This comes from DEBKAfile:
Gates totally opposes Israeli strike on Iran
DEBKAfile Special Report
April 16, 2009, 9:30 AM (GMT+02:00)
The US defense secretary Robert Gates again voiced extreme objections to an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites. Addressing US marines, Wednesday, April 16, he said Iran's nuclearization can only be stopped by an Iranian decision. "A strike probably would delay Tehran's nuclear program one to three years, it would unify Iranians, cement their determination to have a nuclear program and also build into the whole country an undying hatred of whoever hits them."
DEBKAfile's military sources take issue with Gates' assessment. They note that he avoided spelling out the words "nuclear weapon" - as though to blur the fact that this is Iran's goal. As for his use of "undying hatred," in the future tense, he may not have noticed that the radical Islamic regime bombards its people night and day with their undying hatred for Israel and calls to "wipe the Jewish state off map."
The US defense secretary knows very well that if Israel lets Tehran acquire a nuclear bomb capability, it will be Iran's first target, whether directly or as a shield for its terrorist proxies. Furthermore, no Israeli government can afford to forego three years – and probably more - relieved of the threat of annihilation by a power dedicated to its destruction. Even Gates cannot prophesy the exact consequences of an Israeli strike on Iran, say those sources. The Middle East would certainly be a different place for all its denizens.
In a time and a world short of courage and full of threats we need leaders who have conviction in their beliefs and stand for principles irrespective of popularity. Robert Gates is not that man. Robert Gates appears to be a coward. For the SoD to say that the only thing that will keep iran from getting a nuclear weapon is iran demonstrates a position of weakness and total disregard for our ally Israel.
I will note that the obama administration is keen on abandoning Israel as an ally - and maybe this is just a piece of that. Gates, if he were a principled leader, would stand up for what is right irrespective of the effects on his public service career. The implications for abandoning Israel are considerable.. Foolish is the leader who paves the way for this decision.
The unintended consequence of all of this, of course, is that Israel will be left alone to act. And act they will. The rest of the world will not like it when they do.