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I was reading today’s The Times of Israel article about Israel’s decision to bomb Iran’s nuclear refinement facilities. It was titled Iranians should be ‘very fearful for the next 12 weeks,’ says ex-Mossad chief. Israeli threats ‘credible, serious’, and was about Efraim Halevy, former Mossad chief, who, to emphasize the seriousness of the problem, quoted an obscure 1965 song called, The Last Train to San Fernando, which seems to have as part of its title – Monday, August 30th 1965.
2:15 into the song — diplomatically, I asked Dorite to dance – for on my mind I had nothing else but romance … boy, you better beat this iron while it’s hot or it’s, bee bee bamm bamm boom boom. If you miss this one you’ll never get another one!

Efraim Halevy interview Jon Stewart 2006

Efraim Halevy while being interviewed on TV by Jon Stewart 2006

The article worried me, as it should every person on Earth, because the attack, if and when it comes, will almost certainly be using atomic weapons, and probably sophisticated thermonuclear ones – typically called H-bombs. The reason those will be used is because the Iranians have buried their bomb factories deep underground in an effort to protect them from conventional attack. The location of these sites is deep within Iran’s national territory and barely reachable by Israel’s aircraft, and therefore the attack missions must be absolutely successful because there will be little chance of second tries. There is another option and that is of using missiles fired from submarines located in the Indian Ocean. Those are almost certainly nuclear weapon tipped because of accuracy issues and destructive power required from the weapons at the target. The aircraft would arrive shortly after the missile strikes to make positively sure the missiles had struck their designated targets and even if there was a bomb crater to make positive the destruction by dropping another bomb into the hole.

I am a total outsider to this whole process, an armchair analyst of the poorest kind, with nothing but public information broadcast on the news but from the outside things appear to be very ominous. The hatred of Israel and its supporter the United States will be raised to a fever pitch forevermore. However, Israel can not wait any longer when Iran claims they are going to kill them at first opportunity and is building the weapons to do so. It is like a real world koan of the ugliest kind.

The US and the USSR had a MAD policy of deterrence for fifty years but they didn’t hate one another.  Israel and he Arab states and especially Iran appear to have a HATE relationship which has existed for a millennium and it can not be resolved even with a major attack. The reason is simple enough, both of these peoples have large populations now spread worldwide, so annihilating whole populations in the Middle East will only serve to enrage the survivors.

I’m taking a Black Swan perspective on this problem and believe it is best to prepare for the worst in this scenario. Not the absolute worst, because that would mean unleashing all of the weapons available to everyone in the world, but a really bad worse. The date Monday, August 30th possibly alluded to by Halevy is within the next 12 weeks mentioned, and I wondered when first reading it, why it should be mentioned at all.

Sun Tzu says, “All statecraft is based on deception.” so perhaps all of those statements were intended to deceive.

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