Is Obama giving in to Israeli pressure over Iran?
After wrapping up a speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) this weekend, President Obama will spend Monday meeting with PM Netanyahu, and there is little doubt that the duo will be disputing the whens, whats and hows of a joint strike on Iran. It’s been a matter of debate for months now as rumors continue to abound over an alleged nuclear warhead being developed at a secret Iranian facility. With that meeting marking perhaps the last time the two mega leaders will come together before an eventual and almost certain attack, officials from within the walls of the US Defense Department headquarters report that the blueprints for the battle are already in the works.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, Pentagon sources this week say that both Washington and Jerusalem defense officials have already begun discussions on how the countries will work in cooperation with one another should they follow through with an attack.
Pentagon officials tell Israel’s Debka news outlet that US Defense Department Secretary Leon Panetta and his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, met in Washington on Thursday of this week to discuss the dynamics between the two country’s militaries. The US has been hesitant to formally endorse a strike on Iran, though has offered their support to Israel throughout the ordeal. Despite a long-lasting friendship between the two, Israel has in recent weeks condemned America over their hesitance, with Netanyahu reported to have called a top-ranking US general a “servant of Iran” last week. While the two nations have not been seeing exactly eye-to-eye as of late, Barak and Panetta are believed to be orchestrating plans that will put both nations officially in cahoots in terms of taking on Iran.
According to Pentagon sources speaking to Debka, both nations are currently considering military options that will begin in the not-so-distant future. Those plans, they report, will call for the US “providing refueling for Israeli planes and include attacking the pillars of the clerical regime,” which they add are comprised of “the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its elite Qods Force, regular Iranian military bases and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security.”
With Obama preparing to go before the AIPAC conference this weekend, there are already talks that the United States’ commander-in-chief is considering giving in to Israeli pressure to align against Iran with force, fearing what repercussions could come on Election Day should he walk. Obama has been hesitant to throw his weight behind any actual endorsements of war so far — and much to the chagrin of Israel — but this week’s meeting between Barak and Panetta suggest that Obama may soon crack. While the Iranian issue will no doubt be discussed during Monday’s meeting with Netanyahu, the two will now have time beforehand to mull over details divulged between the two defense heads.
Also on Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “I think we have been clear about this – that any (Israeli) military action in that region threatens greater instability in the region, because Iran borders both Afghanistan and Iraq – we have civilian personnel in Iraq, we have military personnel as well as civilians in Afghanistan,” while also insisting that America will, for the time being, “pursue the diplomatic path that we’ve taken, combined with very aggressive sanctions.”
Speaking to RT’s Alyona Minkovski that same day, Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson warned that “sanctions as diplomacy won’t work.”
In an interview published Friday with The Atlantic, President Obama himself adds that he has never ruled out any war on Iran. Should those sanctions fail, the US will be ready to respond with force.
"I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff," reveals Obama in his latest sit-down. "I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But (both) governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."