Friday, December 07, 2007

Israel Challenges NIE Intel On Iran

In response to the puerile NIE report claiming that Iran had stopped its quest for nuclear weapons back in 2003, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and others have been quite plain in publicly stating that Israel's evidence shows something very different.

"It’s apparently true that in 2003 Iran stopped its military nuclear program for a time. But in our opinion, since then, it has apparently continued that program," Barak told Israel army radio.

The Israelis plan to present their hard core evidence to the US when the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen lands in Israel Sunday morning for a 24-hour visit that will include a one-on-one meeting with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and Barak.

Mullen was in Israel with his wife two years ago when he was the commander of the Navy, but this visit will be the first time a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has visited Israel in the past decade.

Mullen and Ashkenazi are familiar with each other; they first met at the NATO military commander conference in Brussels last month and are said to get on well.

Aside from Iran,Mullen and the Israelis are going to discuss the proposed sale of advanced JDAM missiles and other weaponry by the US to Saudi Arabia.Israel's tacit support for that had been based on US assurances that the Saudis were going to use the 20 Billion in advanced armaments to help contain Iran. Now, it appears things just might have changed slightly,in view of the Saudis' behavior at Annapolis and the new NIE.

Mullen will sit through a day of presentations by IDF generals, including Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin and OC IDF Planning Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan on these topics and others, including The presentations that Mullen will hear will be on a wide range of topics - including the Hamas buildup in the Gaza Strip, Egypt's failure to stop the smuggling of weapons into Gaza, and Hezbollah activities as well as Iran and the Saudis.

So, what does all this mean?

My friend Carl in Jerusalem at Israel Matzav voices the thought that no one in Israel truly wants to abandon the idea of the US allying itself with Israel to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions just yet, and that President Bush sent Mullen as an envoy to try and coordinate this.

While I hope he's right, I frankly doubt it.

I think the Israelis requested a visit by Mullen to discuss iran and other topics and that the White House acceded to that request, but when it comes to Iran I can't see the Bush Administration changing directions on Iran or the Saudi arms deal based on anything the Israelis have to say. Not after Annapolis and the NIE report.

The script is set in stone as far as the Bush Administration is concerned.

They are going to go with the scenario of appeasing and arming the Arabs in the hopes they will contain Iran, and part of that involves forcing the Israelis to swallow the Saud`peace' ultimatum and give up all of Judea, Samaria and half of Jerusalem, no matter what, and to push it through before the end of Bush's term.This is a dangerous fallacy, but that's the view from Washington these days.

Not only is the US not going to attack Iran, but the Bush Administration is going to do their best to make sure Israel doesn't either...because they're invested in the mirage of an Arab `coalition' to contain Iran, and because the president wants it quiet until his retirement in a year or so.


Anonymous said...

If the President simply wants things quite until his retirement until a year or so and he thinks he can simply ride things out, he is sadly mistaken. The chances of the President finishing out his term without being impeached by the House and the Senate were already slim. If he has chosen to simply ride things out, his chances of avoiding removal from office by impeachment just became zero.

The President's only hope of avoiding impeachment will be if he actually stands and fights the Democrats and the anti-American left. He can do the following.
1.)Sign an executive order calling for domestic drilling of oil and natural gas in places like ANWR and off of the American coasts. In addition to this, the executive order would call for building more refineries. 2.)Make a concerted effort to secure the border and forcefully renounce any ideas for amnesty. 3.)Out flank the Democrats on Iraq and remove American troops from the country. They are going to have to be withdrawn soon any way because the under sized Army is nearing the breaking point because of the strain. Even if the Army could continue at its present level, the American people do not want the military in Iraq. As such, the troops will be fully withdrawn soon any way whether the President likes it or not. He may as well be the one who responds to the will of the American people and withdraws the troops.

With the exception of point 3. the Democrats will likely fight tooth and nail to block these efforts but they are likely to be supported by the American people. Especially point 1 would be supported if the need for this is properly explained. If the President calls for the above policies, he may gain enough support among the populace that those who introduce the articles of impeachment may have trouble getting the votes they need impeach the President.

If he thinks he is going to simply to ride things out, he will not be retiring to his ranch in Texas. His next home will be the inside of a jail cell. He is so unpopular right now that if the Demcorats needed to they can simply make things up and have their allies in the main stream news media do the rest.

An invasion of Iran is probably not feasible right now. It would have no support among our "allies" and it would enjoy very little domestic support. Also, the anti-Americanism that is currently sweeping the world would multiply exponentially in the after math of an attack on Iran. Due to American mis steps in Iraq and Afghanistan the US status as the world's sole super power is for all intents and purposes lost. The very best scenario for the US would be to part of a "big three" of sorts with Russia, China, and the US as the three major world powers. It would probably be in that order. They will likely be followed closely by India. In fact, India may surpass the US. In this environment, it is becoming very important for the US to repair its global image. As such, there can be no attack on Iran.

