For the past week we have been inundated with a media storm unlike anything in the past concerning the possibility of Israel pre-empting by attacking Iran's nuclear installations. The speculation of a possible military strike on Iran began with a column by a prominent journalist, Nahum Barnea who inferred that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak had decided among themselves on going ahead with a military strike against Iran against the better judgment of senior defense department advisors. Nahum Barnea has never been a fan of PM Netanyahu's and over the years has written many critical articles attacking Netanyahu. Barnea's reputation as a known anti-Netanyahu journalist only added to the seemingly credible expose that ignited the media storm and the ensuing reactions not only by Iran but also by President Obama and European leaders. Today, Iran embodies the major existential threat on Israel.
Successful Psychological warfare weakens the armies of your enemies prior to ever firing the first bullet. The first and most important part of any psychological attack on your enemy is to make them uncertain and question their own estimation of your intentions and abilities. Psychological warfare creates an atmosphere of unpredictability, that is, you need to make your enemy think you are predictable only to do something truly unpredictable. Mastering the art of deception can be considered successful when others are impelled to react and change their strategies even though you really haven't done anything that alters the status quo.
Despite the Prime Ministers office not confirming or denying the multiple reports in the Israeli media, all of a sudden it seemed perfectly clear that PM Netanyahu and DM Barak were convinced that now would be the optimal time for attacking Iran in light of the Arab worlds' preoccupation with the Arab Spring and the fact that American troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year. Adding fuel to the fire is the forthcoming report from the International Atomic Energy Agency expected to be published this week, describing in detail, the evidence it has collected suggesting that Iranian scientists have experimented with warhead designs, nuclear detonation systems and specialized triggering devices that can be explained only as work on a nuclear weapon. Nor did Israel's firing and testing of what experts said was a long-range ballistic missile this past week or the Israel Defense Force announcement that its Air Force had just completed a weeklong joint exercise with Italy’s Air Force in Sardinia, practicing for operational capabilities in conditions that do not exist in Israel. Rather than alleviating the uncertainty concerning Israel's intention to pre-empt and attack Iran's nuclear installation, all of these events whether they were coincidental or orchestrated had the strategic snowball effect intended.
So the ultimate question that begs to be asked is who is the real address of this incredible psychological warfare maneuver? Was it the President of Iran Ahmadinejad , or maybe the religious head of Iran the Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, is Iran even remotely related to this deception? Given that Iran and its allies (Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas) represent a clear and present danger to US interests, Israel’s military– the most powerful in the region–plays an important role in addressing those threats posed by Iran to American interests. The ability of the Israel Defense Forces to deter the military ambitions of destabilizing regional actors such as Iran promotes American national interests. So how does little Israel get President Obama to answer the Islamic wake up call and begin to take effective action despite his natural inclination to do nothing in regard to Iran, which has been his policy for the past three years. It is obvious to all and especially Iran, that they have a silent partner in the White House who has purposely employed ineffective sanctions against Iran, enabling her to continue with the development of her nuclear arsenal, strengthening the rise of Islamic extremism throughout the Middle East and creating a strategic threat for the Western World.
Remember, the art of deception can be considered successful only when others are impelled to react and change their strategies, and this is exactly what has transpired in reaction to the original report and ensuing media storm about Netanyahu's and Barak's true intentions concerning the Iranian threat to Israel. In response to what has transpired over the past week, the Obama administration in conjunction with leading European leaders have begin in earnest to take the necessary action and step up the pressure on Iran. The Iranian leaders are most worried about the West employing strict economic sanctions that would create the type of domestic unrest that have brought down all of the Arab leaders during the Arab Spring, this more than anything will bring Iran to change her nuclear ambitions. In addition the British newspaper "The Guardian" reported on Wednesday that Britain’s armed forces were stepping up their contingency planning for potential military action along with the United States against Iran. The Guardian added that the British Ministry of Defense “believes the U.S. may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities.”
As we watch this scenario being played out in the coming weeks and months, we can expect that economic sanctions will be the first serious step in challenging Iran's quest for developing a nuclear arsenal. The people of Iran have an important role to fulfill; President Obama must support them similar to his support of the Arab masses throughout the Arab world. Obama must not repeat the same mistakes of another Democratic incumbent over 30 years ago, President Jimmy Carter, who let the Islamic genie out of the bottle.