Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Brazil steps between Israel and Iran

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva this week made the first official visit by a Brazilian president to Israel. Brazil is emerging as a potential "bridge" between Iran and those countries that seek to punish Tehran over its nuclear program. Lula stepping into this arena is a further instance of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) acting as a new rival power to an increasingly disoriented US, as well as to Washington's ally, Israel....

The BRICs also know that the US and Iran are able to collaborate on thorny dossiers - such as over Afghanistan.

That leaves the strategic agenda of the proverbial elephant in the room - Israel - on the table. So it's time for the BRICs to call Israel's bluff.

If the Netanyahu government in Israel can humiliate both Obama and Biden on expanded Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, it's fair to assume it could ignore the pleas of the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, Mike Mullen, who has warned that an attack on Iran would be a "big, big, big problem for all of us".

Israel (as well as Washington) may simply want regime change in Iran by any means necessary. Israel may go nuclear - using bunker-busting tactical nukes to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities. Israel may be ready to unleash preventive war - a staple of Israeli policy fully adopted by the George W Bush administration. And Israel certainly counts on the US for logistical and political support......"

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