By Timothy D. Naegele
The recent sober assessment of Arnaud de Borchgrave-the distinguished editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International-is worth reading and reflecting on:
U.S. three-star generals and admirals, Defense Intelligence Agency and CIA sources, along with three former CENTCOM commanders and the three former chiefs of Israeli intelligence services who retired last year-a formidable array of military and civilian experts who share impressive expertise on the Middle East-are all waving a red flag against unilateral Israeli or bilateral U.S.-Israeli bombing of Iran's nuclear installations.
They can see such actions triggering a wider conflict spreading to the entire Middle East and the rest of the Arab world.
. . .
A three-star with much recent experience in the Middle East says an Israeli strike could move the entire region in the wrong direction.
Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz, not just for a few hours, as the Israelis say, but long enough to drive oil prices into the stratosphere. An admiral with years of experience in the region at different times of his career said privately Iran can sow thousands of mines in an area that handles one-fifth of the world's daily oil requirements. They are below the surface and can be detonated by remote control as a warship sails over them. Iran's shore line, which covers the entire eastern side of the Persian Gulf, is pock-marked with concealed missile sites.
The Iranians would also use hundreds of small boats in a swarming configuration that U.S. warships are prepared to cope with-but one or two are bound to get through a curtain of fire and punch a hole in the hull of a U.S. or NATO minesweeper.
Such a small boat in Aden harbor in October 2000 punctured the hull of the USS Cole, a $1 billion Arleigh Burke class destroyer, killing 17 sailors, and putting the warship out of service for 18 months with a $220 million repair bill. Cost of the operation to al-Qaida: $10,000 plus three volunteer suicide bombers.
The response of Israeli naysayers is that such tactics would hurt Iran far more than any of its intended targets. U.S. generals and admirals respond that the Iranian leadership wouldn't be averse to cutting off its nose to spite its face.
The Iranians can also absorb temporary belt-tightening far more readily than Western Europeans. And with gas at the pump suddenly selling at $10 to $15 a gallon, U.S. President Barack Obama's updated resume wouldn't look too appealing at the ballot box in November.
. . .
U.S. Navy 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain is vulnerable; two-thirds of its population is Shiite Muslim and rooting for Tehran in the current conflict.
. . .
Most Iran watchers in the intelligence community say that one Israeli or U.S. bomb on Iran would push Iran's youthful protesters right into the arms of the government they despise.
. . .
More important than his meeting with Obama is Netanyahu's speech to the annual AIPAC convention. The endorsement of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington's most powerful lobby, is tantamount to solid congressional approval.
By attacking Iran, Netanyahu and Israel will stir up a hornet's nest in the Islamic world, and achieve little or nothing militarily. Israel does not have the means of destroying Iran's nuclear capabilities; and it is likely that the mission would end in failure. Also, what Arnaud de Borchgrave neglected to mention in his fine article is that in the Middle East, in Europe and worldwide, Israelis and other innocent Jews can be targeted by Islamic fascists; and there is nothing that Israel or its Mossad can do to prevent it.
A "silent" holocaust might take place globally, which would be unstoppable. There are 1.3-1.65 billion followers of Islam worldwide, while Iran's total population is approximately 78 million; and there are 14-18 million Jews worldwide, of which 6 million live in Israel.
It is the Narcissistic demagogue Netanyahu who must be stopped, before he triggers actions in the Middle East and elsewhere that might be truly catastrophic. His goal is to provoke an American attack on Iran, which is outrageous, reprehensible, and similar to the pressures that were brought to bear before the United States invaded Iraq. There are no limits to his arrogance, or the extremes to which he will go to provoke the American attack. He and Iran's Ahmadinejad and Russia's Putin are "moral equivalents."
America is not Israel's surrogate; the two countries are not tied at the hip; and Iran is not America's fight. The American people are bone-tired of fighting wars in the region, and want out. And our valiant and heroic military forces have been stretched far enough.
The New York Times has reported:
Thomas E. Donilon, Mr. Obama's national security adviser, . . . spent two days [in Jerusalem] recently, along with a team of intelligence and defense officials, meeting with Mr. Netanyahu and his lieutenants. Both sides contended that the meetings were highly successful. The Israelis were told that the administration not only says it would use military force if sanctions against Iran failed, it is also doing the planning for it.
