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11 August 2008


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robt willmann

The interpretation is exactly right. Condi Rice "explaining" that the U.S. does not say yes or no to Israeli military operations does not mean that the U.S. is neutral on Israel overflying Iraq to get to Iran.

Though not as skillful at word dancing as was Bill Clinton, the Bush jr. administration will try it, when not otherwise engaging in outright obfuscation or misrepresentation.

Speaking of Israeli military operations, a couple of articles have emerged regarding the country of Georgia.

This first one notes that Georgia's defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli, and that Israeli companies have been selling advanced weapons to Georgia and training its soldiers.


The second article, from the Israeli paper Haaretz, says that Georgia's minister of reintegration (whatever that is), Temur Yakobashvili, praised the Israel Defense Forces for its role in training Georgian soldiers.


This is intriguing news, as previously we have heard on the U.S. media that American soldiers have been advising the Georgians, without mentioning Israel's obviously prominent role.

The plot thickens.


"We don't say yes or no to Israeli military operations. Israel is a sovereign country," she said

Does this mean the US does not say no to Russian military operations? It being a sovereign country and all...


More to point, in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, how will the US treat a very likely Iranian retaliation against Israel -- either directly or via a surrogate? Will any of the following apply

(a) The US regards it as disproportionate reaction to an Israeli self defense action

(b) The US considers it as direct attack on US interests requiring US military response

(c) The US issues harsh words, but basically lets Israel deal with its problem with no direct US military intervention.

Of course, Condi isn't going to tell us. Now that US is shown as an even weaker diplomatic power, barely able to influence events anywhere, Israel might be even more tempted to take action to force the issue.


Please note, Colonel, that these remarks are from a Secretary of State, a supposed Russian affairs expert, who's staying on vacation while Russia invades Georgia. I question whether she often has any idea what she's talking about, a common failing of this Administration.


Like CATO, I too question Rice's competence. If the US has and claims air superiority in the Iraqi theater, then anything violating the air superiority should be shot down to preserve that air superiority. Anything less either means that the US lacks air superiority in the Iraqi theater, or complicently approves the presence of others and their actions. Rice and her word butchers can't have it both ways.


Now that the Georgia pipeline route is in doubt, it would seem that going from Iran through Turkey would be the next logical option.

The powder keg has been disrupted... I suspect things are going to get interesting real fast here over the next few weeks.

Bill W, NH, USA

I'm thinking that the tepid US response to the Georgian mess might give Israel pause now.

Cold War Zoomie

You just had to put that mug shot up!

Last week I commented that I was thinking Bush isn't as dumb as we think he is. Surprisingly, no-one blasted me for that. Hmmm.

That thought has had more time to percolate. It depends. In domestic politics, he has gotten almost everything he wants even though the courts are negating some of those wins. In foreign policy, he's had the reverse Midas touch.

Policy and politics were one in the same when Rove was on staff. I wonder if Rove's departure makes any difference now. Am I crazy in thinking that Bush's actions have been more pragmatic since Rove left?

I read the article and still don't think anyone's attacking Iran at this point. With Russia's recent "peacekeeping mission" in Georgia, this issue has become too complex for Bush to understand, so he'll just take it easy the rest of his term and ride his mountain bike.


Is it possible that Rice is signaling her distance from the neocons over their reckless Georgia policy, i.e. publicly washing her hands of the situation even as Cheney urges an unspecified response?

Is Rice of record anywhere on the issues of Kosovo and/or Georgian poking of the Russian bear?

Dave of Maryland

Her statements come amid speculation that Washington has warned Jerusalem not to attack Iran and media reports that the US told Israel it doesn't have the green light to use Iraqi airspace for any such attack."

The Israelis would force the issue anyway. Put planes in the air heading east. Dare the Americans to do nothing. Imagine the fallout if the US were to actually shoot down Israeli planes.


I ask again, what will the US military do if the Israelis fly over Iraq without permission?

Yours Truly

"I'm thinking that the tepid US response to the Georgian mess might give Israel pause now."

Killin' several birds with just one stone.


mo - the simple answer is nothing. Although I suspect the US military will try to prevent such flights in the first place as in the dustup some military officer will be made the scapegoat. I doubt Israel will attempt any strike sorties if they don't receive the green light first - way too many risks. In any case all they can accomplish on their own is to try to get the US military into the action.

CWZ - good observation. Ever since Rove's departure the Administration has been less combative and out-there in wingnut land. However, they don't need to be since Pelosi and the Democratic led Congress will give them whatever they want after the necessary kabuki to show the Democratic base they did "something". Notice the stern letters every time the Administration treats their contempt citations with contempt. We are plumbing extraordinary depths of vacuous political leadership on both sides the aisle.

William R. Cumming

Secretary Rice is just trying to make the paper record look good whatever happens. Just another example of failed US leadership and its capacity long diminished by incompetence. A clear statement that the US would never rely on Proxy war as did the Soviet Union might help clarify the air. Also state publically that NO nuclear guarantees ahve been given to Israel. After all we gave them the bomb through deficient safeguards, isn't that enough?

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