The best we can likely hope for regarding Iran is for Israel to do it. There is some hope here. If the US were unwilling to consider the Israeli position, they would not have sent Admiral Mullen. In this political environment there is no short term political cost to telling the Israelis no with regards to a meeting, however, there is short term political costs to being seen as to close to the Israelis. With that said leaders should do what is right here and work with the Israelis regardless of the political costs.

The notion that India is delaying the launch of an Israeli satelite because of US pressure is very likely bull sh!t that is being put forth by the Indian government. I do not take such things seriously. The US has nothing of significance to pressure India with. This is in contrast to India's position. US businesses rely on India for much back office support work and India contributes significantly to the US technologhy industries. India could cut off this cooperation with the US. This hurts the US worse than it hurts India. Indian leaders would likely laugh in the faces of a US official who tried to pressure India. Also, the US is a power in decline. India is a power on the rise. The Indians could point out to the US that if their country is to survive as an independent nation they are going to need the goodwill of India in the coming years. If American pressure is involved in some way, the Indian offical who caved to this pressure should be fired for treason and for dereliction of duty to their country. The same goes for the US official who delivered this pressure, if it actually happened. The bottom line is the free world needs this sattelite to monitor Iran's nuclear program. Even if the NIE is correct, we need to make sure that Iran does not restart the program. By delaying the launch of this sattelite the defense of the US and the entire free world is placed in even graver jeporady than it was already in.

The only conceivable way for the US to apply pressure to India would be to threaten some type of military action, however, the US military is busy elsewhere. Also, the world side with India anyway. These factors make military action against India unfeasible.

The advantage goes to India here. American pressure is unlikely to be involved in any significant way. India has huge oil contracts with Iran and they have sought closer ties with Russia and China. If the Israeli satelite were to be launched by India, the oil contracts with Iran could be placed in jeporady and relations with Russia and China could be significantly harmed. This would be more detrmintal to India than any thing the US could do to India. If pressure is involved, it probably came from Iran, Russia, China, or all three. Publically fingering any of these countries could be quite risky to Indian interests whereas blaming the Americans cost nothing and can be quite profitable.

As stated previously, if American pressure is involved in any way shapre or form, the American officials who pressured India and the Indian officials who caved to the pressure should be fired for dereliction of duty and possibly treason. The free world desparately needs this system to monitor Iran. Anyone who delays the launch of this system places the defense of the free world in even more danger than it is already in.

If I were an Indian voter, I would be inclined to ask the following. "If our government caves to American pressure, how can we trust them to handle pressure from countries like Russia, China, and Iran who hold far move leverage over us than America does?"

Pressure from the Americans here is likely BS. If pressure was involved it likely came from Iran, Russia, or China. Many in the American government are likely suicidal enough to try and pressure India, however, the US has so little leverage over India that is not feasible for them to do so.

Anonymous said...

Apparently I did not fully read the jta article. The Israeli sources are likely to be correct and the delay in the launch is due to technical difficulties.

While I think it is unlikely, foreign pressure may be involved. Some analyists have suggested that a deal between Iran and the US could be in the works. In this environment, India could have faced pressure from both the US and India not to launch the satelite. The pressure from the Americans gets highlighted in the Indian media because it costs little to nothing to blame the Americans, however, the consequences to Indian interests could be severe if Iranian pressure were exposed. American pressure, in and of itself, would likely be insufficient to alter India's foreign policy.

A deal with Iran is problematic on many levels. Most importantly how will it be enforced? The media scrutiny on the US is always intense. The US will have no choice but to abide by any agreements it makes. The Iranians will not face the same kind of scrutiny. As such, they will be able to violate their agreements with impunity.

Weakening the US fits in with the agenda of the main stream news media. Weakening Iran does not fit so well with teh agenda of the main stream news media. If the US implements its agreemtns but Iran is not made to honor its agreements, this would be catastrophic for US interests. We would be left with a vastly stronger Iran and a vastly weaker America and Iran would still want to carry out dastardly deeds against the entity it refers to as the "Great Satan." Iran will still desire to "burn the roots of the Anglo Saxon race" and it will be in a better position to do that.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Poster,
The president is not going to do any of these things. He does indeed want it quiet until his retirement.

