British newspapers have been credibly reporting for about of week that the US has shipped 387 bunker-buster bombs to a US base on the British possession of Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean.
There are at least two possible interpretations. One is that the US is planning to attack Iran (some Brits are very upset about this possibility), or at least to make a strategic move designed to show the Iranians that they mean business. Some air attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan have originated on Diego Garcia. That’s the good interpretation.
The other one is that the bombs were intended to be sent to Israel, but were diverted to Diego Garcia to prevent Israel from using them against Iran, or, worse, to punish Israel for its insouciance in building apartments in Jerusalem:
In 2008, the United States approved an Israeli request for bunker-busters capable of destroying underground facilities, including Iranian nuclear weapons sites. Officials said delivery of the weapons was held up by the administration of President Barack Obama, Middle East Newsline reported.
Since taking office, Obama has refused to approve any major Israeli requests for U.S. weapons platforms or advanced systems. Officials said this included proposed Israeli procurement of AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, refueling systems, advanced munitions and data on a stealth variant of the F-15E.
“All signs indicate that this will continue in 2010,” a congressional source familiar with the Israeli military requests said. “This is really an embargo, but nobody talks about it publicly.”
Under the plan, the U.S. military was to have stored 195 BLU-110 and 192 BLU-117 munitions in unspecified air force bases in Israel. The U.S. military uses four Israeli bases for the storage of about $400 million worth of pre-positioned equipment meant for use by either Washington or Jerusalem in any regional war…
The decision to divert the BLU munitions was taken amid the crisis between Israel and the United States over planned construction of Jewish homes in Jerusalem. The administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has warned that Washington could reduce military aid to Israel because of its construction policy. — World Tribune
If this is true, then the much-vaunted “absolute commitment to Israel’s security” is so much bullshit. Keep in mind that these weapons would be used not only in an attack on Iran, but against Hizballah bunkers in the event of another war in the north — a war which most Israelis believe to be inevitable. The administration’s actions could translate directly into Israeli casualties.
I would love to believe that Obama has decided to get tough with Iran, but it would fly in the face of his behavior until now.
I really want to be wrong about this one.