Obama — still a slave of the Israel lobby

Will sanctions against Iran work?

There seems to be a near-universal consensus that sanctions won’t persuade Iran’s leaders to abandon the Islamic republic’s uranium enrichment program — but maybe that’s besides the point. Maybe by now what would be the most cynical interpretation of the Obama administration’s objectives can also be treated as the most credible view.

In this instance, what does that mean? It means that the drive to impose sanctions on Iran has less to do with Iran than it has to do with calming the fears of the Democratic Party’s wealthiest Zionist donors ahead of this fall’s midterm elections.

Unnerved by the repeated warnings that Israel faces an existential threat, these donors won’t sign their checks until they’ve heard a sufficiently soothing answer to the question: “What are you doing about Iran?”

“We’ll do whatever it takes.” “We’re pushing for tougher sanctions than the Bush administration did.” “We’re absolutely dedicated to preventing Iran acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”

But meanwhile in Israel it turns out that preparations are being made for the unthinkable — living with a nuclear Iran.

Haaretz reporters, Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, just attended a simulation held at the prestigious Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center where the assumption was that the US will not give a green light for Israel to attack Iran and that sanctions will not derail Iran’s nuclear program.

The IDC simulation centered on a confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah with a hypothetically nuclear Iran in the background. Similar to other simulations taken place in the West in the last two years, the premise is that an Iranian nuclear umbrella would give more freedom to organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, encouraging them to provoke Israel. The Herzliya panelists reached the conclusion that Hezbollah’s possession of a “dirty” or radioactive bomb would bring about the kind of American determination that would lead to an international military task force, which would in turn disarm Hezbollah. We’ll believe it when we see it.

Indeed. If consideration of the prospect of a nuclear Iran reflects the rise of realism among Israeli strategic thinkers, the idea that the US would disarm Hezbollah suggests that realism is still struggling to gain a firm foothold.

As noteworthy as anything else that the simulation revealed was the fact that — at least in the thinking of these Israelis — in the context of the Jewish state’s fears about regional threats, the Palestinians don’t even come into consideration.

Disarming the Israeli-Palestinian landmine, a central Obama administration claim has it, would aid in cooling the region, and maybe even in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But, at least as simulation participants found out, the Palestinians have turned into a negligible entity. The most significant maneuvers were led by the United States, Israel, and the European Union, with some aid offered by the more moderate Arab states. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were virtually out of the game.

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4 thoughts on “Obama — still a slave of the Israel lobby

  1. omop

    For all intents and purposes the Israeli plan proposed in, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (commonly known as the “Clean Break” report) is a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel.[1] The report explained a new approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East with an emphasis on “Western values”.

    US [in]actions to date in the ME have followed the general outlines dictated by the Israeli strategy of Mr. Netanyahu. Israeli agents in Iraq are creating problems with the Kurdish popualtion and inciting rioting and bombings within Iraq as a means of forestalling any US troop withdrawals. It seems at Israel’s insistance the US has created resentment with Saudi Arabia with the ingoings in Yemen.

    If Isrearl policies and demands supercede the US’s natitonal interest then the Obama administration is violating the US Constitution and may well be accused of dereliction of duties as America’s CinC..

    Either the US policies and actions in that part of the world reflect “true blue” approaches or the eventual result will mean either a negligable or impotent actor in that part of the world and elsewhere. To borrow from the title of this commentary. The fate of America and speaking as a veteran and citizen is more important to me, my children, grandchildren and I would think to my community and country than any other state or nation.

  2. delia ruhe

    There’s something I’m not getting here. Erdogan and Lula have just called Washington’s bluff. China and Russia have a vested interest in seeing that Washington’s power and influence in the Middle East remains limited — i.e., that the I-P conflict and the issue of Iran’s nuclear program remain in play and continue to preoccupy Washington indefinitely. That “the Palestinians have turned into a negligible entity” is not exactly news anymore. What am I missing? Howcum I’m not understanding this?

  3. delia ruhe

    PS Phyllis Bennis seems to have nailed it:

    “So the harsh U.S. response — condemning the agreement as “just words,” demanding that Iran make even more concessions, implying that only a complete and utter Iranian surrender would suffice — makes it clear that U.S. policy towards Iran isn’t about an actual nuclear weapons threat, but about power politics. There’s no question the United States is really mad: Reports are circulating around the UN that Washington is up to its old habits of issuing implicit threats against the two upstart diplomatic powers. Brazil has been angling for a permanent Security Council seat and Turkey has long been trying to join the European Union. No dice on either one, U.S. diplomats seem to be hinting. ”


  4. Roger Lafontaine

    ‘Meanwhile Israel prepares for the ‘unthinkable’: living with a nuclear Iran’. There is no unthinkable and Israel knows it. Iran does not have nor does it intend to acquire nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons in Iran are a bogeyman to justify the coming Israeli destruction of the country and people of Iran. Once again Israel is playing with fire because it cannot stay long away from the flames. This is the ‘thrill of destruction’ that the Nazis were prone to and that ultimately led to their own destruction. This is why they crush people who dare to rekindle the Jewish conscience under bulldozers.

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