Noilly Prattle: Bibi's bomb - bomb fallout

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bibi's bomb - bomb fallout

Some of these are really funny.  Check 'em out!

I don't think we have to worry too much about Israel's continuing "existence" as long as Israelis (who actually live in Israel) can laugh at the antics of their "leader". 
An interesting political analysis of Bibi's bomb bomb by investigative journalist Gareth Porter has it that after months of trying to maneuver the Obama Administration into committing the US to attack Iran by a specific date (the famous "red line") and being rebuffed unceremoniously and publicly by US officials, his UNGA speech was, in effect, a concession that his tactics had failed and was merely a sop to Israeli public opinion that isn't interested in a unilateral attack on Iran by Israel itself. 

Here are a few excerpts:

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, whom Netanyahu had twice used to convey to the US his purported readiness to go to war with Iran, called it a "concession speech". Netanyahu conceded, in effect, that his effort to force the US to accept his red line had failed completely.

As the Republican Party prepared to nominate Netanyahu's old friend Mitt Romney as its presidential candidate, all the pieces seemed to be in place for Netanyahu to maximize the impact of his Iran war bluff.... [but] the Republican convention in Tampa Bay from August 27 to 30 failed to make an American ultimatum to Iran, as demanded by Netanyahu, a central theme of the convention.

... Netanyahu met unexpectedly firm US resistance to his pressure tactic. On August 30, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talking with reporters in the UK, said an Israeli strike on Iran would be ineffective, and then dropped an unexpected bomb. "I don't want to be complicit if they [the Israelis] choose to do it," Dempsey said.... [but] after such a "public, bold statement" by Dempsey ... "the situation had to be reassessed".

Obama and other senior US officials had clearly decided it was time to cut off Netanyahu’s ham-handed effort at pressure on US policy at the knees. In an interview with Bloomberg Radio on September 9 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared, "We're not setting deadlines". And when Netanyahu pushed Obama in a phone conversation on September 11 to adopt his "red line" ... Obama flatly rejected the demand, according to American sources. Three days later, Panetta told Foreign Policy magazine, "Red lines are kind of political arguments that are used to put people in a corner".

And in an unmistakable signal by Obama that Netanyahu should end his meddling in US politics and policy, the White House even rebuffed a Netanyahu request for a meeting during his upcoming US trip, as the Israelis leaked to the news media. 

Haaretz editor Aluf Benn has suggested that Netanyahu's UN speech reflected not only the Obama administration's rebuff but the realities of Israeli public opinion. He wrote that the Prime Minister had tailored his speech to polls showing that Israelis wanted the US to handle the problem of Iran, not Israel.   

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