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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

US's wrong moves on Israel, Iran, Russia and Georgia

Haaretz reported on Wednesday morning that the United States has denied Israel certain weaponry that it requested that would have given it the offensive capability to strike Iran.
A report published last week by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) states that military strikes are unlikely to destroy Iran's centrifuge program for enriching uranium.

The Americans viewed the request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran.

As compensation for the requests it rejected, Washington offered to improve Israel's defenses against surface-to-surface missiles.

Israel responded by saying it reserves the right to take whatever action it deems necessary if diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's nuclearization fail.
But reining in Israel is not only sending the wrong message to Iran - it's also sending the wrong message to Russia and to Georgia.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is testing the West's mettle. He senses weakness, and is using the conflict with Georgia, a close ally of Washington, to see to what extent the US and Europe will stand up for their friends and their own interests.

In recent years, Russia has become increasingly assertive on the international stage, frequently seeking to undermine Western policy. From North Korea's nuclear program to Kosovo's drive for independence from Serbia, Moscow has taken stances directly opposed to those of the US.

But the invasion of Georgia constitutes a serious escalation, as Russia is no longer confining its mischief to the realm of diplomacy.


THAT IS where Iran comes into play. The ayatollahs are glued to their television screens, waiting to see how the West responds. After all, in recent years Moscow has stood by Iran's side in the face of mounting Western pressure. Russia has been supplying Iran with materials for its nuclear program. And the Kremlin is planning to ship advanced anti-aircraft systems to the Iranians that are aimed at making it harder for Israel or the US to take out their nuclear installations.

While Moscow has thus far voted in favor of three UN Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Teheran, it has only done so after it succeeded in watering them down and delaying their implementation.

But a newly emboldened Russia will prove to be even more troublesome when it comes time to confront Iran and stop its drive toward nuclear weapons.

If Putin sees that the West is a paper tiger and allows Georgia to be trampled, then he likely will not hesitate to block additional Western efforts to strip Iran of its nuclear ambitions. An atomic Iran, Putin realizes, would further expose the powerlessness of the West, as well as heighten its sense of vulnerability. Consequently, he may be tempted to defy the West yet again, on an issue even closer to its heart, in an effort to push the envelope.

The ayatollahs know this all too well, and will be encouraged to continue their mad drive for atomic power, confident in the knowledge that they have little to fear.
Read the whole thing.

The Russians are continuing to push the envelope. CNN is reporting that the Russians are not abiding by Tuesday's cease fire and are continuing to push into Georgia (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
A spokesman for the Russian government said the convoy was not bound for the Georgian capital but was demilitarizing the area near the South Ossetia border so that Georgia could not launch new attacks.

The troops, which had been on Georgia's main east-west highway between Gori and Tbilisi, "never had plans" to travel to the capital, the spokesman said.

The Russians' final destination and objective were unclear, CNN correspondent Matthew Chance reported.

Chance, who was riding in the convoy, said there was no resistance from Georgian soldiers, and it was possible that the Russians were on a scouting mission to choose a buffer zone between the breakaway region of South Ossetia and Georgian territory. Chance described the flag-waving Russians as relaxed.
The US has been silent on these latest developments. In fact, it was France and not the US that negotiated the cease fire on Tuesday.

So let's recap. Russia has invaded Georgia on pretext, but at least in part to see how the US will react to a military action against a small but staunch ally. Russia has been shielding Iran from sanctions and has been supplying it with key components for its nuclear program, which the US and its European allies have been totally inept at inhibiting. The US should be standing up much more strongly for Georgia, helping Israel to position itself to do something about Iran before it is too late - and preparing to deal with Iran itself. Instead, the US is allowing Russia to run roughshod over Georgia, preventing Israel from positioning itself to strike Iran and continuing the same weak policies on Iran that have put us where we are today. Something is really messed up in Washington.

Until now, it looked like Israel would be likely to strike Iran between the Presidential election and January if Obama won the election. While it looks like we'd be better off with a McCain presidency than with George Bush as lame duck President, if that other guy who's running against McCain wins - God forbid -Israel may really have to go it alone.


At 7:46 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Why do you lie?

Georgia was armed/funded by the USA and Israel. Israeli resources confirm this. Georgia attacked innocents and Russia responded. And yet, you paint Russia as the bad guy? We Americans are waking up to you liars. We're not falling for your propaganda in our media anymore. Your lies are becoming blatantly obvious.

We know what you're up to and what you've been doing for your entire history.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - I've been on record for some time as saying that Israel cannot delegate her responsibility to defend herself to any other nation and Israel must pursue her highest national interests regardless of what the world - or even America - thinks. America will not save Israel even if she had the will when it is clear she does not. Only Israel can save Israel.

At 2:19 AM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

Russia attacking Georgia is every bit the message to Israel as it is to the U.S. and her other allies. The only time Israel will have to attack Iran in the foreseeable future is right now - because when Putin completes the conquest of Georgia, no one will stand up to Russia, let alone Iran and Russia. But the people who should fear most for their freedom if no one stands up to Russia is Europe. Eastern Europe will be toast. It will only be a matter of time.

At 3:22 AM, Blogger Daniel434 said...

I am mad about the Oil/drilling issue, but now I am really furious. Give Israel what she needs to protect herself.

At 10:55 PM, Blogger bernie said...

Our government has been paralyzed by the left. Pelosi and the raving Democrats would not attack Iran even if they nuked us first.

Just FYI, I linked to your article from Russian Invasion of Georgia and Deja Vu


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