Thursday, December 21, 2006

New war staring us right in the face

David Seaton's News Links
The man in the picture here is Aluf Benn, the diplomatic correspondent of the highly respected Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. The article quoted below is published in the English edition of Haaretz, thus it is available for the whole world to read. It goes without saying that anything Aluf Benn publishes in his newspaper has passed several filters. Three of them come instantly to mind. First: the brains, knowledge and professional experience to pass the selection process for such an important post. Second: the editorial policy of the paper. Third: the general consensus of his colleagues and community as to what is responsible discourse. Conclusion: Aluf Benn is a sensible, reputed professional, not some nut spouting off on an electronic street corner. Read in this light, the following article by Mr. Benn is literally terrifying. DS
Four reasons for ranting - Haaretz
Abstract: The ideal scenario, from Israel's point of view, would be an American military attack that would destroy Iran's nuclear facilities and remove the threat. "We have to get the United States to carry out what it promised to do, and to create the proper international climate," explains a senior official. It is not clear what President Bush told Olmert in private talks that had him leaving Bush's office feeling so satisfied. We can only presume that Olmert is depending on Bush's religious faith and obstinacy, which will lead him to attack Iran, even in light of American public opposition to military adventures in the Middle East. When will that happen? The head of the Mossad spoke this week about an Iranian nuclear bomb in another three years. This leaves a year for diplomacy and sanctions, and moves H-hour for a military attack to 2008, if Iran continues its nuclear development. The timing is right politically. It will be Bush's last year in the White House, and he will be busy bequeathing his "legacy." It is a known fact that U.S. election years have always been years of dramatic moves in relations with Israel, from Harry S. Truman's recognition of the Jewish state to Bill Clinton's Camp David summit, to the "Bush letter" that recognized the settlements and the separation fence.(...) Former prime minister Ariel Sharon used to deny that Israel was planning to attack Iran on its own. Olmert prefers to hint at a military option. That's good for spurring the "world" into action, but it is also good for preparing Israeli public opinion for a complex conflict that is liable to continue for years. The experts disagree as to whether Israel has the ability to paralyze the Iranian project if it strikes it at critical points. It is clear that Israel would have to receive American approval for such an operation, and would prefer receiving it from Bush, who is friendly to Israel, rather than gambling on his successor. That is why even for this alternative 2008 will be the critical year.(...) Olmert wants to remain in the Golan, refuses to talk to Syrian President Bashar Assad and uses Bush's opposition as an excuse: Israel needs Bush to fight Iran, and we must not annoy him by babbling nonsense about peace with Syria. READ IT ALL

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