I’m back, after a long hiatus. There are a number of reasons for the gap in my postings – some political, some personal. On the political front, though I’ve considered commenting on the Obama Administration’s foreign policy at various times, I didn’t really have anything to add beyond what readers could find elsewhere.
On the personal front, I’ve had a significant change on the job/career front: I recently became a Civil Servant working for the Department of the Navy. In other words, I’ve become a bureaucrat; part of the problem; my own worst enemy – take your pick. By way of consolation, national defense generally and the navy in particular are explicitly called out in the Constitution as powers of Congress, unlike nearly every other Federal agency.
Now that Obama’s promised direct talks with Iran have begun and it has been revealed that Iran has been constructing a clandestine enrichment facility under a mountain, it’s time to post and say, “I told you so”.
Apparently, the U.S. was aware of the existence of the secret facility during the Bush Administration, yet it did not use this information to discredit the NIE and make the case that Iran’s nuke program was running at full throttle. Because of this, should Iran end up developing nuclear weapons, Bush & Co. will bear equal responsibility with the naïve and incompetent Obama Administration.
In the past 2 weeks, unofficial Obama foreign policy advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski validated another of my claims when he stated that the U.S. should actively prevent any IDF airstrike from flying through Iraqi airspace:
Q: How aggressive can Obama be in insisting to the Israelis that a military strike might be in America’s worst interest?
A: We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?
Q: What if they fly over anyway?
A: Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse.
Brzezinski subsequently attempted to “clarify” his comments, claiming they were misunderstood – that he meant that a tragic accident could happen. It’s true that the Liberty was a U.S. intelligence ship that the Israeli Air Force mistakenly attacked during the 6 Day War. However, Brzezinski said that the U.S. should be “serious” and “go up and confront” the Israelis. If we are not to appear like “impotent little babies” implicitly we have to be prepared to shoot their aircraft down. There is no way deliberately attacking Israeli aircraft is comparable to the Liberty incident. It makes one wonder why Brzezinski drew the comparison. There are those who claim that the U.S. and Israeli governments colluded in a cover-up of a deliberate Israeli attack – a claim about as credible as those of the 9/11 Truthers. In the context of his full statement, referring to the Liberty leads one to conclude that Brzezinski let slip what he really thinks: that Israel deliberately attacked the U.S. ship 40-odd years ago and it would be payback if we were to do the same to Israel.
Here’s what I had to day in Worst Case Obama: Part 3, posted just before the November election:
Obama is the candidate of the extreme left, which comprises a substantial group who are extremely anti-Israel. The virulence of anti-Israel rhetoric from this group rises to a level I call “proto-anti-Semitic”. Here are some examples: Israel has committed “genocide” against the Palestinians; pro-Israeli Jews are guilty of divided loyalties; American foreign policy is controlled by a Jewish cabal made up of ex-Democrats (that is, “neocons); and so on. “Proto-anti-Semitism” means the speaker is not anti-Semitic but has a grossly exaggerated view of the power, influence, and tribalism of American Jews that reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes. Proto-anti-Semitism creates a favorable environment and cover for crypto-anti-Semitism, where the speaker is anti-Semitic but hides behind what is claimed is legitimate political discourse.
I went on to say that “…some of [Obama’s] closest foreign policy and military advisors have expressed views that put them in one or the other category (in fairness to Obama, some of these advisers were asked to resign). Even advisors who are more circumspect in their statements have a long history of being very pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli.” One of these advisors was and is Zbigniew Brzezinski. I then said:
…For Obama, there will be no acceptance of the Israeli view that Iran is an existential threat and therefore no justification for an Israeli preemptive strike. After all, the Mullahs are reasonable and Obama can negotiate with them. Obama’s peace offensive would be derailed by any Israeli strike – even one that avoids U.S.-controlled airspace – because Iran will treat the U.S. as complicit. Unlike the Bush administration, which would, at worst, only apply some sort of political and/or economic sanctions after the fact, the Obama administration can’t permit any attack to take place under any circumstance. The only way to accomplish this is to threaten to actively defend Iran against an Israeli attack – to threaten to shoot down Israeli jets whether they overfly Iraq or not.
So far, no spokesman for the Administration has said that any attack would be shot down and, given Obama’s sagging approval ratings, it is becoming harder for such a statement to be made publically. Still, with Brzezinski essentially saying that the U.S. should be prepared to shoot down Israeli jets, it’s a good indicator of how Obama and his other foreign policy advisors probably view things.
Meanwhile, according to Jane’s (subscription required), Iran now has 8,000 centrifuges operating in the Natanz facility. This is the upper limit of my 6,000 to 8,000 threshold. Along with the potential 3,000 that could be accommodated by the 2nd facility, it means that there is almost no time left for action. Add to this, an unsubstantiated report appeared in the U.K. press that the Saudis were prepared to grant the IDF rights to use their airspace. Thus far, the Saudis have not denied this report.
I figure the Israelis are prepared to launch a full scale attack on 24 hours notice. It can’t be long now.