Normally I don’t cover breaking news, but this is too important.

I was wrong.

I believed the Iranians would not attack Israel directly as they had been threatening, because such an attack would green-light an Israeli response on the Iranian homeland that would be devastating for the Islamic regime.

I reasoned that the extraordinary coordination among U.S. and Israeli officials late last week signaled a potential joint U.S.-Israeli counterstrike should Iran’s leaders be so reckless as to attack Israel.

I said that publicly in my regular newsletter on April 5. A few days later, Israeli minister without portfolio, Benny Ganz, said it on Israeli TV. (In case you missed it, Benny Ganz is the “moderate” Israeli politician Biden & Co. are trying to maneuver into position to replace Bibi.)

Both of us were wrong.

I believed that Israel would strike back against Iran with such devastating force – potentially, in a joint counter-strike with the U.S. against Iranian nuclear facilities – that it would reveal the regime’s weakness.

Iranian air defenses would show themselves incapable of shooting down a single U.S. or Israeli plane, a fact that would become immediately obvious. An Israeli counterstrike would make the regime appear weak in the eyes of the Iranian people.

And that is something regime leaders cannot allow to happen. They cannot appear weak, because then they will fall.

On Sunday morning, I woke up in the south of France to the extraordinary news that Iran had defied all expectations and launched 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles, and more than 100 ballistic missiles against Israel.

Even more extraordinary were the results: Israel announced that along with its allies, it had knocked out all 170 drones and 30 cruise missiles before they even reached Israeli airspace, and intercepted 99% of the ballistic missiles, many of them in exo-atmospheric kills that showered shrapnel across the Negev desert, severely wounding a 7-year Bedouin girl who lived near the Netarim Air Force base, where Israel’s fleet of F-35 fighters is based.

But here is the key: Israel alone did not thwart the Iranian attack. The United States, the UK, Jordan, and even France sent their pilots aloft to intercept incoming drones and cruise missiles before they reached Israel, with the U.S. Central Command coordinating that response.

And that international assistance appears to have a come at a price: President Biden publicly warned Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday that the thwarted Iranian attack on Israel was it. The U.S. would not support an Israeli strike against Iran in response.

Israel took out Iranian military commanders illicitly using a diplomatic facility in Damascus on April 1; Iran retaliated against Israeli territory in a strike that killed no Israeli two weeks later. Strike, counter-strike. Game over.

As the former U.S. National Intelligence Officer for Iran, Norman Roule, told CNN on Sunday, the Iranian attack on Israel “erased all the red lines.”


I have many questions. We know Biden’s sympathies for the Iranian regime. As soon as he took office, he quietly removed sanctions on Iranian oil sales, allowing them to go from exporting 400,000 barrels/day during the final days of the Trump administration to nearly 2,000,000 b/d today, most of it to China.

We know that he paid a $6b billion ransom for five U.S.-Iranian dual-nationals held hostage by the Tehran regime.

We know that until late last year, Biden was seeking to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Trump for good reason called “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Trump withdrew US participation in the deal in 2018.

There is much more we don’t know, at least not publicly. For example, what back-channel discussions did the Biden White House conduct with Iranian officials over the past two weeks, in Turkey, Iraq, or elsewhere? Did the White House provide assurances to Iran that the U.S. would intervene to prevent an Israeli counterstrike, thereby green-lighting the Iranian strike on Israel, which the Ayatollah needed to placate his own hardline supporters?

I can find no other explanation for the otherwise irrational behavior of the Islamic state of Iran’s leaders. Above all else, they value regime survival. Without a green light from Biden for their attack on Israel, they risked regime extinction – by Israel, and by their own people.

But with assurances from Biden, they felt secure.

I think we will know the answer soon.