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Monday, November 12, 2007

US leaving Israel all alone on Iran

A report in Monday's Financial Times of London indicates that the US "is not preparing a pre-emptive attack on Iran," which means that Israel will have to go it alone if it wishes to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Admiral William Fallon, head of Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, told the Financial Times that while dealing with Iran was a “challenge”, a strike was not “in the offing”.

“None of this is helped by the continuing stories that just keep going around and around and around that any day now there will be another war which is just not where we want to go,” he said.

“Getting Iranian behaviour to change and finding ways to get them to come to their senses and do that is the real objective. Attacking them as a means to get to that spot strikes me as being not the first choice in my book.”

Adm Fallon did not rule out the possibility of a strike at some point. But his comments served as a shot across the bows of hawks who are arguing for imminent action. They also echoed the views of the senior brass that military action is currently unnecessary, and should only be considered as an absolute last resort.

In recent months, President George W. Bush and his top officials have made a string of tough statements that have fuelled speculation that the US was preparing to strike Iran over its nuclear programme. Adm Fallon declined to comment specifically on whether the US rhetoric was feeding the speculation, but said that “generally, the bellicose comments are not particularly helpful”.

“That said we have to make sure that there is no mistake here on the part of the Iranians about our resolve in tending to business in the region,” said Adm Fallon. “There has got to be some combination of strength and willingness to engage. How to come up with the right combination of that is the real trick.”

Several senior active and retired miltary officers told the FT that the Pentagon believes striking Iran at this point would be a strategic mistake, as even a limited air strike could spark a broader conflict.

“The US might think in terms of a limited strike but military officers like to point out that the enemy has a vote,” said Jo-Anne Hart, an Iran expert at Brown University who consults for the military. Retired General Anthony Zinni, a former Centcom commander, said the US military was “stretched too thin” to fight a protracted war with Iran.

Retired Gen John Abizaid, who preceeded Adm Fallon, recently said the US should avoid a war with Iran, which would be “devastating for everybody”. He added that the US should do everything to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon, but said Washington could live with that outcome if it happened.

Could someone please remind me again why Israel is agreeing to go to Annapolis? I thought that by going, we would at least get American assistance in dealing with the Iranians. Now it looks like we'll be lucky to get the flight codes to allow us to fly over Iraq.

It's times like this that remind me that we live in this country by God's grace, and if He doesn't want us to live here, we won't be here anymore.


At 5:25 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

Abizaid and Zinni (very anti-Israel) are no longer at the pentagon, and I would guess that they are saying that hoping that it will be true or because they have been paid by the Saudis to say that.

That being said, I have long predicted that Bush will do nothing to stop Iran -- he has completely morgateged his foreign policy to James Baker III and his vassal Condi Rice.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abizaid is the worm in the Apple. The grandson of Christian Lebanese immigrants, he is a fluent Arabic speaker who professes to love the Arab world.

Abizaid went to university in Jordan and holds a master's degree in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard - earning him the nickname "Mad Arab" while at the US Military Academy in West Point.

Of course he's going to support an American invasion of Iran - NOT!


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