Archive for the 'Israel' Category



Israel Strikes Syria

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

More of that smart diplomacy we were promised, apparently.  Middle East on fire. Likely a thermobaric weapon the way it burns the oxygen up and puts the other fires out. UPDATE: I noticed that Matt Drudge has this video linked today. I sent it to Drudge last night, fully expecting them to link the video without acknowledging this web site or linking to it. They never disappoint. This isn’t the first time this has happened.

“Will The U.S. Attack Iran?” Having The Wrong Conversation

BY Glen Tschirgi
1 year, 11 months ago

Last week, Lee Smith published an article in Tablet that gave three, main reasons why the United States is not going to attack Iran now nor will it attack Iran under a President Romney, notwithstanding all the talk to the contrary.

This article got quite a bit of play in the Statist Media because, it was argued, the article seemingly showed that Mitt Romney is carrying on a charade of getting tough on Iran and that any criticisms of President Obama’s current Iran policy are hollow or hypocritical.

Lee Smith advances three, main arguments for why no Republican president would openly attack Iran:  1) Domestic politics;  2) History of Iran-U.S. relations, and;  3) the disguised reliance upon nuclear deterrence.

The article makes perfect sense at a certain level.   On domestic politics, Smith is correct, but for the wrong reasons.   While Smith points to the desire to avoid destabilizing economic effects of any attack, the real bar to Republican action is entirely political.   The Democrats established a clear precedent with George W. Bush that any military action abroad, even if a broad authorization is obtained from Congress in advance, will be subjected to the worst partisan attacks and scurrilous accusations.   Democrats will mobilize every resource to demonize a Republican president who dares to use force against America’s enemies.   Use of force is an exclusive, Democrat prerogative.

On the history of dealings with Iran, Smith also scores points:

No American president has ever drawn red lines for Tehran and enforced them by showing that transgressions are swiftly and severely punished.

It’s true that it was a Democrat, Jimmy Carter, who sat by idly when Ayatollah Khomeini and the founders of the Islamic Republic stormed the U.S. embassy and held Americans hostage for 444 days. But GOP hero Ronald Reagan provided the Iranians with arms—after the Islamic Republic’s Lebanese asset, Hezbollah, killed 241 U.S. Marines in the 1983 bombing of their barracks at the Beirut airport. When the FBI said Tehran was responsible for the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers, Bill Clinton failed to respond or even name Iran, lest it derail the “dialogue of civilizations” promised by the newly elected reform-minded president Muhammad Khatami. And the last Republican in the White House was no more proactive in countering Iran’s actual attacks on Americans: The more than 100,000 American servicemen and -women that Bush had dispatched to Iraq were targeted by the IRGC and their local allies, a fact that U.S. officials tended to obscure and did little to change when they did acknowledge it.

As to a hidden reliance on nuclear deterrence, Smith is also likely correct:

If you can kill Americans without any consequences and the Americans will in fact collaborate in covering up your malfeasance, you can certainly build a nuclear weapons facility without too much concern that the Americans are really keeping “all options on the table”; the White House is not and almost surely never will—no matter who’s calling the shots. Short of an American city suffering thousands of casualties in a nuclear attack that the Iranians boast of publicly, it is difficult to know what would compel a U.S. president to take military action against Iran.

Maybe U.S. policymakers just believe, in spite of what they say publicly, that Iran really isn’t that big a deal. Remember that even today, a number of American officials, civilian and military, cut their teeth on Cold War strategy, an era when the United States faced off against a real superpower. Washington and Moscow fought proxy wars against each other on four continents with the fear of an eventual nuclear exchange leading to mutually assured destruction looming in the background. Perhaps, if seen in this context, for American policymakers Iran just doesn’t rise to a genuine threat level.

The problem with Smith’s analysis (and many others who have been endlessly debating the pros and cons of attacking Iran to stop its nuclear weapons development) is that it fundamentally is the wrong conversation.

The focus of the debate should not be about stopping a totalitarian, Islamist regime devoted to martyrdom from getting nuclear weapons.   The focus should be on removing the Regime itself.  The Iranian people have lived long enough under the hand of an oppressive theocracy to know that the next government must be anything but that.  The Green Movement that began with the phony elections of 2009 explicitly called for a true, secular, democratic government.  The Regime immediately recognized the counter-revolutionary nature of the Greens and put it down with absolute brutality.  The Regime knows that the people of Iran want normalized relations with the U.S. and the West in general.  Any change in government is going to be a sharp repudiation of the current leadership and the mullahs.

