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Brzezinski on US policy on Iran

January 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote an op-ed article in the Washington Post, titled “Iran should be key topic at hearings,” in which he basically said that the US should just continue to stick with a policy of sanctions and more sanction, until (maybe, hopefully) Iran caves in.

Brzezinski’s policy on Iran, however, is that of containment.  Obama himself specifically said that containment is not his policy.

Secondly, the outcome of Brzezinski’s policy is that it is ok for Iran to gain influence and even acquire nukes in order to destabilize the region and our alies therein.

Thirdly, his position does not address the dangerous and real possibility that economic sanctions on Iran will have little or no effect in stopping Iran’s ability and objective to acquire nuclear weapons.  From what we’ve seen so far, and in view of the IAEA reports that have been coming out during the last year or two, Iran’s nuclear program has been progressing and progressing in spite of severe sanctions. (Brzezinski never addressed this point.) So the sanctions are hurting Iran but there are many loopholes that Iran can and has exploited.

Fourthly, the doomsday scenarios he’s cooking up hardly happened even with US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Plus, he conveniently ignores doomsday scenarios resulting from his policy. (How about Iran’s inciting genocide against Israel as a doomsday scenario?) He never cared about that.

In sum, his position is untenable and is just the kind of policy that further endangers the region, our allies and our interests. It is a policy that promotes and aids the proliferation of dangerous rogue regimes like Iran.

Understanding Israel

December 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Israel’s decision to make plans on the E-1 region (not yet building, however, just planning at this stage) after the United Nations General Assembly vote on the Palestinian nonmember observer state has been much criticized.  In this post, I express my opinion on the Israeli response by contextualizing the many growing dangers in the region to Israel so as to understand where it is coming from.

My theory is that, yes, Israel has made its E-1 response to the UN vote but that this was idea was at the back of their minds only to be used as the last nail on the coffin amidst a serious growing regional threat. (I am aware of the US position, from back in the 1980s I think, that Israel should not build in E-1.)

Let us enumerate all these dangers that Israel faces to better appreciate its position and response.

1) There is the Iran nuclear threat to wipe Israel off the map. This is probably Israel’s biggest security concern right now – which only serves to justify Israel’s hardening position.

2) There are the regular Hamas rockets and missiles fired at Israel. These have increased in range and danger — e.g., the Fajr-5 rockets supplied by Iran to Hamas in Gaza.

3) There is the Hizbullah threat in Lebanon with 1000s of rockets and missiles aimed at Israel – and which are more deadly and with longer reach. (They can now reach Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and other Israeli population centers.) Notice: the UN has done nothing about these.

4) There is the Islamist threat in the region, and especially in Egypt. Egypt is lead by the Muslim Brotherhood whose primary foreign policy is to establish an Islamist Caliphate empire with Jerusalem as its capital. There’s a trend to scrap the Peace Treaty. So that Treaty is only hanging by a hair.

5) Syria is quite unstable with its 2-year civil war. The danger exists, and is more probable, for Islamists to take it over the way they have in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, etc.

6) Turkey is an Islamist state though somewhat more ‘moderate’ but still quite hostile to Israel — and pretty thin-skinned about the flotilla fiasco which was their fault for not restraining the IHH. They have been confrontational with Israel and sympathetic to Hamas’ firing rockets at Israel. Being a NATO state, that does not bode well for Turkey and is certainly a danger to Israel.

7) Jordan looks to be quiet so far, but it can be affected by these regional trends – 40% of its population are Palestinian. Jordan could be in the news at any moment.

8) Sudan is a major arms depot/route for Iran to transfer and supply weapons to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Islamists who want to infiltrate Israel from both Gaza and the Sinai. (Iran also supplies weapons to Hizbullah.)

You have all these dangers facing Israel and in addition you now have the Palestinians threatening Israel with the diplomatic vote at the United Nations.  All these threats put together from all around do a lot to undermine a two-state solution for a Palestinian state and a Jewish state living side by side in peace. These can only harden Israel’s position.

