Saturday, September 13, 2008

Disturbing Outlook

I don't want to be disingenuous. I don't know whether an Israeli attack upon Iran's nuclear facilities would enhance or harm the long-range prospects for stability in the Persian Gulf or for freedom from nuclear blackmail. Still.....

As Jonathan Karl reports in a 6/30/08 article on the ABC News website,

The widely held view among Pentagon officials is that an Israeli attack would do only temporary damage to Iran's nuclear program, and that it would cause major problems in the region and beyond, prompting a wave of attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq, the Persian Gulf and elsewhere.

And on 9/11/08 reported

Without citing where or how it received the information, the widely read Israeli daily said the U.S. had refused an Israeli request for deep penetration bombs, tanker refuelling aircraft and a corridor through U.S.-controlled airspace in Iraq that would provide the quickest secure route between Israel and Iran, the newspaper reported.

The so-called "bunker buster" bombs that Israel was said to have sought could be particularly effective against Iran's nuclear research centres, many of which have been built in underground shelters.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak reportedly conveyed the request while visiting Washington.

The Israeli government had conveyed its requests to U.S. President George W. Bush when he visited Jerusalem in May, and repeated them several weeks later when Defence Minister Ehud Barak was in Washington, Haaretz reported.

"The Americans made very clear to the Israelis that for now they are sticking to the diplomatic option to halt the Iranian nuclear project, and that Jerusalem does not have a green light from Washington for an attack on Iran," Haaretz said

So the U.S. government apparently is currently discouraging Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. But Sarah Palin knows better. This is from the portion of her interview with Charlie Gibson broadcast on 9/11/08:

GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?

PALIN: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this globe, yes.

GIBSON: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran?

PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them.So we have got to put the pressure on Iran.

GIBSON: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?

PALIN: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don't think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.

GIBSON: So if we wouldn't second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that.

PALIN: I don't think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.

GIBSON: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.

PALIN: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.

Question: If Sarah Palin believes "we cannot second guess" Israel, is she ignorant about United States policy- or does she believe that the world's only superpower has no interest in nuclear proliferation or stability in the Persian Gulf? Either way, she is unprepared for high national office- and John McCain's slogan "Country First" is yet again revealed as merely a cynical slap at Barack Obama's patriotism.

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