Fortunately for the U.S. and the West, the Regime is clinging on to power on a cliff’s edge of explosive public unrest and simmering revolution.   All that is needed to effect the removal of the Regime is a little… more… time.

This plays directly into the debate over Israel’s decision whether to attack Iran.

The current debate suffers from the same mistake.   Critics endlessly point out that even if Israel could muster the nerve and assets to attack Iranian facilities any such attack would “only” delay the Iranian nuclear program, not end it.   If any attack could end Iran’s nuclear program that would certainly be preferable.   But that is, of course, highly unlikely.   Delaying the program, however, is the very point.   Delaying the program is more than a sufficient goal because it gives more time to change the leadership of Iran.

Obama has been doing everything in its power to subvert and forestall an attack by Israel against Iran’s nuclear facilities.   This is directly contrary to U.S. interests in bringing down the Iranian Regime.  An attack by Israel, even if incomplete, would undeniably set back the Iranian nuclear program by some years according to most estimates.   This additional time could be the crucial difference in allowing the U.S. to work, covertly, toward bringing down the Regime.

In the end, the U.S. must realize that it is not the possession of nuclear weapons in and of itself that should be feared.   It is the government that possesses such weapons.   Simply seeking to keep nuclear technology out of the hands of totalitarian regimes is, ultimately futile.  As North Korea demonstrated, with enough determination and sacrifice, even a poverty-stricken country can get nuclear weapons.  The goal must always be to eliminate any regime that evidences any intention to go nuclear.   It is a red line that cannot be crossed.

How and when we go about doing that is the conversation we should be having.

Is That A Threat Or A Promise? Saudis Warn Against U.S. Veto of Terror State

BY Glen Tschirgi
2 years, 10 months ago

This opinion piece seems almost too good to be true.

Former Saudi ambassador and Saudi intelligence director Turki al-Faisal writes in The New York Times op-ed page (on September 11th no less!) that a United States veto in the U.N. of an anticipated proposal for a “Palestinian” state could result in the loss of Saudi Arabia as an ally in the Middle East as well as other unpleasantness.

There are so many great come-backs here, I am just going to list them and let readers vote in the comments section on the one that best summarizes their feelings (or suggest their own).

Lose Saudi Arabia as an ally if we veto a Palestinian State?

A) Can we get that in writing?

B) We should be so lucky.

C) So… what’s the bad news?

D) Is that a threat or a promise?

E) Wait, you mean to say that Saudi Arabia has been our ally all this time?

F) With allies like this, who needs enemies?

Al-Faisal’s piece is such a target-rich environment that it is almost too easy.  Where to begin?

How about his argument that failure to support the creation of yet another terror-supporting State by the name of “Palestine” (a term, by the way, that was only revived by the British colonial rulers in 1917 and was never appropriated by the locals until after the revival of Israel in 1948) will further undermine Israel’s security?  Sure, it is possible that the veto of the resolution might lead to yet another intifada (as al-Faisal warns), but this sort of talk sounds like the practiced art of an extortionist:  Sure would be a shame if you didn’t go along with the new, palestinian state and then something happened to your family.   (Come to think of it, this talk sounds like the kind of thing we hear from labor unions these days.  I wonder if al-Faisal has been reading the SEIU manual?).

At any rate, it is difficult to imagine that Israel’s security could get much worse short of open warfare.   Afterall, Israel is already getting rocketed from the Gaza Strip, infiltrated by terrorists from the supposedly demilitarized Sinai peninsula, the aim point for tens of thousands of medium range, Hezbollah missiles in southern Lebanon and literally ringed by neighbors who are all committed to her annihilation.  Other than that, it’s all just peachy, eh Mr. Faisal?

I also like the bit about the border of the State of Palestine being based upon the pre-1967 War borders.   Now where do you think al-Faisal got that idea?  Yeah, thanks Barack Hussein.   Last time I checked, the 1967 borders were about the width of the Washington, D.C. beltway and utterly indefensible.

Here are some, other gems from the former Saudi ambassador (and now, presumably, getting a regular time slot on Comedy Central):

Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to cooperate with America in the same way it historically has. With most of the Arab world in upheaval, the “special relationship” between Saudi Arabia and the United States would increasingly be seen as toxic by the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims, who demand justice for the Palestinian people.