As a matter of fact, Palestinian collusion with all these regional players who threaten Israel have contributed to making the two-state solution much less viable. (It may in fact be dead.)  What is Israel going to do? Support a hostile Palestinian state right on its border in addition to the already existing threatening Islamist states? Accede to a Palestinian state that looks to become an Islamist Palestinian state?  Not in your life. Look at Gaza! Is that the kind of Palestinian state they’re hoping for? (One that is inspired by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood?)  In any case, we have two Palestinian visions and there’s no way for Israel to make peace with both of them if those two Palestinian camps can’t live together in peace.

Therefore, the way to fight the UN Palestinian vote, and to fight these many regional dangers, is to threaten the contiguous geography for the Palestinians. So in sum: no Palestinian state so long as they collude with those who want to wipe Israel off the map, fire rockets at Israel, and threaten Israel diplomatically. Actions not aimed at contributing to peace will not lead to a Palestinian state. Israel will build where it wishes. That, in my view, is a much better response than bloodshed.

The UN can make all the laws it wishes, but so long as it makes these laws without regard to Israel’s security given the all-round dangers, these laws will be one-sided, naive, futile, and they will be opposed and fought. Israel’s laws will take precedence over laws cooked up by an antisemitic body (comprising many nations some of whom are already ruled by thugs).  It will also mean that the UN has yet again failed to be the institution that it was designed to for. After all, the UN already failed several times before; e.g., in Congo, in Darfur, Sudan, in Syria.

IAEA recent report: Iran enriched U-235 to 27%

The IAEA has just released its report on Iran’s nuclear program. (PDF file.)

On page 6 of this report it says:

“The results of analysis of environmental samples taken at FFEP on 15 February 2012 showed the presence of particles with enrichment levels of up to 27% U-235, which are higher than the level stated in the DIQ.”

(FFEP = Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant; DIQ = Design Information Questionnaire.)

The report also says that Iran installed 100s more centrifuges (in Production Hall A).

This has been happening even while the Ayatollah said it was a sin to develop a nuclear weapon and while they denied working for that goal.  If this does not stop, I expect a war soon.

Iran enriching uranium to over 20%

The IAEA has just recently reported that samples from their visit to Iran in February 2012 show that Iran has enriched uranium to more than 20% and may even be as high as 27%.  BBC reportJPost report.

Update: the second day meeting of the P5+1 and Iran failed to reach agreement on key issues, as expected. They’re planning a second meeting in Moscow in mid June. More play for time.

EU-Iran nuclear meeting goes for 2nd day

The description of the P5+1 meeting with Iran (Wed May 23 2012) on its nuclear program as “atmosphere was businesslike” is actually the diplomatic jargon used for a rather tense scene — seeing that discussions failed to yield agreement (contrary to Mr Amano’s premature optimism the day before that agreement was expected “quite soon”).

That’s why they’ve made an unscheduled 2nd day meeting on Thursday. Of course, in the meantime, between the last time they met, over a month ago, and now, Iran gained lots more time to install and spin its centrifuges and continue to enrich uranium further. The West now looks like the idiots who would be fooled twice, thrice, as many times as Iran dictates. Of course, Israel is the only nation that knows Iran better than the other (bleeding heart) wimps. Israel’s suspicions are in my view quite valid. This farce has been going on for 9 years and the West is still falling for it. Outrageous.

Netanyahu-Obama meeting

I’d rather be cautiously pessimistic about Bibi’s (Netanyahu) meeting with Obama. Although the Palestinian issue is dead and off the table this time around — as pointed out by today’s Jerusalem Post article — their priorities and timelines regarding Iran are quite different. First, Obama seems to be willing to wait until Iran enriches uranium to 90% before taking military action, while Bibi would hardly support waiting that long – the zone of immunity being much earlier than Iran’s reaching 90% enrichment. Secondly, Obama wants to wait for the sanctions to ‘work’ while Bibi and Ehud Barak are not convinced that it is affecting Iran’s nuclear progress. On both counts Bibi is quite correct — as the November 2011 and February 2012 IAEA reports showed. Obama has to understand where Bibi is coming from. My prayers to Bibi. G-d speed.

IAEA report on Iran nukes

February 24, 2012 Leave a comment

The IAEA report (pdf, 11 pages) on their recent (Feb. 2012) failed trip to Iran has just been leaked. The news media have reported on its finding:

Guardian reportCNN reportBBC reportReuters reportJerusalem report.

For the record, here is the November 2011 IAEA report on Iran (pdf file, 25 pages), for comparison.