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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Obama, Iran, Red Lines and 1939: Israel May Have to Go It Alone Again

Make no mistake about it: Israel is facing an existential threat. Today, given routine declarations from Iran's clergy, government and military concerning Tehran's readiness to excise the "Zionist tumor," even Iran's leading Western apologists can no longer whitewash this menace.

Moreover, Hezbollah, Iran's proxy in Lebanon, is concurrently cautioning that if Israel launches a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear weapons development facilities, it will let fly some 60,000 rockets and missiles against Israeli population centers.

Now add to this ugly mixture the fact that the discussions between the P5+1, led by the EU's nincompoop foreign policy head Catherine Ashton, and Iran, regarding Tehran's nuclear development program, have come to naught.

Then, too, consider the "serious concern" expressed by the IAEA on Thursday over Tehran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment and its refusal to allow IAEA inspectors to examine sites suspected of nuclear weapons development activity.

Obama's response to this catastrophe? He has downgraded the joint American-Israeli anti-missile exercise, Austere Challenge 12, scheduled for October, and refused to meet with Netanyahu in New York later this month, owing to his busy schedule. (Obama has time to appear on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on September 18, but has no time to discuss the Iranian crisis with Netanyahu.)

Obama has also refused to set any "red lines" involving Iranian progress toward its first nuclear weapon.

Should Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu be concerned with the Iranian nuclear weapons development program and Obama's post election attitude involving this catastrophe in the making, if he should be re-elected? Answer: Wouldn't you be worried? More to the point, would you trust Obama to keep his promise to prevent Iran from building its first nuclear weapon?

Meanwhile, Obama has sent his attack dogs to applaud his refusal to adopt red lines and to demonize an apprehensive Netanyahu. California Senator Barbara Boxer, who claims to be "one of Israel’s staunchest supporters in Congress," wrote a letter to Netanyahu, expressing her "deep disappointment over your remarks that call into question our country’s support for Israel." Boxer went on to accuse Netanyahu of injecting "politics into one of the most profound security challenges of our time – Iran’s illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons."

Sorry, Barbara, for Israel this is not about American politics, but rather about basic survival.

Plagiarist, would-be Iran expert and adviser to Obama, Fareed Zakaria, recently wrote in The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-the-folly-over-red-lines-for-iran/2012/09/12/119a6a62-fd10-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_story.html):

"The Obama administration has brought together a global coalition, put into place the toughest sanctions ever, worked with Israel on a series of covert programs and given Israel military hardware it has long wanted. In addition, the Obama administration has strongly implied that it would be willing to use force as a final resort. But to go further and define a red line in advance would commit the United States to waging a war; no country would make such a commitment."

Obama has "put into place the toughest sanctions ever"? The problem is that the sanctions came too late, and Iran continues to pursue its nuclear weapons program notwithstanding the sanctions.

Israel has been given the "military hardware it has long wanted"? Although there is no denying the Obama administration's support for Israel's defensive Iron Dome anti-missile system, Israel has not been provided with America's latest bunker buster bombs, which could be used to destroy Iran's underground Fordow nuclear facility.

No country would ever commit to red lines and waging a war? Oh really? And all this while I thought that France and England declared war on Germany in 1939 owing to commitments made to Poland. Now imagine how many millions of lives would have been saved if France and England had earlier that year provided red lines with respect to German occupation of Czechoslovakia, instead of insisting, notwithstanding opposition from Czechoslovakian President Edvard Beneš, upon mediation with respect to Hitler's demands. Sound familar?

Most recently, The New York Times, the unofficial mouthpiece of the Obama administration, published an editorial, "No Rush to War" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/opinion/no-rush-to-war.html), stating:

"There is no reason to doubt President Obama’s oft-repeated commitment to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.

. . . .

The best strategy is for Israel to work with the United States and other major powers to tighten sanctions while pursuing negotiations on a deal. It is a long shot, but there is time to talk. And that’s where the focus must be."

So, notwithstanding Obama's decision to downgrade Austere Challenge 12, Netanyahu should have no reason to doubt Obama's resolve, and despite the fact that negotiations with Iran are a "long shot," there's time for talk. Yeah, right. I doubt that the editorial board of the Times would be talking in this manner if Manhattan was facing an imminent nuclear attack.

Yes, there is a serious problem involving a mutual lack of trust between Obama and Netanyahu, and this crisis of confidence could have been averted had Obama agreed to meet with Netanyahu in New York, but Obama, for his own personal reasons, refused.

Indeed, Israel, as in the past, i.e. June 1967, may have to go it alone again.

3 comments:

  1. Jeff, I am not a military expert, so I avoid commenting on military issues.
    I am just very concerned, and I do think that it's unfortunate that Obama is in the White House in this difficult times. I didn't vote for him (I wouldn't never do) and I was terrified by his beginnings in foreign policy - incompetent, empty, demagogic, dangerous. Personally, I have no doubt that Obama's posturing, an obvious lack of competence and clear biases have contributed to the disintegration of the world.
    I am not surprised, however, that he is President. Americans pride themselves on being "innovative" - new, new, new, new has been a buzzword for many, many, many decades:
    skim milk, white bread and egg whites only seem to be an American innovation. So is veganism. So is elimination of history. If I understand it correctly, this is the first society which declared history useless. We have a couple of generous absolutely and totally deprived of knowledge of history, totally and absolutely deprived any sensitivity to demagoguery, totally and absolutely shallow and empty.
    Obama the smiler is President, Scarlett the buster is a political power broker, etc.
    Someone forgot to tell Americans that new is only good when there is an intrinsic value.
    It looks ugly.

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  2. Correction.
    I meant:
    We have a couple of generations of individuals absolutely and totally deprived of knowledge of history ...
    Sorry.

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  3. Obama is no friend of Israel.I will also say that he is no friend of the United States,and I think that history will reflect that.Too many world issues left hanging,intensifying,a budget out of control.On what basis does he think he is worthy of another term? Sad that Romney presents as an empty suit,watching which way the wind blows,not daring to voice strong,no nonsense convictions.

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