The Failed Counterstrike

Pepe Escobar reports that Israel tried to nuke Iran in response to the massive drone strike, but the F-35 carrying the bomb was shot down by Russian air defenses:

From a very high level intel source.

In Asia.

NOT Russia-China.

Although the strategic partnership, of course, exchanges at the highest level 24-7.

Confirmed and re-confirmed.

It will be great to know what Sy Hersh hears from his Beltway sources.

Here we go.

Israel initially chose to respond with extreme force.

An F-35 loaded with a nuclear bomb was sent east over Jordan.

The mission: cause a high-altitude detonation over Iran that would provoke a surge in the high-capacity power lines, crippling Iran’s electric grid, as well as disabling all electronic devices.

An EMP attack.

However… as the Israeli F-35 was leaving Jordanian airspace it was shot down by the Russian Air Force.

Hence the publicised version of the Israeli counter response was such a travesty.

In the end all sides decided not to publicise the real news – to de-escalate what could well turn into WWIII.

I think it is absolutely foolish to express any opinion at all about the veracity of this report. There is no question that the Netanyahu government is sufficiently daring and/or desperate to risk an EMP attack; Netanyahu is almost certainly also willing to risk trying to nuke the center of Tehran if he thought he could get away with it without fatal consequences for Israel.

While it could just be fiction or disinformation, the nature of the reported attack being more of a restrained warning, a limited escalation, tends to lend to the credibility of the report. And Escobar has been reasonably reliable in the past, so there is no reason to dismiss him simply because the scary n-word happened to be involved. Moreover, this is exactly the end result that I, and other observers, have expected would happen in the event that Israel attempted some sort of air strike against Iran.

Larry Johnson thinks the reported scenario is unlikely, but I don’t find his reasoning to be even remotely compelling. Given the ranges at which Russian air defenses are operating over Ukraine, the idea that Russia could not have tracked a lone Israeli F-35 and shot it down in part of the crowded real estate in the Middle East nominally under U.S. air control does not strike me as even remotely difficult or improbable. That doesn’t mean that he’s not correct; as I said, I refuse to express any opinion at all about the likelihood of an event about which I have literally zero information.

If legitimate, I think this report is very encouraging, as it indicates a) the Israelis are not overconfident about their ability to utilize their nuclear weapons and are not going to go all-in on the first hand, b) the Russians are exerting their superior air defense capabilities to prevent unnecessary escalation in the Middle East, and c) Iran is exhibiting the same sort of patience that is required to see out the inevitable collapse of Clown World that has been demonstrated by Russia and China.