Not a single drop of American blood should ever be spilled to protect or defend Israel, period. It is on its own, sink or swim. It is a pariah state worldwide because of Netanyahu, who continually seeks to dictate and distort U.S. foreign and national security policies. Barack Obama was right in reaching out to the Islamic world-and he must block all warmongering actions by Netanyahu. An Israeli attack on Iran would undoubtedly draw fury from Islamic nations and the followers of Islam around the world. America is not at war with Islam; and Netanyahu must not be allowed to provoke this.
On some level Obama views the Israelis as the oppressors, or the "enemy," and the Palestinians as the oppressed-reflecting his deep-seated beliefs about Apartheid in South Africa, which he viewed as pure evil. If one has any doubts, read his book, "Dreams from My Father." Hence, there is no kinship whatsoever between Obama and Netanyahu; and it is not surprising that Obama would treat him with outright disdain and contempt. Viewed in this context, one can understand what Obama is doing and why he is doing it. To him, it is likely that Netanyahu personifies that oppression.
The following bears repeating:
[Netanyahu] was hated by former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin-and especially by Rabin's wife Leah, who blamed Netanyahu for her husband's assassination. She saw "only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process" with Netanyahu at Israel's helm; and her views were prescient.
Perhaps most surprising-and disturbing-is that the Israeli people have not ousted Netanyahu before now, despite the warnings of Sharon, the Rabins and others. One of my Jewish friends who follows Israeli politics closely is convinced that the problem lies in its fractured parliamentary democracy. Small splinter groups, such as Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, are allowed to dictate Israeli domestic and national security policies.
It is a case of the "tail wagging the dog," and Netanyahu has skillfully maneuvered this political system to his benefit. Indeed, there appears to be little likelihood of change, certainly before he marches his fellow Israelis-and potentially Jews worldwide-to the edge of an abyss, of unfathomable depths.
In advance of Obama's meeting with Netanyahu, the Los Angeles Times reported:
Obama said he plans to tell Netanyahu that he will order military strikes against Iran's nuclear program if the current international sanctions are not successful in deterring its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
. . .
"I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff," Obama said. . . .
This is absurd, and simply political theater.
Obama has cut and run from Iraq, like a dog with his tail between his legs. He is in the process of doing the same thing in Afghanistan, and losing the Middle East to Islamic fascists. And he is trying to "gut" our great nation's military might. The idea that America's "Hamlet on the Potomac"-and "Jimmy Carter-lite"-would all of a sudden reverse course and launch the United States into a potentially devastating war with Iran and the Islamic world is nonsensical.
He is a political actor, pure and simple, and not much more. Any notion that he has "Israel's back," and will protect it, must be viewed in the context of how he has protected the Iraqis, the Afghans, and dissenters in both Iran and Syria-which is not at all.
The path on which Netanyahu is leading the Israelis is fraught with peril for their tiny Jewish nation . . . and potentially for Jews worldwide. He is determined to take the United States and the American people on the "joy ride" with him, which is utter madness.
© 2012, Timothy D. Naegele
 Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, and Who's Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at email@example.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele
 See http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2012/03/01/Commentary-Geopolitical-maelstrom/UPI-88241330603862/ ("Geopolitical maelstrom"); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1880" ("Is Netanyahu's Next Irresponsible Adventure An Attack On Iran?")
 See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups" ("Wikipedia: Major religious groups") and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2002 ("New Attacks On Israelis Have Begun, Which May Spread To Other Jews Worldwide")
 See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/; see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9125129/2012-is-not-1944-Netanyahu-invokes-Auschwitz-in-warning-to-Obama-over-Iran.html" ("'2012 is not 1944': Netanyahu invokes Auschwitz in warning to Obama over Iran")
 See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2027; see also http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/opinion/iran-israel-and-the-united-states.html?_r=1" ("[T]here must be no illusions about what it would take to seriously damage Iran's nuclear complex, the high costs and the limited returns")
 See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/world/middleeast/for-obama-and-netanyahu-wariness-on-iran-will-dominate-talks.html" ("For Obama and Netanyahu, Wariness on Iran Will Dominate Talks")
 Many Americans will never forget the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. As stated at a memorial to those who died and were injured:
On June 8, 1967, US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was suddenly and brutally attacked on the high seas in international waters by the air and naval forces of Israel. The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that this was an American ship and lied about it.
. . .
Thirty four Americans were killed in the attack and another 174 were wounded.
 See http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-interview-iran-20120302,0,7234351.story ("Obama on Iran: 'I don't bluff'")
 See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-2028 and naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/bar... and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1883