You like to talk about the US being energy self sufficient. Are you aware that the US has 60-100 years worth of coal supplies, and that there is economically sound
(much cheaper than ethanol) and proven technology going back to WWII to create synthetic oil out of coal? The Nazis developed it when their navy proved unable to import oil for their war machine, and the only reason it ultimately failed was because of allied bombing. And I haven't even discussed th ehuge amounts of shale oil available in the Rockies.

We also have built neither a gasoline refinery or a nuclear power plant in America in decades. Ever wonder why?

There's absoutely no reason why the US couldn't be energy self-sufficient IF IT CHOSE TO. Or rather,if our politicians chose to make it a policy.

As far as Irangoes, I'm pretty sure that the US and Iran have reached a behind-the scenes reapproachment, probably brokered with the aid of the Saudis, based on the following deal points:

Iran will gradually cease the flow of arms and IEDs into Iraq and Afghanistan. We will gradually pull a part of our navy out of the Gulf.

We will sell out Israel by backing the Saudis' `peace' ultimatum and sell out the Lebanese government of Siniora and allow a Syrian puppet backed by Hezbollah to take over Lebanon.

Both the Hariri UN tribunal and any threat of sanctions or military action against Iran will be quashed, and Irancan therefore attract badly needed foreign investment and work on its nukes inpeace. George Bush likewise gets to retire inpeace and quiet in a year, and enjoy the $500 M presidential library the Saudis and the UAE are building for him at SMU, where his wife is a trutee.

Likewise, the Arabs will continue toflood cash into the US to keep the economy going. The recent purchases of CitiGroup,a major share in the NASDAQ and a large stake in the major repository of the Bush family fortune, the Carlyle Group are some examples.

Get the picture? The last thing the Administration wants is the Israelis upsetting the deal by making some kind of strike on Iran.

And forget about Bush being impeached.Just as he wants things kept quiet, there are a number of other people who have a lot to gain by things being kept quiet.

Hate to be so negative, but I can't ignore the facts. The Lebanese have already knuckled under, as you know. The only chance Israel has is to overthrow their present government and do what they need to do for their own security.

They're truly alone, and can expect to be demonized whatever they do, so they may as well do what they need to do to protect themselves.

Anonymous said...

Freedom Fighter

Thanks for the reply to my post. I agree with you on energy independence. If we started doing all of the things you mention right now, it would take some time but, in my opinion, there is no time like the present to get started. I think I know why nothing has been done to develop our own resources or to build more refineries. The enviro-whackos have had to much power for many decades.

I agree with you on the deal that was likely reached between the US and Iran. A big problem, as I see it, will be ensuring Iranian compliance. The media scrutiny on the US is always intense. Iran and the Arabs don't face this much scrutiny. Also, the US has been demonized for so long in the Arab and Iranian world that any type of accomodation between them and the US is problematic. When they have an economic downturn, as all countries do eventually, the US will be the scapegoat. Any problems that Iran or the Arabs have will be blamed on the US. Due to the chronic demonization of the US in the Middle East, any type of accomodation with the US is likely to be short lived.

While Bush may wnat things quite, there are many who want to impeach him. If he thinks he is simply going to ride things out, he is likely mistaken. Of course he is not going to do any of the things I mentioned. To do this would involve fighting his enemies. He has not shown any stomach for this throughout his Presidency. I see no reason for him to start now. As such, impeachment it likely is. Get ready for our first female President. This will be President Pelosi.

Israel does seem to be totally alone. I pray Israel will find the cojones to take out Iran's nuclear weapons program. They will be doing the entire free world a favor if they do. The bottom line is in the US the political will is lacking to undertake this kind of a massive military operation. The entire free world lacks the cojones or the moral confidence in itself to actually defend itself. Hopefully Israel will grow some and take out Iran's nuclear weapons program and hopefully the Americans will be smart enough to STAY OUT OF THEIR WAY.

If Iran really stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003, there are some questions that need to be asked. They areas follows. 1.)It was in 2003 that the US invaded Iraq. How did the invasion of Iran's neighbor affect Iranian decision making? 2.)US troops will eventually have to be withdrawn from Iraq in large numbers. How will the abscense of the deterent value of these troops affect Iranian decision making regarding their nuclear weapons program? To the best I can tell, the main stream news media is not asking these questions.

The bottom line is the US is in no position to do anything significant about Lebanese demoracy or to confront Iran in any serious way right now. The political will is lacking in the US and among allies whose support would be mission critical to achieving any thing meaningful.

Iran poses a huge threat to the US but because of its small size and close proximity to Iran the threat to Israel is more quickly acute than it is to the US. Sadly it looks as though Israel will have to act alone. God has come through for his people Israel in the past. I believe He will do so again.