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Intro: "The ploy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to use the November elections to push President Obama into supporting an attack on Iran's nuclear sites appears to be failing in the face of Obama's firm 'no,' say Jim Lobe and Gareth Porter at Inter Press Service."

File photo: President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, 08/20/10. (photo: Reuters)
File photo: President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, 08/20/10. (photo: Reuters)


Obama Impedes Israel's Iran Attack

By Jim Lobe and Gareth Porter, Consortium News

06 September 12

 

he ploy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to use the November elections to push President Obama into supporting an attack on Iran's nuclear sites appears to be failing in the face of Obama's firm "no," say Jim Lobe and Gareth Porter at Inter Press Service.

President Barack Obama's explicit warning that he will not accept a unilateral Israeli attack against Iran may force Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step back from his ostensible threat of war.

Netanyahu had hoped that the Obama administration could be put under domestic political pressure during the election campaign to shift its policy on Iran to the much more confrontational stance that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been demanding.

But that political pressure has not materialized, and Obama has gone further than ever before in warning Netanyahu not to expect U.S. backing in any war with Iran. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters in Great Britain on Aug. 30 that an Israeli strike would be ineffective, and then said, "I don't want to be complicit if they (the Israelis) choose to do it."

It was the first time that a senior U.S. official had made such an explicit public statement indicating the administration's unwillingness to be a party to a war provoked by a unilateral Israeli attack.

Dempsey had conveyed such a warning during meetings with Israeli leaders last January, as IPS reported on Feb. 1, but a series of moves by the administration over the next several months, including the adoption of Israeli demands during two rounds of negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue in May and June, appeared to represent a retreat from that private warning.

Dempsey's warning was followed by an as-yet-unconfirmed report by Time magazine that the Pentagon has decided to sharply cut back on its participation in the largest-ever joint military exercise with Israel designed to test the two countries' missile-defense systems in late October.

Originally scheduled for last spring, the exercise was delayed in January following an earlier round of Israeli saber-rattling and the apparent Israeli assassination of an Iranian scientist, which had further increased tensions between Netanyahu and President Obama.

Former Israeli national security adviser Giora Eiland suggested in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that the Dempsey statement had changed the political and policy calculus in Jerusalem. "Israeli leaders cannot do anything in the face of a very explicit 'no' from the U.S. president," Eiland said. "So they are exploring what space is left to operate."

Eiland explained that Netanyahu had previously maintained that the U.S. "might not like (an Israeli attack) but they will accept it the day after. However, such a public, bold statement meant the situation had to be reassessed."

Netanyahu and Barak have never explicitly threatened to attack Iran but have instead used news leaks and other means to create the impression that they are seriously considering a unilateral air strike.

The Netanyahu campaign, aimed at leveraging a shift in U.S. policy toward confrontation with Iran, appeared to climax during the first two weeks of August amid a torrent of stories in the Israeli press suggesting that Netanyahu and Barak were getting closer to a decision on war.

An unnamed senior official - almost certainly Barak - indicated in an interview that the Israeli leader would reconsider the unilateral military option if Obama were to adopt the Israeli red line - in effect an ultimatum to Iran to end all enrichment or face war.

As Eiland suggests, however, Netanyahu may no longer feel that he is in a position to make such a demand when he meets Obama later this month. Not only has Obama drawn a clear line against unilateral Israeli action, but the Republican Party and its presidential candidate Mitt Romney have failed to signal that Obama's rejection of Netanyahu's belligerence on Iran will be a central issue in the presidential campaign.

Although the party platform said the threshold for military action should be Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapons "capability" rather than the construction of an actual weapon, Romney did not embrace the threat to go to war unless Iran agrees to shut down its nuclear program, as Netanyahu would have hoped.

That omission appeared to reflect the growing influence in his campaign of the "realist" faction of the Republican Party which opposed the radical post-9/11 trajectory of George W. Bush's first presidential term in office and re-asserted itself in the second term.

The party's marquee speaker on foreign policy was not a neoconservative but former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whom the neoconservatives viewed with disdain, not least because of her effort to begin diplomatic engagement with Iran. Rice mentioned Iran only in connection with its crackdown against dissidents during her prime-time speech.

Until recently, prominent neoconservatives, such as Dan Senor, Elliott Abrams and Eric Edelman, as well as aggressive pro-Israel nationalists such as former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, had appeared dominant among Romney's foreign policy advisers.

The fact that the billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a strong supporter of Netanyahu and the Israeli far right, has pledged up to $100 million to support the Republican campaign seemed to assure them of the upper hand on Israel and Iran.

But neoconservatives may have lost influence to the realists as a result of Romney's ill-fated trip in July to Great Britain, Israel and Poland - all neoconservative favorites - as well as recent polling showing ever-growing war-weariness, if not isolationism, among both Republicans and the all-important independents in the electorate.

On the convention's eve, Lee Smith, a neoconservative scribe based at the Standard, published an article in Tablet Magazine entitled "Why Romney Won't Strike Iran."

