Pat Buchanan
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Israel also lacks the ability to stay over the target or conduct follow-up strikes. The U.S. Air Force bombed Iraq for five weeks with hundreds of daily runs in 1991 before Gen. Schwarzkopf moved.

Moreover, if Iran has achieved the capacity to enrich uranium, she has surely moved centrifuges to parts of the country that Israel cannot reach -- and can probably replicate anything lost.

Israel would also have to over-fly Turkey, or Syria and U.S.-occupied Iraq, or Saudi Arabia to reach Natanz. Turks, Syrians and Saudis would deny Israel permission and might resist. For the U.S. military to let Israel over-fly Iraq would make us an accomplice. How would that sit with the Europeans who are supporting our sanctions on Iran and want the nuclear issue settled diplomatically?

And who can predict with certitude how Iran would respond?

Would Iran attack Israel with rockets, inviting retaliation with Jericho and cruise missiles from Israeli submarines? Would she close the Gulf with suicide-boat attacks on tankers and U.S. warships?

With oil at $135 a barrel, Israeli air strikes on Iran would seem to ensure a 2,000-point drop in the Dow and a world recession.

What would Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria do? All three are now in indirect negotiations with Israel. U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq could be made by Iran to pay a high price in blood that could force the United States to initiate its own air war in retaliation, and to finish a war Israel had begun. But a U.S. war on Iran is not a decision Bush can outsource to Ehud Olmert.

Tuesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Michael Mullins left for Israel. CBS News cited U.S. officials as conceding the trip comes "just as the Israelis are mounting a full court press to get the Bush administration to strike Iran's nuclear complex."

Vice President Cheney is said to favor U.S. strikes. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Mullins are said to be opposed.

Moving through Congress, powered by the Israeli lobby, is House Resolution 362, which demands that President Bush impose a U.S. blockade of Iran, an act of war.

Is it not time the American people were consulted on the next war that is being planned for us?

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Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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