Monday, August 31, 2009

Israel, Iran and Obama

Conflict is inevitable unless the West moves quickly
to stop a nuclear Tehran.

Wall Street Journal
31 August 09

The International Atomic Energy Agency has produced another alarming report on Iran's nuclear programs, though it hasn't released it publicly, only to governments that would also rather not disclose more details of Iran's progress toward becoming a nuclear theocracy. Meanwhile, Iran intends to introduce a resolution, backed by more than 100 members of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement, that would ban military attacks on nuclear facilities. No actual mention of Israel, of course.

The mullahs understand that the only real challenge to their nuclear ambitions is likely to come from Israel. They've long concluded that the U.N. is no threat, as IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has in practice become an apologist for Iran's program. They can also see that the West lacks the will to do anything, as the Obama Administration continues to plead for Tehran to negotiate even as Iran holds show trials of opposition leaders and journalists for saying the recent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was fraudulent. The irony is that the weaker the West and U.N. appear, the more probable an Israeli attack becomes.


The reality that Western leaders don't want to admit is that preventing Iran from getting the bomb is an Israeli national imperative, not a mere policy choice. That's a view shared across Israel's political spectrum, from traditional hawks like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to current Defense Minister and former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Israelis can see the relentless progress Iran is making toward enriching uranium, building a plutonium-breeding facility and improving on its ballistic missiles—all the while violating U.N. sanctions without consequence. Iran's march to the bomb also alarms its Arab neighbors, but it represents an existential threat to an Israeli nation that Iran has promised to destroy and has waged decades of proxy war against.

This threat has only increased in the wake of Iran's stolen election and crackdown. The nature of the regime seems to be changing from a revolutionary theocracy to a military-theocratic state that is becoming fascist in operation. The Revolutionary Guard Corps is gaining power at the expense of the traditional military and a divided clerical establishment.

On the weekend, Ahmadinejad called for the arrest and punishment of opposition leaders, and last week he nominated Ahmad Vahidi, a commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, to become defense minister. Vahidi is wanted on an Interpol arrest warrant for his role in masterminding the 1994 attack on a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. That attack killed 85 people and wounded 200 others. Vahidi's nomination shows that when Ahmadinejad talks of wiping Israel off the map, no Israel leader can afford to dismiss it as a religious allegory.

Israel also looks warily on the Obama Administration's policy of diplomatic pleading with Iran, which comes after six years of failed diplomatic overtures by the European Union and Bush Administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's suggestion in July that the U.S. would extend a "defense umbrella" over its allies in the Middle East "once [Iranians] have a nuclear weapon" may have been a slip of the lip. But Israelis can be forgiven for wondering if the U.S. would sooner accept a nuclear Iran as a fait accompli than do whatever is necessary to stop it.

It's no wonder, then, that the Israeli military has been intensively—and very publicly—war-gaming attack scenarios on Iran's nuclear installations. This has included sending warships through the Suez Canal (with Egypt's blessing), testing its Arrow antiballistic missile systems and conducting nation-wide emergency drills. U.S. and Israeli military officials we've spoken to are confident an Israeli strike could deal a significant blow to Iran's programs, even if some elements would survive. The longer Israel waits, however, the more steps Iran can take to protect its installations.

The consequences of an Israeli attack are impossible to predict, but there is no doubt they would implicate U.S. interests throughout the Middle East. Iran would accuse the U.S. of complicity, whether or not the U.S. gave its assent to an attack. Iran could also attack U.S. targets, drawing America into a larger Mideast war.

Short of an Islamist revolution in Pakistan, an Israeli strike on Iran would be the most dangerous foreign policy issue President Obama could face, throwing all his diplomatic ambitions into a cocked hat. Yet in its first seven months, the Administration has spent more diplomatic effort warning Israel not to strike than it has rallying the world to stop Iran.


In recent days, the Administration has begun taking a harder line against Tehran, with talk of "crippling" sanctions on Iran's imports of gasoline if the mullahs don't negotiate by the end of September. Rhetorically, that's a step in the right direction. But unless Mr. Obama gets serious, and soon, about stopping Iran from getting a bomb, he'll be forced to deal with the consequences of Israel acting in its own defense.
Related:Here's Your Story: No Engagement Game Because Iran...

1 comment:

  1. After reading through the articles on United States effort to 'restore relations' with certain Arab nations that are known to be hostile and sponsor terror in Israel and else where, including Nigeria where they are helping muslims to kill non muslims, the Igbo people and the rest of the Biafra-Niger Delta, people who are known to be African Hebrews.

    That is where Israel and its people needs to be looking at for a solid support right now. The United States is on a weak foundation and is falling apart in terms of international relations and engagement. Israel needs to indentify with the vast communities and nations of Jews/African Hebrews and those found in Asia and South America.

    Until Jews of Israel come to terms on the role of the Africa Hebrews on upholding the State of Israel, America will continue to play games with the Nation of Israel. Isreal is now being used as bargaining chip by the United States. The subjugation of people in other parts of the world is now falling apart and you now see those responsible for it seeking 'alliances and normalization of relations'.

    Let Israel wise up and move on. There is no need wasting time hanging on to a failed relationship that have not been very beneficial to the interest of Israel. Let Israel attempt making peace with its neigbours in strength and not weakness. There is no need having the United States as a mediator. It is better for Israel to normalize relations with Iran than hanging on to the falling United States.

    I'm not hating no body here it is just the way it is.

    Let me also remind all concerned people of promise who are seeking the great emancipation, the United States does not even have a role to play on the defence of Israel. It is the Jewish people that are actually needed by the United States. They now find themselves standing alone in a world that demands coperation and support. It is the United States that is riding on the back of Israel and should be concerned on loosing the support of Isreal. Isreal is contributing more to the developement of the lives of people while the United States engages in robbing countries of its resources. Look what US based oil companies did in Niger Delta of Biafra which is currently being decimated by the islamic goverment of Nigeria while Obama is busy praising them.

    Its all joke. Let the blind see and know exactly what is really going on. The so called allies of Isreal will leave her when she needs them the most. Look toward Africa and it shall be well with Israel. It is those who are neglected that will come up when the time of need comes.

    I am not an alarmist but I speak of things that will come to pass soon. The Jews around the world better be ready for those things that are about to take place in no distant time.