One of Romney's senior advisers, former CIA chief Gen. Michael Hayden, has even partially echoed Dempsey, telling the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Thursday that an Israeli raid against Iran's nuclear facilities would likely be counter-productive.

Both Hayden's and Dempsey's remarks about the futility or counter-productivity of an Israeli attack on Iran echoed those of a broad range of Israel's national-security elite, including President Shimon Peres and the former chiefs of Israel's intelligence agencies and armed forces, who, provoked by Netanyahu's and Barak's war talk, have come out more strongly than ever against the idea.

In addition to publicly casting doubt on whether an attack would be effective, many of the national-security critics have warned that a unilateral strike could seriously damage relations with the U.S. That argument, which resonates strongly in Israeli politics, was given much greater weight by Dempsey's warning last week.

Further eroding Israeli tolerance of Netanyahu's talk of war was a blog post on the Atlantic Magazine's website by Jeffrey Goldberg, an influential advocate of Israeli interests who has helped propagate the notion that Israel would indeed act unilaterally in the past. As the Netanyahu campaign reached its climax last month, Goldberg offered "7 Reasons Why Israel Should Not Attack Iran's Nuclear facilities".

Goldberg worried that an Israeli "strike could be a disaster for the U.S.-Israel relationship," especially if Iran retaliated against U.S. targets. "Americans are tired of the Middle East, and I'm not sure how they would feel if they believed that Israeli action brought harm to Americans," he wrote.


 

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+23 # MidwestTom 2012-09-06 07:04
When we look at the middle east whose values are we supporting? Iran is a modern country, they educate women, women can drive, they allow both Christian and Jewish churches. Their youth listen to US music, dance and idrink beer in night clubs.

Meanwhile in Syria, the late head of his Army was a Christian, he allowed both Christian and Jewish churches. The rebels that we are supporting are burning all houses and churches that aren't Muslim, and killing any Christians left. All reported in European and South African papers, but not here.

Meanwhile we are supporting the Sunni's lead by the Saudis, where ALL of the Muslims that have attacked us came from, where the most fundamental Islam is practiced. In Saudi it is illegal to possess a Holy Bible, and women have minimal rights.

If the Sunnis and the Iranis wnat to go to war. let's not take sides, and let them fight it out. Why do we have to be involved in every conflict?
 
 
+14 # MidwestTom 2012-09-06 07:05
Remove those holding dual citizenship from any government possition that pays over $199,000; and we would be involved in far fewer wars.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2012-09-06 08:54
Quoting MidwestTom:
Remove those holding dual citizenship from any government possition that pays over $199,000; and we would be involved in far fewer wars.

Check your facts mate.
The US doesn't allow dual citizenship unless a child of a foreign national is actually born in the country.
There are a few exceptions and some have gotten away with it but this is a pretty mean-spirited and broad-brushed statement without any full knowledge of the subject.
Obama is doing the right thing here; he has no love for Nutcase-Yahoo!
 
 
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-06 10:38
Not true I know people who are both Canadian and American and once Irish American.
I believe there is other Countries that allow it even after allegiance to America is taken.

I believe if Israel/Jewish People want to vote to put America into War, they must go back to Israel. I think that all Persons who come here and take allegiance to USA and hand that inheritance down, must pass on the fact that you do not serve two Political Factors. Either you serve in the USA Military or you go back and give up American Citizenship...t hat goes for all.

I am tired of Wars, my friends and family dead to save those who only want to control their Neighbors. How many Holocausts must happen before we see the Light.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2012-09-06 11:24
Quoting KittatinyHawk:
Not true I know people who are both Canadian and American and once Irish American.
I believe there is other Countries that allow it even after allegiance to America is taken.

I believe if Israel/Jewish People want to vote to put America into War, they must go back to Israel. I think that all Persons who come here and take allegiance to USA and hand that inheritance down, must pass on the fact that you do not serve two Political Factors. Either you serve in the USA Military or you go back and give up American Citizenship...that goes for all.

I am tired of Wars, my friends and family dead to save those who only want to control their Neighbors. How many Holocausts must happen before we see the Light.

As I said, I know a few who have gotten away with dual-citizenshi p but as a laid-down policy it is not permitted except in the stated born-here of "Legal-Alien" parents (I've looked into it seriously personally, and will not give up my EU/UK passport to a country with no universal health care system). The UK allows dual citizenship (and the vote to all who pay taxes, citizens or not!); it's the US that excludes the reciprocity.
 
