Thursday, May 20, 2010

US, Israel Challenged on Iran

by Ray McGovern, May 20, 2010

"The times may be a-changin’ — at least a bit — with the United States and Israel no longer able to dictate to the rest of the world how crises in the Middle East must be handled, though the new reality has been slow to dawn on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her neocon friends in Congress and the U.S. media.

They may think they are still in control, still the smart ones looking down at upstarts like the leaders of Turkey and Brazil who had the audacity to ignore U.S. warnings and press ahead with diplomacy to head off a possible new war, this one over Iran.....

There is every reason to believe that Israel will search deep into its toolbox for a way to sabotage the agreement, but it isn’t clear that the usual diplomatic tools will work at this stage. There remains, of course, the possibility that Israel will go for broke and launch a preemptive military strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

In the meantime, it’s a sure bet that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will apply all the pressure he can on Obama.

As a former CIA analyst, I hope that Obama would have the presence of mind to order a fast-track special National Intelligence Estimate on the implications of the Iran-Brazil-Turkey agreement for U.S. national interests and those of the countries of the Middle East.

Obama needs an unvarnished assessment of the agreement’s possible benefits (and its potential negatives) as counterweight to the pro-Israel lobbying that will inevitably descend on the White House and State Department."

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