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04 September 2012


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Best line in the reuters article:

"All this talk of war is bullshit. If they could do it, then they would have already done it long ago," a senior European diplomat in Israel said.

As verbal slams go, that was a good one.


"What is revealed here is that Israel is a client of the United States and not the other way around."

Unfortunately there is a feeling (apparently shared by Bibi) that US *politicians* are indeed clients of Israeli politicians, rather than the other way round.

The coming election might provide a test of this assumption, especially if Israel goes for broke and actually attacks Iran.

The beaver


Have you seen the latest?

Pro-Israel Language Removed From Democratic Party Platform


Israel: Cherished ally of Rmoney !!!
“It is unfortunate that the entire Democratic Party has embraced President Obama’s shameful refusal to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Four years of President Obama’s repeated attempts to create distance between the United States and our cherished ally have led the Democratic Party to remove from their platform an unequivocal acknowledgment of a simple reality. As president, I will restore our relationship with Israel and stand shoulder to shoulder with our close ally.”


Israel's ability to threaten war and actually commit to it is a mutually exclusive affair. As long as they are talking up war, Iran knows they can't do shit.

This bodes well for Romney, however imo.



That's a great point, and one that gives me at least some hope.



Reading the language at the link it appears that all the Democrats have done is acknowledge reality - that the Two State Solution is completely dead and that Hamas is a political entity that is not going to go away.

Or course if Romney thinks he can create a new reality, good luck to him and Netanyahu

FB Ali

I think Gen Dempsey always means what he says, and thus picks his words carefully. I was struck by his use of the word "complicit" in his recent statement on this subject. From it I understood that he had told Obama that the US military did not want to secretly assist Israel in staging a strike on Iran.

As for Pakistan responding to an Israeli attack on Iran with a counterstrike on Israel, I think the odds of that happening are very low. Firstly, Pakistan has its hands full at the moment with its own problems, military and economic, and cannot afford to take on any more. Secondly, relations with Iran are fairly friendly, but nowhere as close as to raise such a possibility.


FB Ali

"I think the odds of that happening are very low." Yes. It would be a black swan. Does Israel want to bet that there are no black swans? pl

Babak Makkinejad

There are things going on in the relationship between Iran and Pakistan that are below the proverbial radar-screen.

Pakistan has done a lot to accomodate Iran - she has gone out of her way.

When India voted against Iran in 2006 in IAEA, she shredded her strategic understandings with the Islamic Republic of Iran - 20 years of structure collapsed (never to be re-erected again, in my opinion.)

And Iranian leaders took a very dim view of Binazir Bhutto's murder; I think they liked her that she was partly Iranian.

Iran and Pakistan have been pushed together again and the contours of their cooperation will become more clear in the future.


An Israeli only strike on Iran is not going to happen. Iran is not stupid, the latest IAEA report indicates that the Fordow facility is the locus of their centrifuge expansion. My IAF relatives laugh at thinking the 5000 lb bombs on the F-15 will make a dent in this mountain facility, much less damage it.

Without destroying Fordow, Iran's nuclear program would hardly be set back at all. Israel can severely damage Natanz but Fordow would pick up the slack. An Israeli attack would probably cause Iran to throw out the IAEA, exit the treaty, and go hell bent for the bomb. My guess is they will put up with the sanctions until the world gets tired of it, much like it did with Pakistan and India.



I guess the Israelis will have to learn to live in the neighborhood. if they try to do that they will always have my support. pl


I believe that there is another factor in the equation which reinforces the logic that FB Ali has laid out: Afghanistan. The two countries apparently have opened a dialogue of sorts on the country's future. Previously, they were rivals for influence with Pakistan backing the Taliban and Iran the Northern Alliance and, separately, the Shi'ite Hazaris. The key question is whether they will revert to rivalry once the US leaves and civil war of some kind erupts - or, instead seek some modus vivendi that, in turn, could facilitate a modus vivendi among Afghan factions.

Israel has no direct bearing on this except were we to stir the pot by tolerating air strikes. We should remember that Afghanistan has far greater saliency for both parties, especially Pakistan, than it does for us or anyone else. Washington may pivot on a daily basis from one point on its crumbling imperium to another. They do not have that luxury. It is an elementary tuth that somehow continues to elude our master strategists. It also eludes our entire political class - as witness how Afghanistan, where we're fighting a 12 year war, gets no mention in the campaign. Its fate is to get erased from the collective memory as already has occured with Iraq. Let's hope not because we're preoccupied with yet another major war, but simply because the American psyche is too tender to cope with failure.



Do you think India has a role? pl



Not really - once we withdraw the escort service.

India's only interest, as I understand it, is to weaken Pakistan. That is hardly compelling given the current balance of power between them; on any objective scale, I see it as much smaller than Pakistan's. The key question seems to be: what significant internal force in a post-US Afghanistan has an affinity for India? Perhaps the Northern Alliance would like to stay on good terms for tactical reasons given the likelihood a renewed internal conflict. However, is it conceivable that any government - likely a coalition or one based on a set of tactic understandings - would invite in India? They'd probably be the most disposable item in whatever internal negotiations take place. Finance roads - perhaps. Consulates - no.

This if offered by someone whose direct experiencewith all this is close to nil - placing me among the certified only in contrast to the Dupont Circle double-latte crowd whose credentials are absolutely nil.



Ever considered summering in Simla? pl


FB Ali,
the other implication of the word "complicit" is that an Israeli strike would be a crime - or, to play on that old quip, worse than that - a blunder.


"that Hamas is a political entity that is not going to go away"

I think that too, and would add Hezbollah to the list.

However, Likudniks and the neo-cons still yearn for decisive victory followed by a peace imposed by Israel on her enemies, and as true militarists believe that this is possible and that there are military solutions to intractable or inconvenient political problems (like returning land 'fairly won' in war).

All their strategery of collapsing first Saddam's regime, then Assad's regime, and then 'reshaping Lebanon' (and ridding it of the party that, according to a study done by the CIA in 1988, represents at least 41% of the population) and then Iran is about that.

Babak Makkinejad

No; India cannot recover her position in Afghanistan.

Babak Makkinejad

They won't revert to rivarly.


Dr. Brenner,

Perhaps the "master strategists" whom you've mentioned STILL PERSIST IN BELIEVING [the fallacy] that all the wars your "imperium" is involved in will "deliver the goods/have the bacon brought home" to them by use of high-tech toys [an integral of DIME] along with COIN.

They may just succeed though....

http://zenpundit.com/?p=12273 [Future of warfare. Megacities + millions of drones]


& an Indian summer (arab "spring" is a now misnomer IMO) we've been having in mena region since the year before last....

Babak Makkinejad

no need for drones; you just cut the water and electricity and let hunger and disease slowly destroy them.

Drone will be used against blockade runners.


RE: "you just cut the water and electricity and let hunger and disease slowly destroy them."

Prof M,

Ah yes. Just as the civilians in Iraq, children in particular, were subjected to just after the 1st. Gulf War....

Well, not to sound cold (as well heartless) but there's that age old cliché: All is fair in love &....

Modus vivendi?

"The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war. "

'Euphues' John Lyly (1578)



"Just as the civilians in Iraq, children in particular, were subjected to just after the 1st. Gulf War" It did not work. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Nah, just applying the ancient forms of warfare practiced in China, in India, and in the Near East with updated technologies.

Look at how North Korea has taken Seoul hostage...

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