Again, the Saudi idea of “cooperation” is funding Sunni terrorists in Iraq who target Americans, spending billions of dollars on Islamic schools all over the world (including the U.S.) which teach militant Wahhabi doctrines, spending billions more supporting mosques and imams who preach violent jihad against the U.S. and actively seeking to undermine democratic institutions in the U.S.

Saudi leaders would be forced by domestic and regional pressures to adopt a far more independent and assertive foreign policy. Like our recent military support for Bahrain’s monarchy, which America opposed, Saudi Arabia would pursue other policies at odds with those of the United States, including opposing the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Iraq and refusing to open an embassy there despite American pressure to do so. The Saudi government might part ways with Washington in Afghanistan and Yemen as well.

A “far more independent and assertive foreign policy” ?  Example Bahrain? Assuming that the Obama Administration was sincere in its public protests over the tanks and troops sent by Saudi Arabia into Bahrain to quell Iranian-inspired protests, the last thing that any thinking American wanted was another, major oil producing state in civil war.   Go ahead and send in tanks, O Sultan.

And “opposing the government of…al-Maliki” in Iraq?  Puh-leeeze.  The U.S. can barely stand the guy either.  He is leading his country down the tubes with the Iranians.  Very few people in the U.S. would mourn the loss of Maliki.   The U.S. gave him a perfect opportunity to establish a strong and independent Iraq and he blew it with a short-sighted Status of Forces Agreement in 2008 that gives away Iraqi security at the end of this year.

Does the Obama administration care that the Saudis will not establish an embassy in Iraq?  That’s good.  No one else here does.  A Saudi embassy is just another, little piece of hell on earth for women, infidels and those who love bacon.

In fact, in case you have not noticed, Al, Americans are none too happy with Obama these days, so making threats of non-cooperation with Obama’s foreign policy is actually a way to get drafted by Democrats to run against Obama for re-election in 2012.  (And, considering how Democrats these days seem to love authoritarians– see the Tom Friedman man crush for China’s communist leadership– a Saudi candidate might just be their dream guy).

At the end of the day, Saudi Arabia naturally pursues its own, national interests and does not shrink from doing so even when it involves the death of U.S. servicemembers  (as TCJ pointed out in the past with regard to its role in supporting Sunni terrorism in Iraq, for instance).  It is comic, however, when someone like al-Faisal tries to pretend that the Saudis are America’s closest ally in the Middle East and the damage (or even loss) of that relationship is something that most Americans would grieve over.  No matter how they  dress it up, the notion of a state for the Arabs that formerly resided in Israel (aka “Palestinians”) is simply a cynical means to the ultimate end that they desire: the obliteration of Israel.

Brief Assessment of Middle East Violence

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 2 months ago

VDH weighs in at NRO’s Corner:

If one had, for two and a half years, made it clear to the world that the Middle East’s problems were attributable not to the rising Hamas-Syria-Iran nexus, not to the corruption and intransigence of the Palestinian Authority, and not to the general misery that accrues from tribalism, fundamentalism, gender apartheid, lack of constitutional government, and statist economic practices, but to democratic Israel’s building apartments in Jerusalem and general unwillingness to trust its assorted neighbors — then one might have anticipated the current aggression against Israel. The more the Obama administration talked up the Israel “problem” in the midst of Middle East unrest that had nothing to do with Israel, and promised to lean on it, the more it became a self-fulfilling prophecy that an Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, or Hamas would try to deflect popular dissatisfaction with their own ruthless autocracy onto the constitutional state of Israel. If we are not careful, we will soon return to pre-1973 Middle East landscape with hostile states on all sides of Israel, the only difference being that instead of secular authoritarian dictatorships the front-liners will be Hamas-like Islamic totalitarians. Still waiting for one brave soul in the administration to suggest that the problem in the Arab Islamic world is not in the stars over Tel Aviv but in themselves.

I agree with Hanson that the administration’s narrative on the Middle East became a self-fulfilling prophesy, but the lack of vision in the administration has nothing to do with bravery.  It has everything to do with a confused world view.

It’s also why Andrew Exum weighs in thusly:

Israel has been kidding itself if it had imagined itself immune from the non-violent, peaceful protests that have been sweeping the Arabic-speaking world. You can dismiss today’s events in northern Israel as a plot engineered by the Syrians, Iranians and their proxies. But the Palestinian cause is a real and enduring one. What happens when the Palestinians in the West Bank start demanding statehood not through violence but through peaceful protests? How will Israel respond? One option they do not have is to bury their heads in the sand and pretend like the call for Palestinian statehood will go away. And good luck whenever some clever Palestinian leader starts organizing peaceful marches on some crazy hilltop settlements in the West Bank, counting on provoking the kind of response that the media in Israel and abroad will eat up.

