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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

'Israeli officials' disappointed with Netanyahu - Obama meeting

'Israeli officials are said to be disappointed with the results of Monday's meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
"There were no surprises," a senior state official said. "It was clear from recent months that there are differences between ourselves and the Americans. We have different perspectives when it comes to the question of time and red lines."

It was claimed that the Americans view the Iranian issue in the context of the upcoming presidential elections. "It's a bad message for the issue and a good message for the Iranians," a state official said.

"We want the Americans to change their rhetoric vis-à-vis the Iranians. The US says that when Khamenei decides to make a bomb that would be crossing a red line. How do we know for sure he's made the decision? What happens after that? There will be a new discussion on whether this is credible or not."
That evaluation is correct. Obama has no intention of attacking Iran before the US elections, and he may still have no intention of attacking them at all.

In an earlier post, I put up a video of John Bolton attacking Obama's position on Iran. But I skipped over what prompted Bolton's attack. Here's what Obama said.
US President Barack Obama warned Tuesday that there would be consequences for both Israel and the United States if any action is taken prematurely on Iran, warning there would be a price to pay. It is important, he said, to take a "careful, sober and thoughtful approach" on the Iranian nuclear issue.

The US president also pushed back against suggestions that Washington was on the cusp of making a decision about possible military action against Iran, pledging to take a 'sober' approach to dealing with Iran's nuclear program.

Amid mounting speculation that Israel could attack Iran's nuclear sites in coming months, Obama said that American politicians 'beating the drums of war' had a responsibility to explain the costs and benefits of military action.

He said the notion that the United States needed to make a choice in coming weeks or months was "not borne out by facts."
Does that sound like a man ready to make a decision? Or does it sound like someone who is looking to push a decision off into the future (or to avoid it altogether) so as to avoid a war before November? It's clear to me that he's pushing everything off as far as possible.

What's worse, the Iranians are smarter than Obama. They're coming to the table to waste more time, and Obama has already set things up for them to succeed.
Obama also discussed the role of diplomacy, saying he would not a breakthrough in the first meeting with Iran's negotiators, but that it would be possible to sense how serious they are in those talks.
Once you take away any objective measures, how does he propose to do that? Have our negotiators look into their negotiators' eyes? Clearly, he's not going to make a decision (except that he's already decided not to attack, but he can't say that) after the first or second or third... meeting with the Iranians, unless they are stupid enough to get caught doing something out in the open - which they have no reason to do.

But the good thing that came out of Monday's meeting is that Israel now knows exactly where it stands.
Nevertheless, Israeli officials were pleased with the US assertion that Israel has the right to act. "They won't tell us what to do. They have no interest in giving a red light or a green light because then they take responsibility for the situation. That is why we're in the grey zone now."


"As of yet, there is no decision to attack but we'll see what tomorrow brings," a senior official close to the talks with the Americans said. "Right now we are certain the Americans won't do anything and we need to decide what to do."

Referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama, he added: "The meeting was important because now everything is out in the open: The Americans want oil prices not to go up because it's bad for their economy."
And the Israeli view of the concern for Obama's reelection bid oil prices? Priorities man, priorities.
The issue of oil rates also drew criticism from some state officials. "Oil prices? Come on. You have to consider the fate of the Western world and history. It's better to pay more for oil this year than to pay the cost for a nuclear Iran.

"While not making a direct comparison, psychologically the current atmosphere in the West is the same as the one in 1939. Westerners who sought peace and coexistence had options but at the moment of truth they chose to sacrifice Czechoslovakia. We've been there. While being very careful with this analysis, we have the same psychological phenomenon."
You mean Obama is trying to turn us into Czechoslovakia 1938? Where have we heard that before? And you thought Obama did everything differently than Bush on principle, didn't you?

So Israel will take its perceived green light from Obama and go it alone sometime between now and November. What could go wrong?

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