Former high-ranking defense officials and regional experts say that neither the U.S. nor Israel can stop Iran from producing a nuclear weapon.
The assessments counter remarks by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, who has said the U.S. will not allow Iran to develop an atomic bomb, and come amid reports that Israeli leaders are considering a military strike on the Islamic republic’s nuclear sites....
.... Reza Marashi, director of research for the National Iranian American Council, said Gen. Cartwright’s comments join a chorus of high-ranking former and current military officials who have come out recently against a military strike on Iran.
Mr. Marashi said he believes they are laying the groundwork for Mr. Obama to push back against Israel. “It’s not a coincidence that they’re all saying the same thing at the same time,” said Mr. Marashi, a former State Department official.
And Then Some...
How awesome is this, just received -- Here we have the National Security Adviser to Vice President Biden and Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Antony Blinken, accusing American conservatives/Republicans of “ratcheting up tensions” and blaming them (us) for the rise in oil prices. Unbelievable.
.... [Blinken] was unusually blunt about the partisan political attacks on the President’s Middle East record: he said what could really harm U.S.-Israeli relations and Israel’s national security is “subjecting either to the vagaries of partisan politics or election year talking points."
“There are individuals on all sides who unfortunately use the debate over policy toward Israel for political purposes, and unfortunately, because of the season that we’re in now, that only gets worse and worse and worse. For generations, Israel has been a bastion of bipartisan consensus – the stakes are too high for us and for Israel to let that change now,” he said. “We can question each other’s judgment – but not each other’s motives” ....
.... He struck a similar note concerning the “rhetorical drumbeat of war” with Iran, without specifically pointing his finger at the Republican presidential candidates and perhaps other conservative commentators and politicians to whom he was obviously referring. He said that such declarations “play into the hands of the Iranians” by “ratcheting up tensions”, causing oil prices to rise and “money to go into the pockets of the Iranians and out of ours.”
And what would you call this -- a promise or a threat?
[Blinken] also noted, without explicitly directing his comments at anyone in particular, that “there is a decent chance that the Obama-Biden Administration will be around next November, so folks who are looking how to address these issues should probably factor that in as a reasonable possibility.”
According to his bio at the Washington Post, Blinken is the stepson of Samuel Pisar, "the youngest known survivor of Auschwitz," a veteran aide to Joe Biden and "old friends" with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
And then there's this: "Blinken was central in shaping Biden 's vision of a post-war Iraq divided into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish states..."