Israel even more at odds with US re Iran....
As the Times of Israel reports, General Dempsey spoke about the issue while on a flight to Afghanistan and acknowledged that Israelis view the issue differently from the Americans:
“They are living with an existential concern that we are not living with,” he said, according to AFP.
Dempsey added that he and Israel Defense Forces Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz spoke on a bi-weekly basis to coordinate intelligence, despite gaps in understanding how close Iran is to the point of no return.
“We compare intelligence, we discuss regional implications. And we’ve admitted to each other that our clocks are turning at different rates,” he said.
Tobin notes that Israel is being asked to wait some more to give sanctions more time to work, when in fact no one even in the US believes they can; the issue is November 6. JT adds that publicly pressuring Israel can only undermine diplomacy, in that Iran's mullahs will not believe the US ever intends to carry out a military option.
But even the astute Tobin misses the larger point: Dempsey sees daylight between Israel's existential concern and a presumably lesser threat posed the US. Which raises this question: Just what impact does Dempsey think the snuffing out of Israel's existence would have on the United States?
Presumably, Dempsey thinks the US would survive a catastrophe in Israel, brought about in part by US laxity in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat. Which shows why he should not be JCS Chairman.
Put simply, Israel's demise would permanently cripple America's geostrategic position. No matter how vigorously America retaliated, our failure to prevent destruction of an ally by a proliferator whose quest we could have stopped would fatally wound the US as an alliance guarantor. The upshot would be nuclear proliferation by currently non-nuclear allies of America--think Australia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea for starters. Plus a global stock market crash that would make post-9/11 market plunges seem modest by comparison.
Even Iran's mere possession of the bomb--if such status can ever be termed "mere"--would inflict much economic harm on Israel. And on the United States--whose economy depends upon high-tech Israeli products.
Elliott Abrams calls on Congress to pass an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iran. He suggests that Congress include language stating minimum conditions for a last-minute deal:
Proposing an authorization to use force does not lock Mr. Obama into using force, much less doing so at a specific time. He can use the authorization as a club to beat Iran into a negotiated deal. Therein lies one great appeal of this tack, but also one great trap—for Israel and for those in the United States who believe that Iran must at all costs be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons. The risk is that the Obama administration will instead sign a bad deal and call it victory. There is probably no way to avoid this possibility, which exists today as well, but there is one good way to diminish it. Congress could adopt, separately or as part of the “Use of Force” resolution, certain standards. A June 15 letter to the president from 44 senators, Democrats and Republicans alike, suggests what those standards might be. The joint resolution could say that force is authorized to prevent an Iranian bomb, acknowledge that a negotiated outcome is far more desirable, and then state that any acceptable negotiated deal must require immediate closing the underground facility at Fordow, freezing of all enrichment above five percent and exporting of all of Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched above that level, and imposing intrusive inspections to ensure that the program is not secretly reestablished.
But Team Obama would of course not be bound by such conditions, which can at most raise the political cost of making a bad deal.
Bottom Line. That Team Obama separates our fortunes from Israel's as to a nuclear Iran is emblematic of geostrategic obtuseness in the administration.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Foreign Policy, National Security, Conservative Politics