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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kenneth Pollack, "Short of a Deal, Containing Iran Is the Best Option": What Happened to "I Don't Bluff"?

In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "Short of a Deal, Containing Iran Is the Best Option" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/opinion/short-of-a-deal-containing-iran-is-the-best-option.html?pagewanted=all), Kenneth Pollack, "a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and National Security Council official," declares his opposition to a military confrontation with Iran over its nuclear weapons development program. Pollack writes:

"If it cannot reach a diplomatic deal, America will face a choice between two alternatives: using force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal or containing a nuclear Iran until its regime collapses from its own dysfunction.

It is going to be a difficult choice. For that reason, we need to start thinking about it now. We cannot afford to have our diplomatic efforts collapse suddenly and, as in Syria, be forced to lunge forward unprepared.

Sizing up the two alternatives, I favor containment over military operations."

Peculiar. I thought Obama already had a policy. You will recall that Obama told Jeffrey Goldberg  (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/obama-to-iran-and-israel-as-president-of-the-united-states-i-dont-bluff/253875/):
"I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff. I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."

Let's also not forget that there is this other entity in the Middle East, whose existence has repeatedly been threatened by Iran, and which cannot afford to gamble on Pollack's proposed policy of containment. Believe me, Israel is willing and prepared to act on its own to quash this existential threat.

One can only wonder why The New York Times is publishing Pollack's guest op-ed, so soon after Andrew Rosenthal, members of its editorial board and members of its op-ed staff held a dubious meeting with President Obama (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/09/michael-calderone-new-york-times.html). Are they smoothing the way for Obama to back down again?

It sure looks that way.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it's ugly.
    I think this Kenneth Pollack is ugly, I think that the NYT is ugly, I think some people elsewhere are ugly.
    So, they found an "analyst" who offers his "analysis" when asked.
    Well, I am just glad that they didn't ask the only analyst (a military one) whom I personally know and who is a neo-Nazi (at this moment, in his plush retirement), probably even formally.

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