Except it’s not really that way.  When Palestinians talk about the “occupation,” they aren’t referring to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, or the borders that currently exist.  They are referring to the Israeli occupation of, well, Israel.  The Palestinians are increasingly rejecting the idea of the so-called two state solution.  Andrew misses the point.  The Palestinians already have a state.  They want another one, one that currently belongs to someone else, and that’s the crux of the problem.

The protests in the Middle East directed at Israel have nothing to do with democracy movements, any more than what eventually obtained in Egypt has to do with students or freedom.  The Muslim Brotherhood will eventually rule in Egypt, and to fail to view things through eschatological eyes (from the perspective of Islamic eschatology) is to fail to understand the root of things in the Middle East.

General David Petraeus, Max Boot and Independent Analysis

BY Herschel Smith
4 years ago

Several months ago Max Boot did something I would never do, and offered what he called rare praise for Andrew Sullivan.  The subject of the article was mainly about Petraeus and his statements on Israel, but in the same article Max made some fairly strong observations or allegations about Diana West.

Andrew McCarthy writing for National Review Online penned a lengthy rebuttal to Max’s advocacy for Petraeus, while also analyzing the statements Petraeus had recently made concerning Israel.  Max’s position has seemed profoundly weak to me, and McCarthy’s rebuttal appears determinative in light of the alternatives.  Petraeus has said, for example:

… enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to advance our interest in the AOR (Area of Responsibility). Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile Al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizbollah and Hamas.

Now, one can even agree with the General that Israel and the Palestinian-Israel conflict is the fulcrum upon which everything tips in the Middle East.  It doesn’t offend or bother me in the least; I just believe that this view is naive and meant primarily as a narrative for simpletons.  Let’s be clear.  Palestine or Israel could cease to exist tomorrow, and Iran would still pursue regional hegemony.  There would still be hatred among some in the Middle East towards the U.S. (Wahhabists, etc.) regardless of who did or didn’t exist, or what other conflict was or wasn’t going on.

But whatever your view, McCarthy’s article was rather conclusive, that is, until Max Boot responded to McCarthy.  He has been a determined advocate for Petraeus and his Israel policy, indeed.  Joshua Foust explains why.

The recent revelation that Gen. Petraeus — now installed as the third commander of the flagging Afghan War in two years— collaborated with at least one pundit to get his story into the public isn’t exactly earth-shaking. But it might point to deeper problems with the commentary industry: namely, who’s driving the discussion?

An activist named Philip Weiss recently posted to his blog an e-mail chain that revealed Petraeus jovially chatting with Los Angeles Times columnist and Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Max Boot (Weiss makes a big deal out of Petraeus’ use of a smiley-face emoticon, though he’s probably overreacting about his supposed run for the presidency). At issue was a statement Petraeus gave the Senate Armed Services Committee that was critical of Israel. Wanting to combat the negative things pro-Israel pundits were saying about him, Petraeus reached out to Boot, who promptly repeated Petraeus’s statements, arguments, and talking points in his writing without directly disclosing their source.

None of this is terribly surprising, in the abstract: Petraeus has taken Boot on numerous DOD-funded trips around the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in return Boot has written repeatedly about how the wars are worth fighting, etc. It’s kind of a standard quid pro quo and makes sense from the general’s perspective. What’s odd, and this is where Weiss is onto something, is that Boot would go so far as to take cues directly from Petraeus, no longer writing as a pro-war partisan but as Petraeus’s unofficial spokesman.

It is an unfortunately common relationship in the think tank and commentary universe: writers find government figures they respect and wish to support, and those figures make supporting them as easy as possible.

Joshua goes on to discuss the ethics of this approach to advocacy.  You can make up your own mind.  As for regular readers of The Captain’s Journal, you would find it implausible to the point of simply impossible that I publish anyone’s talking points.  I know that some Milblogs and commentators that.  That group has not and will never include this one.  If you must publish someone else’s talking points, it means that you don’t have any thoughts of your own.