 
+1 # MidwestTom 2012-09-06 10:58
Please visit this site for a partial list of dual citizens running the United States. It is no wonder that we are always at war.
http://salonesoterica.wordpress.com/2008/04/03/dual-us-israeli-citizens-running-american-government/
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-09-06 12:45
Quoting MidwestTom:
Please visit this site for a partial list of dual citizens running the United States. It is no wonder that we are always at war.
http://salonesoterica.wordpress.com/2008/04/03/dual-us-israeli-citizens-running-american-government/


Interesting that when you talk about those that have dual citizenship that you only seem to be referring to American Jews. I have an old Italian American friend who once told me that Italy is one of the few countries in which you could also get dual citizenship and so he wanted to do it so he would have some place to go when the US went fascist. Can't help feeling the warning lights go off though when i hear someone talk about those "running the US" and then points to American Jews that have dual citizenship (the age old anti-semitic charge that jews run the world including the US). I understand the power of the Israeli lobby and do not poo poo this and perhaps i'm misreading your tone but....
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-09-06 16:32
Midwest, That article was lifted from www.viewzone.com

Here are some of today's other top headlines at viewzone:

Illuminati & Rap Music
The Sabbath Day is WRONG
Fake Gold in Fort Knox!
Chemtrails are real
LBJ Killed JFK
Exciting New Discovery at Stonehenge
The Ark of the Covenant is in Yemen
Ancient City found in Caribean waters!
Remote viewers predict meteor impact 2012-2013
Vampires & the Bones of St. John the Baptist

--------

Do you see a pattern here?
 
 
+23 # dick 2012-09-06 08:33
If Israel's goal was just survival, sovereignty, & prosperity, how could we not support that? But currently Israel seeks CONSTANT EXPANSION, hegemony over neighbors, SEIZURE of water sources, colonial profiteering. Not 1 American should die for that INSANITY. Not 1 Israeli, Palestinian, Iranian, or anyone, either.
 
 
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-06 10:38
Amen
 
 
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-06 10:49
It is time that we weed out those whose Allegiance is playing us from the Middle.

If we take an Allegiance that we are Americans, does that not mean we support the United States of America.
If we have children who inherit Citizenship of being an American Citizen, does that not mean their allegiance is to America.

If Israel or anyone one else wants to go to War. Go ahead, it is on you. But if you use your status in America to play God with a Good Man who is running our country upward no longer downward spiral, it is time you left the USA and give up your Citizenship permanently as I see you bordering on Treason.
If I was to allege that I would bear arms for another Country, I under the bs Homeland Security could be detained forever as spy, counter USA person. Than so be it for Jewish/Israel and anyone else who wants to play games.

United States was built on Premise of only going to War if our Space was being threatened. We have allowed ourselves in War too many times for others greed.
It is time for those of other Nationalities that still hold allegiance to that Nation to LEAVE the USA, not come back. Their Children have no rights to citizenship.
If you want to do Battle,than I expect your children, male or female to join the Service of the USA. Both do so in other Nations so there is not excuse here.
America has its own Battles right here on this Front. I see no reason to War with anyone at this time.
 
 
+3 # Activista 2012-09-06 11:33
Gen. Martin Dempsey: "Israeli strike would be ineffective, and then said, "I don't want to be complicit if they (the Israelis) choose to do it." Obama Impedes? Panetta (Clinton boy) - Pentagon head Leon Panetta told ABC News that the US is "ready" to attack Iran. His predecessor Gates was fired because he did not want to bomb Libya.
Read: readersupportednews.org/opinion2/287-124/13284-why-america-and-israel-are-the-greatest-threats-to-peace
how absurd US/Israel foreign policy is and Democrats change platform to add God, Jerusalem - SICK
 
 
+9 # David Starr 2012-09-06 12:28
Good! Obama gave a firm NO to Netanyahu despite the latter's probable, slimy attempt at manipulation regarding Iran. I wish Obama showed this kind of political backbone in the beginning of his presidency. (But he was dealing with the belligerent party of no. STILL!)
 
 
+4 # Conan-the-Younger 2012-09-06 14:39
Here is a conjecture: In the article, Romney was supposedly urged to make his foreign trip by the neocons on his campaign staff. Knowing that starting a war before the election would almost guarantee Pres. Obama's victory, they could NOT tell Romney to give Netanyahu a green light for an attack until after the election and a Romney victory. However, to help Romney to win, Netanyahu could make a lot of war like noises about an attack which would drive up the price of oil by $15 per barrel (the premium set by oil market analysts) and therefore gasoline by $0.50 per gallon. This would be a staggering blow to the US economy right before the election and validate Romney's claim that Obama can't control the US economy.

Since Romney's visit to Israel, Israel has been making overt war like activities which triggered a jump from $83 per barrel to $95 per barrel. Hurricane Isaac pushed oil to $98. Since Obama's people starting slamming the lid on the war like activities of Netanyahu, oil started dropping to $93. After the hubbub over Isaac and the EUC's Dragni is over, oil should drop down to the mid $80s.
 
 
+4 # Phlippinout 2012-09-06 16:50
And all of a sudden the Democratic conference makes us all gag on a mention of whose capital Jerusalem is.. What a crock and an insult. The zionist zombies are getting really carried away with themselves.
 
 
-2 # Activista 2012-09-07 10:17
The Jerusalem, GOD, and war on Iran - plus killing sick, unarmed Osama bin Laden, shooting his wife ... america (Hillary) and israel (Netanyahoo) are the greatest threats to peace - agree with Chomsky
 

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