October Surprise: Netanyahu As U.S. Secretary Of State
Netanyahuâ€™s jingoistic rhetoric does not appear to be backed by some in his own government including Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
[The View From Washington]
Netanyahu Pushes For U.S. War On Iran
Huffington Post and other sources have reported that Israeli Prime
Minister Netanyahu requested a meeting with President Obama to discuss
tightening restrictions on Iran and President Obama has rejected his
Netanyahu has been trying to get the Obama administration
to support Israel’s attempt to set a “red line” or boundary around
Iran’s nuclear development program. Netanyahu stated during a recent
trip to Bulgaria, "The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time.'
And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when…Those in the international
community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral
right to place a red light before Israel…"
The Obama administration
has denied Israel’s claim that the President has rejected the request
for a meeting. According to NBC News the White House has stated, “The
president arrives in New York for the U.N. on Monday, September 24th,
and departs on Tuesday, September 25th…The prime minister doesn't arrive
in New York until later in the week. They're simply not in the city at
the same time.”
Whether Netanyahu requested a meeting or the Obama
administration rejected the request is not the real issue. What
Americans need to ask is why is Israel, a purported ally trying to bait
the US into another senseless war? Also, why does Netanyahu feel so
comfortable insulting and trying to bully an American president?
is a subtle yet significant difference between the US and Israeli
policies towards Iran. President Obama has clearly stated his objection
to a “nuclear armed Iran.”
He said: “My policy is prevention of
Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.” The Israeli position focuses on
nuclear capability. As Phyllis Bennis from the Institute for Policy
Studies writes, the Israeli position is much more dangerous. “There is
no accepted international definition of 'nuclear capability.' Usually it
refers to some combination of access to enriched uranium or the ability
to enrich uranium, and the scientific know-how to follow the
how-to-build-a-nuke instructions that are pretty much all over the
internet. Like every country that produces nuclear power Iran has all
There’s a very big difference between a nuclear bomb and
isotopes for medical purposes such as cancer treatment. There’s a very
big difference between nuclear armament and capability. There’s an even
bigger difference between capability and delivery and all credible
studies show that Iran is years away from that possibility.
behind Netanyahu’s rhetorical escalation? Is he attempting to impact US
elections with his own Reaganesque October Surprise? Some believe that
he’s attempting to lay the foundation for an Israeli attack on Iran as
early as October.
By Netanyahu’s calculation, an Israeli attack
before the November 6 election would force President Obama to provide US
military support to avoid alienating Jewish voters. Others argue that
this is a veiled attempt to draw the US into backing Israel’s
artificially and unilaterally determined “red lines” making it easier
for Israel to construct the case for Iranian violations and a rational
Netanyahu’s jingoistic rhetoric does not appear to be
backed by some in his own government. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud
Barak is on the record as stating, "Despite the differences and
importance of maintaining Israel's independence of action, we must
remember the importance of partnership with the United States and try as
much as possible not to hurt that…"
Reuters has reported as
recently as March, “The United States, European allies and even Israel
generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran
does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably
years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.”
Secretary Leon Panetta said on Face the Nation, “Are they (Iran) trying
to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they're trying to
develop a nuclear capability. And that's what concerns us. And our red
line to Iran is to not develop a nuclear weapon. That's a red line for
By not being lured into Netanyahu’s trap President Obama has
shown some backbone and done the right thing. He, like the rest of
America has seen this movie before; it was called Iraq. False claims of
an imminent nuclear threat that led America into a protracted
unnecessary war were wrong then and are wrong now.
to ask themselves what type of “ally” or “friend” tells lies of
catastrophic proportions in an attempt to entice the other into war? If
“friends don’t let friends drive drunk” then surely, allies don’t allow
each other to attack innocent sovereign nations and start a regional
war of cataclysmic proportions.
Netanyahu’s “red line” is just a red herring.
Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in
talk radio program "Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon," and a Teaching
Associate in the Department of Political Science at Howard University
in Washington, D.C. Go to Dr-Leons-Prescription@facebook.com,
www.wilmerleon.com , email: firstname.lastname@example.org., www.twitter.com/drwleon
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