Tactical Appraisal of Israeli Flotilla Raid

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 1 month ago

In early 2009 the USS San Antonio interdicted and boarded an Iranian ship bound or Gaza, and it was found to be transporting weapons for waging war with Israel.  I supported this move, and in fact even more exhaustive measures to contain rogue states and ensure American security (or the security of our allies).  So support of Israel’s right to ensure its own national security is not in question.

But immediately upon hearing about the Israeli flotilla raid, my reaction was the same as it is now.  Without rehearsing the gory details, Israeli Marines fast-roped onto the boat bound for Gaza, one at a time, in broad daylight, armed only with nonlethal weapons, to a group prepared to beat them over the head and throw them overboard.

Joe Klein is preening over Israel having learned its lesson, pressing for more traditional ship-boarding measures in lieu of this method.  Well, there are various tactics to be taken under various circumstances.  If there had been reason to believe that there would be kinetic operations, then heavier tactics are in order.  But not the ones we witnessed in the recent raid.

If there had been reason to expect kinetic operations, then fast-roping is not done one at a time.  Furthermore, it should not have been done in broad daylight.  The Israeli Marines should have owned the night.  Night vision gear, the element of surprise, quick Marine presence on board the ship due to proper implementation of fast-roping techniques, inundation with tear gas, and the ship could have been secured within seconds and without incident.

The Israeli Navy has said they will do it differently next time.  Let’s hope so, but that’s not quite the point.  There may be the need for softer tactics, or not, depending upon the situation.  The real question is why this operation was ever approved in the first place?  The raid was a tactical disaster.  What kind of tactical malaise has descended upon the IDF that they would have even thought up something like this?  Who was in charge of this, and will he be held responsible for his lack of tactical ingenuity?  What does this say about the state of tactics in the IDF generally?  The hard questions remain, and the larger issue of the state of the IDF is the real story out of this event.

Israel, Petraeus and Iran

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 3 months ago

Andrew McCarthy at NRO takes on both Petraeus and Max Boot in a recent commentary.

In January, after canvassing opinion from Muslim governments in his area of responsibility, Petraeus sent a team of CENTCOM officials to brief the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As reported by Mark Perry of Foreign Policy, the purpose of that briefing was to underline Petraeus’s “growing worries at the lack of progress in resolving” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The general was doing politics, not combat strategy — and we don’t owe him any deference on politics. In a 33-slide, 45-minute PowerPoint presentation, Petraeus’s briefers reported, among other things, “that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOM’s mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, [and] that Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region.”

The general repeated this political theme in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 16. Specifically, he averred in a written statement (p. 12) that the “… enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to advance our interest in the AOR (Area of Responsibility). Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile Al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizbollah and Hamas.”

Max Boot briefly responded that Petraeus doesn’t blame Israel for our problems and it’s incorrect for McCarthy to say that he does.  McCarthy’s commentary is insightful, and I won’t weigh in on Boot’s specific response concerning whether Pertraeus believes that Israel is the root of America’s problems.  General Petraeus could (and should) weigh in himself (although his testimony seemed pretty clear to me).

However, on the issue of being a so-called “honest broker,” some sort of neutral party which can hold both sides accountable and thereby effect change in behavior or attitude, this is worse than wishful thinking.  Leaving aside the issue of whether the U.S. should be biased towards Israel and assessing the situation from a purely clinical perspective, the belief that “honest brokering” with Israel will change the calculus is naive to the point of being childish and even dangerous (and here I am not necessarily commenting on the Petraeus testimony).

The radical rulers in Iran will not be mollified, and the covert and overt operations of their surrogates in the Middle East will not be attenuated one iota by playing “honest broker” and pressing Israel to make more concessions.  The Palestinians are increasingly rejecting the idea of a two-state solution.  Short of regime change, Iran will obtain nuclear weapons within a few years or less, excepting military action by Israel (which has the unlikely affect of being successful in the long term).  Not even the most robust sanctions will stop Iran, much less political pressure on Israel.

We must remove the radical Mullahs or support those who would in order to avoid a regional conflagration in the near term.  Everyone in the State Department already knows this, or if they don’t, they aren’t qualified to be in the employ of the government.  I’m not quite sure which group is larger.  One year and four months ago I forecasted that “the State Department will begin the administration with high hopes, excitement and grand ambitions for the role of diplomacy, negotiations and multi-lateral talks. By the end of the administration, a general malaise and confusion will have descended upon the entire State Department, and yet there will still be sparse and shallow understanding of why negotiations have so miserably failed to prevent or ameliorate the various calamities for which they were targeted.”

