Sunday, January 15, 2012

Israel: Concerns abound...

Two articles came to my attention over the last few days. The first was one from Foreign Policy written by Mark Perry titled "False Flag" which lays out a pretty compelling case of Israeli Mossad placing agents under cover in the Palestine-Sunni bases terrorist group Jundallah in an attempt to work with Israel against Iran. Specifially, these under-cover agents were passed off as Americans. This reportedly occurred late in the George Bush administration, even though the US had forbidden even the slightest contact with Jundallah.

From the article: "It's amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with," the intelligence officer said. "Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn't give a damn what we thought."
Interviews with six currently serving or recently retired intelligence officers over the last 18 months have helped to fill in the blanks of the Israeli false-flag operation. In addition to the two currently serving U.S. intelligence officers, the existence of the Israeli false-flag operation was confirmed to me by four retired intelligence officers who have served in the CIA or have monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the U.S. government.
The CIA and the White House were both asked for comment on this story. By the time this story went to press, they had not responded. The Israeli intelligence services -- the Mossad -- were also contacted, in writing and by telephone, but failed to respond. As a policy, Israel does not confirm or deny its involvement in intelligence operations.
The second piece I found in the Wall Street Journal, dated 1/14/12 with the title, "US Warns Israel on Strike." An excerpt: 
WASHINGTON—U.S. defense leaders are increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to take military action against Iran, over U.S. objections, and have stepped up contingency planning to safeguard U.S. facilities in the region in case of a conflict.
[USIRAN]Associated Press
Iranians on Friday carried the flag-draped coffin of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a scientist working in Iran's nuclear sector assassinated in Tehran.
President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have delivered a string of private messages to Israeli leaders warning about the dire consequences of a strike. The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons.
Stepping up the pressure, Mr. Obama spoke by telephone on Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with Israeli military officials in Tel Aviv next week.
The high-stakes planning and diplomacy comes as U.S. officials warn Tehran, including through what administration officials described Friday as direct messages to Iran's leaders, against provocative actions.

It is widely known that if Iran would attack Israel, both Israel and the United States would respond in kind. While we risk relatively little here in the mainland, the US has a great deal to lose should this become a shooting war. As tensions increase, if it actually came to open hostilities, troops, bombings, air missions, etc. the ill will toward the West would be significant. We're not too far away from the one year anniversary of the beginning of last year's Arab Spring. Several countries in the region, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, etc...have all seen their government's fundamentally changed in the last twelve months. New governments are not yet fully established and should the area see Israel and the US unite against Iran...I think most of the region would fall in line behind Iran and oppose the Israeli/American actions. 
There have been reports late this week that Iran has finally agreed to have talks about its nuclear program with the International Atomic Energy Agency at the end of January. Maybe this is a disingenuous ploy, meant to delay the inevitable, harsher sanctions. If the European Union decides to reduce the amount of Iranian oil it purchases, it will further hurt Iran's struggling economy. Plus, sanctions do a lousy job of "winning hearts and minds" that the West and Israel are not evil. 
As United States battleships begin to increase in number in that part of the world, especially near the Straight of Hormuz, the ante has upped. Things are more serious. Israel and the United States should be patient and truly united in their tactics. This doesn't mean Israel gets everything it wants. Their response to the Iranian issue has an effect on the United States all around the world. If the premise of the first article above is true, it speaks to the dysfunctional relationship we seem to have with them. We are their insurance policy. We will be the ones who come in with the military resources and stand by Israel. 
We do so at a cost. Should that cost be required, we should absolutely step up and pay it aggressively. It should, of course be a last resort. Perhaps it is time for talk. I fear what might happen if the Republicans win back the White House next November. Other than Congressman Ron Paul, who advocates a more isolationist foreign policy, the other candidates all seem to favor a more aggressive tone to be used with Iran. Some have said they would in fact bomb the reported Iranian nuclear sites. I say the days of the US being able to stick its military finger into another country's chest and "tell" them what they must do are over. We may still try that tactic, but its not wise. Its the kind of thing that makes people hate us. We are not the world's policeman, we don't necessarily know what is best for every country around the world. (If you doubt this, think of the quality of life in Iraq before Saddam Hussein was forced out and how it is now. Don't take my word for it, here's a recent poll that addresses that very issue. The number of displaced persons/families is staggering...

If talks are unable to bridge the differences then I imagine at some point we'll see Tehran under attack on CNN, I just hope it doesn't come to that. The United States can't afford to be involved in yet another war involving an Islamic country. I think only bad things can come of that. 

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