A predominantly one-topic blog: how is it that the most imminent and lethal implication for humankind - the fact that the doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" will not work with Iran - is not being discussed in our media? Until it is recognized that MAD is dead, the Iranian threat will be treated as a threat only to Israel and not as the global threat which it in fact is.
A blog by Mladen Andrijasevic
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Obama's team criticizes the Israeli prime minister, the president remains
silent about the Iranian threat.
“It will be difficult
to trust Netanyahu in the future,” senior U.S. officials told Israel’s Channel
2 after the U.S.-Israeli dustup over House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation
for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, which neither Boehner
nor Netanyahu coordinated with the White House.
strongest U.S. supporters admit that Netanyahu can be politically insensitive,
and the backdrop to his upcoming address surely puts him on even more of a
collision course with President Barack Obama than he’s endured during the six
years of their rocky relationship. Obama’s pushing hard for a nuclear deal
with Iran, Israel fears a deal that will enable Iran to quickly develop nuclear
weaponry, and Congress increasingly leans far more towards Netanyahu’s fears
than Obama’s hopes.
That neither Obama nor
his aides trust Netanyahu is hardly news. For years, they’ve disparaged him
harshly, insulted him gratuitously, called him crass names, and suggested they
know what’s good for Israel more than he does. In the latest controversy, a
U.S. official said that Netanyahu had “spat” in Obama's face.
What’s striking about
recent events, however, is not how little Obama trusts Netanyahu. Rather, it’s
how much – in his desperate quest for a nuclear deal – he chooses to “trust”
Iran’s leaders, or at least look the other way, as they truly “spit”
in his face by undercutting U.S. interests in the region and beyond.
For starters, the
president is either woefully uninformed or willfully deceptive when it comes to
the nuclear talks. “Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran,” the
president proclaimed in his State of the Union address, “where, for the first
time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced
its stockpile of nuclear material.”
In fact, since
negotiators crafted the interim deal of November 2013 that was supposed to last
only six months, Iran has continued to enrich uranium,build at its
plutonium site at Arak, and advance its ballistic missile program that U.S.
officials had promised would be central to these talks; it vows to continue
enriching uranium and adding centrifuges; it announced that it would build two
new nuclear reactors at Bushehr just as a critical meeting between Iranian
Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva was
getting underway; and it refuses to come clean on its explosives technologies
that have nuclear applications.
Obama buys Tehran’s
line that further sanctions that would take effect if talks over a final deal
fail – which a strong bipartisan contingent in Congress wants to enact now –
would guarantee such failure. Thus, he’s vowed to veto such legislation, and
his aides have worked the issue hard on Capitol Hill. In fact, tough
sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table by steering its economy to the
brink of collapse, and the sanctions relief of the interim deal substantially
eased the economic pressure, thus giving Iran’s leaders far more flexibility to
make more nuclear progress and toughen its negotiating posture.
Tehran is surely
delighted that Obama whitewashes the truth about U.S.-Iranian talks in public,
that one of his top foreign policy aides compares a nuclear deal to Obama’s
landmark health reform, that the United States continues to extend the interim
deal as the two sides fail to reach a final one, that U.S. negotiators continue
to make concessions without securing any from Iran, that Obama promises to veto
sanctions legislation that would increase his negotiating leverage and that
neither Obama nor his team force Iran to pay any price for its nuclear and
Beyond the talks
themselves, Tehran provides no reason to “trust” it as a negotiating partner
anyway as the Islamic Republic undercuts U.S. interests in the region and
beyond by destabilizing U.S. allies.
rebels,who chant “Death to America,” just overran Yemen’s capital,
Sanaa,and forced its U.S.-backed President, Abed Rabbo Mansour
Hadi, to resign. That threatens U.S. efforts to maintain the offensive against
al-Qaida in theArabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen.
Meanwhile, Iran faces
suspicion over the murder of Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who
was set to testify to Argentina’s Congress about the 1994 bombing of a Buenos
Aires Jewish community center for which he previously indicted top Iranian
officials. He was working to expose the efforts of top Iranian and Argentine
officials to whitewash the issue in exchange for more bilateral economic
cooperation and to craft a plan that would bring the perpetrators to justice.
While Obama's team
takes offense at Netanyahu's mischief, the president himself remains shockingly
silent about the very real Iranian threat.
Lawrence J. Haas, former
communications director for Vice President Al Gore, is a senior fellow at the
American Foreign Policy Council.