Is Obama shifting US mid-east policy in favor of Iran over Israel?

The L.A. Times reports:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates warns against Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities

The Defense secretary tells a group of Marine students that such a strike would only delay the nuclear program while strengthening the Iranians' resolve.
 Foreign analyst site, China Confidential, interprets:
U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell warned Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and President Shimon Peres against attacking Iran--as China Confidential yesterday predicted. Mitchell's warning was so strong that Peres was compelled to publicly speak out against the military option.

The Obama administration is abandoning Israel in the hope of not only appeasing but actually striking a so-called grand bargain with nuclear-arming, Islamist Iran. Important administration members, including Gates, believe Iran can control Afghanistan and counter Pakistan if that country collapses.

In contrast with recent U.S. administrations, the Obama administration does not see Israel as a strategic ally. At best, Israel is viewed as a troublesome friend in need; at worst, a liability. Obama's close adviser, National Security Council member Samantha Power (who called Hillary Clinton a "monster" during the 2008 Presidential campaign) is in the Israel-is-a-liability camp. Echoing a left-wing, European viewpoint, she regards Israel's establishment as a mistake.
China Confidential augments this policy analysis today with:

US Weighing Punishing Israel if it attacks Iran
Having failed to contain Iran, the United States is concentrating on restraining Israel.

Administration contingency plans include condemnation of Israel, support for a United Nations Security Council resolution that could include sanctions on Israel, and suspending or seriously cutting military aid to the Jewish State.

The big question is how the Obama administration would react if Iran retaliated against Israel indirectly as well as directly--by making good on its repeated threats to attack U.S. forces in the Middle East and shut down the strategic, 29 mile-wide Strait of Hormuz, through which an estimated 20% of the world's crude oil is transported by tanker ships. Would the U.S. fight back with real ferocity or respond in a limited way while blaming Israel for preemptively attacking Iran and appealing to "the Muslim world" for "understanding?"

No comments:

Post a Comment