Yisrael HaYom, Israel’s bought and paid for (by Sheldon Adelson, to the tune of $3-million in losses monthly) propaganda sheet on behalf of Bibi Netanyahu, writes (Hebrew) that U.S. Republicans have been reassuring Israel that if the latter attacks Iran, the U.S. will stand behind it 100%. The article claims that Congressional Republicans are attempting to “pre-empt” Obama administration opposition to such a strike with legislation that will obligate the government to stand behind Israel as it defends itself against the Iranian nuclear threat, up to, and including an Israeli attack.
The legislation calls upon the U.S. to support Israel’s right to defend its sovereignty, lives and security of its citizens, and its use of all necessary means to defend against and eliminate the Iranian threat, including the use of force in the event that diplomatic means are found lacking in the near term. Israeli MKs who met with the Republican junket (er, delegation) said that its support for Israel put the lie to claims by the Opposition and Israeli left that Israel stands internationally isolated on this issue.
If only the U.S. Constitution allowed Congress to implement its own foreign policy! Alas for the Republicans they’ll have to muddle along for quite a while under a president who refuses to be heel and sit when the Lobby commands it to. Not that the administration isn’t obedient, it’s just doesn’t always ask “how high” when the ringmaster barks for it to jump through the circus hoop.
Obama’s paying the consequences for an over ambitious first term, but all this war talk and foreign policy meddling by Republicans will be impossible for them to run away from in the general election. Republican over-confidence and arrogance could be their downfall if Obama smartly plays it.
Wish I could agree with your “…all this war talk and foreign policy meddling by Republicans will be impossible for them to run away from in the general election.” Never underestimate the American public’s acceptance of going to war and killing all sorts of people and allowing a select few to war-profiteer mightily. Besides, there will be the usual enormous pressure by AIPAC and associated others on our movers and shakers to dance to Israel’s tune even though we, ironically enough, pay the piper.
A disillusioned Israeli says
Iran doesn’t have a strategic first strike option and probably wouldn’t have it for a long time. It however may soon have a potential covert second strike capability.
This possible development may be viewed positively as a re-balancing factor returning the Middle East to stable equilibrium and sanity or as a cause for alarm to those who enjoyed the temporary unstable state.
What is this potential covert second strike capability?
Suppose for example that Syria do buy the two Amur-1650 submarines to be safely stationed in the Russian section of the Tartus port. Suppose further that the subs are bought with Iranian funds. Now in the case of a nuclear attack on Iran it can quickly build a crude bomb inside a 533 mm diameter long-range torpedo and fly it to Syria. This one torpedo launched from a submarine to a certain shore practically creates a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) situation thus “neutralizing” a nuclear arsenal of hundreds of warheads from being used offensively.
Such a scenario ensures that the Samson Option really become a last resort defensive measure and never used as a means to compel others to give up vital interests.
I wonder if this may be the hidden agenda behind the Iran debate that otherwise seems quite irrational. It may fill up some logical lacunae in the arguments.
John RD Kidd says
IRAN JOINS ISRAEL IN CLAIMING NUCLEAR AMBIGUITY
What does it mean? Well, in Israel’s case it’s a uniquely clever contrivance enabling it to build a massive underground arsenal containing between about 250-300 nuclear warheads without having to declare them to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations.
Iran is somewhat different in that it has, as yet, no nuclear weapons at all and would take at least twenty years to build the nuclear fire-power that Israel already possesses today.
The further difference is that whilst Iran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and subject to IAEA inspection – Israel is subject to neither. You might well come to the reasonable conclusion that something is not quite balanced in this dangerous situation or, to be blunt, that something smells stronger than a piece of blue cheese – or a charred body – left out in the sun.
If Israel’s Netanyahu is successful in pulling the US into a disproportionate and one-sided nuclear conflict in the Middle East, that would have severe and frightening consequences for world peace and stability.
The answer is for the UN Security Council to proclaim the whole Middle East, including both Iran and Israel, to be a nuclear weapons free zone. ###
John RD Kidd says
AS ISRAEL PREPARES TO ATTACK IRAN’S NUCLEAR RESEARCH SITES – IRAN PREPARES ITS COUNTER-ATTACK AGAINST ISRAEL’S NUCLEAR WEAPON FACILITIES
IRANIAN NUCLEAR RESEARCH SITES
Arak – Heavy water plant
Bushehr – Nuclear power station
Gachin – Uranium mine
Isfahan – Uranium conversion plant
Natanz – Uranium enrichment plant
Parchin – Nuclear facility
Qom – Uranium enrichment plant
ISRAELI NUCLEAR WEAPON FACILITIES
Dimona – Nuclear research center & plutonium production
Kfar Zekharya – Nuclear missile base and bomb storage
Nahal Soreq – Nuclear weapons production
Yodefat – Nuclear weapons assembly
Eilabun – Tactical nuclear weapons storage
Escalating conflict in the Middle East resulting in possible
nuclear war which could well spill over into Europe
ACTION REQUIRED BY INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY:
The UN Security Council to pass an urgent resolution
designating the entire region to include Iran, Israel, Iraq, Egypt. Syria and Saudi Arabia, a NUCLEAR WEAPONS FREE ZONE
Any such legislation would come up against the USA’s obligations under the UN Charter.
