The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for the first Watcher's Council match up of 2012, carved eternally in the akhasic records of cyberspace. And of course, our thanks to the Independent Sentinel for the above killah graphic!
Once again, we have some important biz to take care of. This Saturday is very special..the birthday of our good friend Hube from The Colossus of Rhodey!! Check out this fine spread!
And, we have music...
Hube, mi querido amigo, nuestra amistad continúa creciendo a medida que pasa el tiempo - al igual que Tequila añejo, suave pero con un gran tiro!
Happy Birthday Hube...many more.
Ah yes, to business:
There has been a virtual hurricane of speculation going on about a possible strike on Iran's rogue nuclear weapons program by Israel, who take Iran's threats of annihilation quite seriously. This week's winner, Joshuapundit's Israel And Iran - Dancing With Armageddon takes a look at the tension between Israel and the Obama Administration over an Israeli strike, why the Israelis feel like this president has been less than forthright and honest with them, what an actual strike by Israel might involve, and the possibilities for its success. Here's a slice:
In the past few days, there have been major high level efforts by the Obama Administration and the British government to talk Israel out of pre-emptive strike on Iran's rogue nuclear facilities.
President Obama's National Security Adviser Tom Donilon failed in three days of talks with Israeli PM Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Barak Ehud and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz to convince them to give sanctions and negotiations more time to work.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague delivered the same message to Israel. In a BBC interview, he said Britain was focusing on pressuring Iran through diplomatic means.
"I don't think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran," he said. "I think Israel like everyone else in the world should be giving a real chance to the approach we have adopted on very serious economic sanctions and economic pressure and the readiness to negotiate with Iran."
The back story is very different.
The Israelis are livid over what they see as President Obama's betrayal in starting - again- to engage with Iran in back channel diplomacy in exchange for the U.S. and the EU postponing sanctions until July, with the likelihood of further postponements in exchange for more talks. The Israelis had already agreed to hold off to give sanctions time to work, only to find out later that President Obama was using the waiver Congress gave him in the sanctions legislation to postpone any meaningful action.
This movie has played out many times before in the over 7 years or so the West has known about Iran's nuclear program, with 'talks' spinning into months while the regime simply buys time. The Iranians have no intention of seriously being diverted from making nuclear weapons, because they know that's where the regime's ultimate security lies. They've taken note of how differently President Obama has reacted to Kim Il Sung North Korea and Moamar Khaddaffi in Libya.
The new proposal the Iranians are now taking their time to study allows them to continue enriching uranium to 5% in any quantity, provided they promise not to build an Iranian nuclear weapon.
While they're studying the matter, the mullahs are upgrading and greatly expanding the number of centrifuges at Iran's Fordo underground facility near the city of Qom to allow them to to convert their 5% uranium to weapons grade uranium in a matter of days.
This was the backdrop behind PM Netanyahu's remarks in Cyprus on February 15, where he blasted both Iran and by extension, the Obama Administration, saying that sanctions “haven’t worked” and that a regime which attacks diplomats having nuclear weapons “is something of enormous concern for the United States and for Israel.”
According to what I'm hearing from several sources, the discussions with Donilon were fairly strained. The Israelis see this new back channel proposal to Iran from the Obama Administration as a clear violation of guarantees made to Israel regarding Iran and sanctions, especially since it allows Iran to continue nuclear enrichment as well as the hardening and dispersal of its nuclear facilities. Once the talks are underway, the Israelis understand that they can again be spun out for months, and that there would be no way of stopping Iran's progress towards weaponization during the negotiations until it was too late for Israel to do anything about what they correctly regard as an existential threat.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Andrew McCarthy's NRO commentary on Why Apologize to Afghanistan? submitted by The Noisy Room. It examines the effect of President Obama's apology over the burning of Q'urans used by Taliban prisoners to send secret messages with.
Here are this week’s full results. New Zeal was unable to vote this week, but was not affected by the 2/3 vote penalty:
- *First place with 5 votes! Joshuapundit – Israel And Iran - Dancing With Armageddon
- Second place *t* with 2 1/3 votes – The Political Commentator - NYPD spying operation...What exactly is all the ruckus about?
- Second place *t* with 2 1/3 votes – The Right Planet -The Conscientious Objector
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – Rhymes With Right-Santorum Partly Right, Partly Wrong On JFK Speech On Religious Liberty
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – The Razor-Mission Accomplished: Rising Gas Prices Are Exactly What Obama Wants
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Independent Sentinel-The UN Threat to Internet Freedom - Another Devastating Treaty Ignored By Obama
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD -All Apologies
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Noisy Room- Define Gradual Adjustment
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – VA Right! – Obama’s 'Metro-sexual' Apology Seen as Weakness to Radical Islamists
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Gay Patriot –Of prejudice and projection
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Mellow Jihadi –No More Weapons!
- First place with 2 1/3 votes! –NRO/Andrew McCarthy -Why Apologize to Afghanistan? submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Zen Pundit – America in Arms, John McAuley Palmer, a review submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Victor Davis Hanson So Why Read Anymore?submitted by The Watcher
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – The Blogmocracy Gibson Guitars, Six Months Later submitted by The Watcher
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes - Friends Of Syria –US-NATO behind the Killings of Civilians in Syria submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes - Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I./The Catholic New World – What Are You Giving Up For Lent? submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote -American Thinker –Why Won't Barack Obama cut ties to a group promoting anti-Semitism submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Fourth place *t* with 1 votes -Monkey In The Middle They Are going To Kill Obama! submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Stonegate Institute/Alan Dershowitz–Friends Seminary Plays Bait and Switch on Anti-Semitism submitted byThe Political Commentator
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Alisina.Org –Setting Muslims Free submitted byJoshuapundit
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Accuracy In Media –The Russians and American Progressives: Together Again submitted byThe Right Planet
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote -The First Street Journal –2003 + 25 = 2012? submitted by The Colossus Of Rhodey
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