taking out these threats. Then they’re often asked why and there response is always, “we don’t want retaliation by terrorists.” They’re cowards and they’re very weak on the offensive and defensive. When the United States went into Iraq and took it over, Spain withdrew it’s forces, claiming they were afraid of retaliation. 5 months later they were attacked anyway and the terrorists said, “you’re weak and we hate you anyway.” Lol. If you ask me, they had it coming. So you see. The terrorists are going to attack you regardless of whether you remain strong or not. At least the United States are not afraid of anyone. But let the French, the Germans and Spanish run and hide like they do best.

Comments are closed.