In particular these book-ends:
Article 2(4): All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations
Article 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
So while the USA can certainly sign into law a mutual-defense pact with Israel, it must be a DEFENSE pact i.e. if you are attacked then I’ll help, and if I am attacked then you must help.
But the Congress can’t pass a law that violates those two Articles e.g. if YOU attack Iran then WE will jump in with you, and if WE attack Iran then YOU must help.
Any such law would be a clear violation of an international treaty obligation of the United States, and therefore would not survive any challenge in the Supreme Court.
No Congress or US president can violate the UN charter.
“…and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land…”
Violating the UN charter is violating the US Constitution, besides trampling upon the powers and prerogatives of the chief executive.
Republicans will have to first nullify US membership in the UN, which isn’t going to happen.
Johnboy wrote: “So while the USA can certainly sign into law a mutual-defense pact with Israel, it must be a DEFENSE pact i.e. if you are attacked then I’ll help, and if I am attacked then you must help.”
MAY the US “sign into law a mutual defense pact with Israel,” given that Israel has not declared international borders, and has not signed NPT?
Just to stress where such a law would violate international law: “its use of all necessary means to defend against and eliminate the Iranian threat”
So sorry, but you can’t legislate the “right” to attack another country because that country is a “threat” to you.
That’s illegal under international law.
If you are “threatened” then you can rattle your sabres at the country making those threats.
Sure, go ahead. Rattle away like a demented rattlesnake.
If you are “attacked” then you can defend yourself.
Nobody would dare to suggest you have to take an attack lying down, nor that any country must turn the other cheek while it is being assaulted.
But you can not conflate those two i.e. you can not “attack” merely because you feel “threatened”.
RE: “U.S. Republicans have been reassuring Israel that if the latter attacks Iran, the U.S. will stand behind it 100%.” ~ Yisrael HaYom
ONE OF MY CHICKENHAWK SENATORS – Saxby Chambliss: Wouldn’t be surprised if Israel tries to take out Iranian nukes, By Larry Peterson, savannahnow.com, 11/14/11
SOURCE – http://savannahnow.com/news/2011-11-14/saxby-chambliss-wouldnt-be-surprised-if-israel-tries-take-out-iranian-nukes#.TsRLhMPNltk
P.S. Senator Chambliss is hardly an objective observer since he is a longtime member of the Board of Advisors of ‘The Israel Project’!
SOURCE – http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.689733/k.A44B/Board_of_Advisors.htm
Wether he thinks it is a good idea or not is rather immaterial.
What matters is wether the USA would provide assistance, either in the form of direct military involvement or in the form of a continuous and unlimited supply of weaponry.
If the USA withholds both then the IDF runs out of steam before it can hope to overpower Iran.
Article 2 section 2 of the Constitution only allows the Senate “advice and consent” regarding treaties and appointment of officers, not legislating treaties, diplomacy or foreign affairs, which is the sole prerogative of the chief executive.
Republicans know this and are deceitfully trying to lure the president into a political battle they know they can’t win in the courts, but are gambling will hurt him electorally if they can make an issue out of it.
Democrats are equally aware and since they control the Senate no legislation or resolution as described above will see the light of day. House legislation is Kabuki theater, so house democrats can safely support it knowing it will never make it to the Senate floor.
And should Congressional overreach happen, Obama will be forced to defend executive authority and privilege spelled out in the constitution. Its also highly probable the courts would refuse to hear such a case.
John Welch says
1. Israel will not attack Iran. It’s a long flight, and once over Iran, there are too many targets. The Israeli Army would have to destroy any nuclear facilities the Israeli Air Force missed or only damaged.
2. The US Air Force refused this mission when President George Bush asked in 2006, since it would need soldiers. The Army pointed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and refused.
3. The US public will not charge off to another war while we can still taste the last two. In ten or twenty years, yes, people forget…not now.
4. Republican politicians can say almost anything and Fox Noise will applaud…note their “presidential” debates. They agree that President Obama acted too quickly and too slowly in allowing Mubarak and Kadaffi to be removed. The audience cheered, just as they cheered when one of the dimmer candidates boasted of how many prisoners he had executed.
5. “Bomb Iran” is just noise.
“5. “Bomb Iran” is just noise.”
Well, yeah, maybe.
The danger is, of course, that the current Israeli leadership is about as dim-witted as the Republican candidates, and so they may fail to understand the first rule of politics: don’t fall for your own propaganda.