Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz has told Israeli newspaper reporters that sanctions against Iran were not working and that an Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear development sites was becoming “unavoidable.”

“If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective,” Shaul Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

“Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable,” said the former army chief who has also been defense minister.

One question…does this mean that the US and the Bush Administration can stop banging their own war drums about Iran? Not likely…and here’s why.

Iran has already said that any attack on Iran will result in retaliations against Israel AND any US targets available.

Iran still claims to be developing nuclear capabilities for non-military, civilian use only. But the rhetoric from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding the right of Israel to exist has only sought to increase skepticism about Iranian nuclear ambitions.

But why is this a US problem anyhow? We now have confirmation that Israel has their own ready nuclear strike force. Why can’t we let them take care of this themselves like the did with the Iraqi nuclear program in the 1980’s and like the claim to have done when bombing a Syrian facility not long ago? Are Iranian nukes really a US problem- a problem that requires another costly war and further raping of the US treasury by unsavory “contractors?”

Unfortunately, US foreign policy is so entangled in the Middle East, and so heavily in favor of Israel, that any Israeli strike would likely suck US forces into the abyss, especially if it occurs while Bush is still steering the ship of state. Experts believe that Iranian nuclear facilities are more numerous and better defensible than Iraq had in the 80’s or than Syria was building. As such, unless Israel unleashed the power of her own nuclear arsenal, a protracted ground and air war could likely ensue, requiring assistance to Israel.

One has to wonder whether this entire Iranian nuclear problem is largely the making of the Bush Administration. Immediately following the 9-11 attacks, Bush included Iran in his official “Axis of Evil” club, putting the Iranians on notice that they were in the sights of the warmonger in chief. Add a couple hundred thousand US troops at their doorstep in Iraq, an increasing presence in the Straight of Hormuz, and it’s no wonder that Iranian government officials would worry about their own country’s security.

Still, it’s hard to have empathy for the Iranian government. After all, they have been clear sponsors of terrorism for decades and have been a vocal foe of the US since the deposition of the CIA-installed Shah in the late 1970’s. (Actually, Iranian resentment of US interference in their government runs deep and back to the 1950’s when the CIA backed a coup to reinstall the Shah to power. His harsh rule created theenvironment for revolution that swept the Islamicists into power. And our government’s backing of the Shah turned their enmity towards the U.S.)

If Israel does attack Iranian nuclear facilities they could respond in kind. If that occurs, we’ll be pulled in. Which in turn could inflate other Arab nations to join Iran against the US and Israel. This is how regional conflicts grow and suck in other nations. This is how world wars begin.

Bush knows his stance on Iran is unpopular in the states. He doesn’t much care. Perhaps this is his way of getting to attack Iran anyhow- by getting Israel to start thingsoff. Or maybe he’s still trying to help bring on his fundamentalist base’s idea of Glory on Earth- the beginning of the end.

(cross posted on Bring It On!)