“Behold it is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations.”
Numbers Chapter 23, Verse 9
Last week United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon–despite the pleas of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–attended the Nonaligned Movement meeting in Iran.
At that meeting, one hundred twenty nations unanimously declared their support for Iran’s renegade nuclear program; in essence, conferring legitimacy on the Iranian Mullahs and their drive to acquire nuclear weapons. At the same time, America’s efforts to isolate Iran with economic sanctions were criticized. Iran touted the gathering as a victory, demonstrating to the world that the West’s attempts to isolate it have completely failed.
Meanwhile, on Thursday of that same week, General Martin Dempsey, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, once again declared that an Israeli attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program.”
Dempsey’s statement is hardly surprising given Washington’s vehement opposition to unilateral Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear installations.
But as opposed to other times that Dempsey expressed his reservations about an Israeli strike, this time he added, “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”
In other words, Dempsey sought not only to restrain Israel from attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, but also to completely distance the U.S. from any action Israel might take. Dempsey’s remarks do enormous damage to American and Israeli interests.
First, his remarks, which were publicly made and designed to put more “daylight” between America and Israel show the Iranians that Israel will stand alone and that America is not serious about stopping its nuclear program. It also further damages America’s already shaky standing in the eyes of other U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. After all, if America will not stand by Israel, why would it stand by those other nations who also fear a nuclear Iran?
Secondly, what Dempsey apparently does not realize is that Iran does not differentiate between America and Israel. On a regular basis Iran’s Mullahocracy calls Israel the “Little Satan” and America the “Big Satan.” In fact, at the 2005 “The World Without Zionism” conference in Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, “Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism? You had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved.”
In fact, the poster from the conference depicts an hourglass with a small globe in the colors of the American flag bleeding out on the ground. Another globe wrapped in the colors of the Israeli flag is shown dropping to the ground.
The implication of the poster is clear. Once America falls, Israel will not be far behind.
When anti-Western rallies are held in the streets of Tehran, the crowds chant “Death to America! Death to Israel!” And both American and Israeli flags are burned.
As if that was not enough, Dempsey, in a stunning admission, said he did not know Iran’s nuclear intentions, “as intelligence did not reveal intentions.” Dempsey continued asserting that what was clear was that the “international coalition” applying pressure on Iran “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely.” Sanctions against Iran were having an effect, he said, and they should be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed.
So Dempsey does not know Iran’s nuclear intentions? If Dempsey, and by extension, the Obama administration, do not know Iran’s nuclear intentions, why has the U.S. implemented sanctions against Iran and worked to convince the rest of the world to do the same? Why has the U.S. worked with Israel to create and deploy Stuxnet, perhaps the most advanced cyber weapon ever devised specifically to target centrifuges in Iran? When these matters are taken into consideration, it is apparent that Dempsey’s statement is patently absurd.
Then there is Dempsey’s concern over destroying the “international coalition” if Iran is attacked prematurely. What international coalition is he talking about? The consensus is that either Israel or America or both will attack Iran. England will not. France will not. Neither will Italy, Spain, Russia, China or Germany.
Perhaps Dempsey was speaking of the international coalition supporting the sanctions regime which he claims is having an effect against Iran’s nuclear program.
As if to punctuate the absurdity of Dempsey’s position in regards to sanctions, on the same day he spoke the latest IAEA (the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog) quarterly report was published. It affirmed that Iran has more than doubled the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges it has at the Fordo nuclear facility from 1,064 in May to 2,140 today.
And that is not all. The IAEA lamented the destruction of buildings, the removal of dirt and the lack of access its inspectors have had to the Parchin nuclear facility. These activities by Iran are intended to cover up its illicit nuclear activities.
So much for the effectiveness of sanctions in stopping Iran’s drive for nuclear arms.
By Thursday night, Mitt Romney, in a speech to the Republican National Convention, accused President Obama of throwing “allies like Israel under the bus.”
On Friday, the White House responded to Romney’s comment by saying that U.S. ties with Israel have never been closer.
But later on Friday, two stories broke which put paid the notion that U.S. ties with Israel are tight and solid.
The first was a story in TIME Magazine which cited “well-placed sources in both countries” as saying that the U.S. had vastly reduced the size of Austere Challenge 12, a joint military exercise scheduled for October. According to the TIME Magazine report, the amount of U.S. troops participating in the exercise has been reduced from 5,000 to between 1,200 and 1,500.
In addition, TIME reports that the U.S. will send Patriot missile defense batteries, however, the crews that operate them will not come.
Finally, the report says that originally two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships were to participate in the exercise. Now only one will participate and even that ship’s status is questionable according to the U.S. and Israeli armies.
The second story, reported by Yediot Achronot on Friday, dealt with an acrimonious meeting which took place between Congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the American Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro.
According to the report, Netanyahu came out blazing, attacking the Obama administration on its approach dealing with Iran.
Netanyahu reportedly said, “Instead of effectively pressuring Iran, Obama and his people are pressuring us not to attack the nuclear facilities.”
Yediot Achronot then reported that things went from bad to worse when Shapiro accused Netanyahu of distorting President Obama’s position. From that point on, the level of argument escalated to “an exceptional level.”
Another Yediot report detailed how in recent days senior U.S. officials, through European intermediaries, conveyed to Iran that the U.S. has no intention of joining Israel in the event that Israel preemptively strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to the report, in exchange for not backing Israel, the U.S. expects Iran to refrain from targeting U.S. interests and assets, specifically American military bases and aircraft carriers stationed in the Persian Gulf.
So in the matter of a single week, Iran gained the support of one hundred twenty nations for its nuclear weapons program, Israel was abandoned by the Obama administration through General Dempsey’s remarks, the IAEA came out with a report which demonstrates that Iran’s nuclear progress continues unabated, Obama has practically terminated military cooperation with Israel, and diplomacy between the U.S. and Israel has degenerated into shouting matches, and Obama has offered to abandon Israel–with whom the U.S. ostensibly shares an unbreakable bond–in exchange for Iran playing nice and not attacking U.S. bases and warships in the Persian Gulf.
It all leads to an inescapable conclusion. Iran has not been isolated. Not by sanctions, not by the international community and not by America. Thanks to the Obama administration, it is Israel that is isolated and alone. Utterly alone.