Thinking the Unthinkable

So I’m reading this BBC story about how Israel is beefing up its anti-missile system. No relation to any upcoming military action in the neighborhood, of course; no connection at all. Nothing to see here; move along.
All fine and good. And then I’m pondering the (fairly lame) little map they provide to help out the geographically challenged who might not be able to recall exactly where the Jewish state lies in relation to Saddam’s hermit kingdom.
And an odd thought comes over me. A thought about military planning. About logistics. About U.S. military bases — or rather, the lack thereof in the neighborhood, to be precise.
A thought about a problem: where to put thousands of U.S. troops and tons of U.S. military hardware in preparation for an attack on Iraq.
A thought about a solution that surely has, until now, been deemed — well, unthinkable.
OK, enough fun with wordplay:
Will someone please explain to me why we aren’t using Israel as a major staging ground for the attack on Iraq?
Pre-emptive objection counterarguments:
1) Israel won’t allow us to do so, for fear of retaliation by Iraq.
Be serious. Israel is going to face retaliation from Iraq if the U.S. attacks, no matter what. They know this; Saddam knows this; we know this. Everybody knows this. It is in Israel’s best interest, therefore, to ensure that the U.S. assault is quick, decisive, and as efficient as possible. In their best interest, therefore, to provide such assistance.
2) We can’t involve Israel, because it will shatter the Coalition!
Excuse me, does the calendar read 1990? I didn’t think so. Do you see a Coalition anywhere around here? Didn’t think so either. News flash: there ain’t no Coalition, and there ain’t gonna be no Coalition, unless you count the U.S. and the Brits as making up a Coalition (I prefer to think of it as just one big happy English-speaking family — the Brits talk funny, but they do OK).
3) But our Arab allies will not stand for it!
Our who? Oh, you mean our fast friends in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Those Arab allies. Big fans of them, are we? Remind me again what that friendship is worth to us? I seem to remember Colin Powell taking the combined goodwill of all three of them down to his local Starbucks to pay for a latte; he still had to chip in about $2.50 in cash. And it was for a ‘short’.
As usual, I’m exaggerating slightly for effect here (but it’s not Guiness this time, promise). However, I do find it extremely interesting that in all the discussion of the dilemma we face in scrounging up military bases in the region — particularly with the friendly House o’ Saud declining to allow us use of our bases in Arabia — I’ve not once heard Israel discussed as a potential candidate.
Why? I trashed some lame answers why above; but surely there must be some legitimate ones that I’m not aware of. Or am I that bright, and is the U.S. diplo-military establishment that dense? Enlighten me, oh commentous readers…