Israeli Seizure of Iranian Weapons

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

Courtesy of Blackfive here is a video of the recent seizure of an Iranian weapons shipment.

It’s the same pattern as before.  Major Shipments of weapons has occurred in the past and will keep occurring.  When this administration figures out that sugar and spice and everything nice won’t work as a foreign policy, a depression will set in at the State Department.  War will eventually come to the Middle East, and Israel will be left to defend itself while the current administration sits in malaise and bewilderment.

I predicted it.

Postscript: See also Michael Ledeen’s recent comments on this administration’s appeasement of evildoers here and here.

How did that Sunshine Diplomacy thing work out?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 months ago

Well, by now it’s old news that the first botched attempt at a North Korean nuclear weapon has retreated in our consciousness in the face of a new threat.  They have succeeded in developing a real weapon.  There has already been and will continue to be worldwide denunciations, but in the end, nothing will be done about it, at least, nothing that has any affect on the North Korean regime.

Now consider the Iranian regime and its recent claims in light of this example.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday rejected a Western proposal for it to “freeze” its nuclear work in return for no new sanctions and ruled out any talks with major powers on the issue.

The comments by the conservative president, who is seeking a second term in a June 12 election, are likely to further disappoint the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, which is seeking to engage Iran diplomatically.

The United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain said in April they would invite Iran to a meeting to try and find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear row …

“Our talks (with major powers) will only be in the framework of cooperation for managing global issues and nothing else. We have clearly announced this,” Ahmadinejad said.

The nuclear issue is a finished issue for us,” he told a news conference.

One is tempted to ask South Korea how that sunshine diplomacy thing has worked out, but sniping and sarcasm aside, the example is valuable.  From the perspective of Benjamin Netanyahu, after having watched negotiations fail in bringing North Korea to its ideological knees for so long, and after having watch a botched attempt become the forerunner of a successful nuclear test, what option does Israel have except to prepare to defend itself with the governments of the world continuing to advocate the same approach that failed in the Far East?  Nothing will be done to turn Iran away from its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and so the clock is ticking for Israel.  We’ve heard this song before.

Palestine v. Nuclear Iran: Quid Pro Quo for Israel?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 months ago

Rahm Emanuel’s ego is writing checks that our bank account can’t cash.

Thwarting Iran’s nuclear program is conditional on progress in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Israeli TV reports said Monday that Emanuel made the comments in a closed-door meeting the previous day with 300 major AIPAC donors.

Last month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Israel that it risks losing Arab support for combating threats from Iran if it rejects peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Clinton said Arab nations had conditioned helping Israel counter Iran on Jerusalem’s commitment to the peace process.

We’ve been through this before.  The Palestinians don’t want a state.  When they discuss “the occupation,” they mean the very existence of Israel.  Progress on “peace negotiations” is an impossible goal with one party seeking the destruction of the other.

So Israel is supposed to show progress, the Arab nations are supposed to pressure Iran, and Iran suddenly decides to relinquish its nuclear program?  This is their plan?  That’s it?  This, after recent news of the continuing obfuscation of issues surrounding the nuclear program?  This plan has no chance of succeeding.  Amir Taheri has outlined the most recent instances of Iranian hegemony, weaving together a tapestry of an ideology bent on domination.

For all who believe that the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons and the prospect of mutually assured destruction is a deterrent to Iranian nuclear ambitions, Norman Podhoretz slammed the door on that by explaining why, from a geographical standpoint, the situation in Israel has no analogue to any other region of the world.

… even Ahmadinejad’s predecessor as president and the current Speaker of the Assembly of Experts, the Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, known far and wide as a “moderate,” has declared that his country would not be deterred by the fear of retaliation: “If the day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in its possession . . . application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.”

Quite literally, a first strike in Israel in or around Tel Aviv and several other major population centers would end Israel as we know it.  The Muslim world can withstand a strike from Israel if there is anything left with which to strike, because there are more Muslims and they live in a larger surface area – so we are told by the Iranian authorities.

Rahm Emanuel has no business claiming that he or the Arab states can accomplish anything with Iran, and the Israelis have no business listening to him.  There are other options such as pressing for regime change from within, but even the democracy programs within the State Department have fallen victim to disinterest.  Most Israelis support direct military action with or without the endorsement of the U.S.  This is good, because they are likely to go it alone, sooner or later.


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