Beyond the Cusp

February 29, 2012

How Long Before the United States Places Sanctions on Israel?

Israeli leadership, with particular attention aimed at Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barack, must have felt besieged by the number of high level officials from the United States which included State Department, Pentagon and even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff making trips to Israel threatening them should Israel take action independently against Iran. They were told in no uncertain terms that the sanctions being placed on Iran must be given time to work and that President Obama was to be the sole judge on the efficiency of the sanctions. They were threatened with lack of support and denial of resupply should Israel take action without having first received approval from the Obama Administration. This barrage upon Israeli leaders will very likely be turned up a notch when the Israeli leadership comes to the United States to attend the APAC convention next week. So, all this begs the question of exactly how far is the Obama Administration willing to go to prevent an Israeli action against Iran and their nuclear program.


Part of the answer has come through comments made to the American press outlets in the last month or so. We had the presumed slip of the tongue by Senator Dianne Feinstein when during a televised committee meeting she told about the meeting held in Washington with the head of the Israeli Mossad Chief concerning the Iranian nuclear program earlier in the day, a meeting that was presumed to be held confidentially and not publically. There was also the press conference where Secretary of Defense Panetta released that he believed that an Israeli attack on Iran could be expected in April, May or June of this year. Add to these that statements made by President Obama and General Dempsey among others stating that any attack upon the Iranian nuclear facilities would be unwise, ill-advised, and unnecessary as the latest sanctions are working as planned and the results should become evident at any moment now. Detracting from the message to Israel that Iran is on the cusp of folding due to the “harsh” sanctions put in place by the United States and Europe has been comments from numerous sources around the world and even from within the Obama Administration that the sanctions are not having their desired effect. These naysayers have made the point that the military option is the only option that can prevent a nuclear Iran possessing nuclear weapons in the near future. Who to believe?


President Obama has made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that should Israel be foolish enough to strike Iran they will be doing so without any support from the United States. Israeli leadership has now informed Washington that should they actually decide to attack Iran that the United States will learn about their strike immediately after the Iranians are made aware of the attack. Israel has actually promised not to give President Obama more than twelve hours forenotice of an attack. This has been further defined unofficially by Israel that they do not plan on informing Washington at all as they do not trust that the Obama Administration would not go public with the information similarly as they have leaked virtually every other presumed secret information. Add to this the fact that Israel, due to treaties and contractual obligations, is dependent on the United States for many munitions and resupply of same. Should Israel strike Iran and the Arab World, or just the Iranian proxies of Hamas, Hezballah and Syria, join with Iran in a counter attack and the United States withhold resupply of munitions as punishment on Israel for their attack, Israel would soon find themselves in a desperate predicament. Denying Israel the contractual resupply or even simply doing the resupply using a deliberate and methodically slow manner Israel may well not be able to repulse any attack by Iran and their allies, let alone a unified Arab front.


This is not the worst possible option which Israel might face should the United States delay their support of Israel after an attack upon Israel by Iran and company. The worst case scenario, which we here believe is not beyond possibility, would be President Obama placing sanctions on Israel denying them any United States originating military aid. Such a move would place the arms warehoused in Israel, which is stipulated for use by the United states military in order to address any emergency where American troops either needed immediate emergency resupply or to supply troops sent to contend with an emergency situation where these weapons and munitions would serve as a forward supply depot, beyond Israeli use, which is allowed by understanding between the United States and Israel, as President Obama is required to give verbal permission for these supplies to be released. Such a move would be the first step to the United States placing full military sanctions and calling for an embargo on Israel, cutting them off from resupply of munitions, parts, or replacement of losses of material.


With the track record of President Obama on Israel and judging him by his actions over his words, one could fear that denying Israel necessary military support in an emergency is a definite possibility. Such an emergency would be fully expected should the Iranian nuclear facilities be attacked, whether the attack was committed by Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia, or any other concerned country. When we remember the treatment shown Prime Minister Netanyahu when he was made to sneak into the White House through a side door and denied the customary press appearance during his first visits to the White House, the meeting of Israeli President Peres in Blair Mansion denying him even entrance to the White House, and the leaving of Prime Minister Netanyahu with his staff during a White House meeting as President Obama upon leaving announced that he was going to eat dinner with his family and instructed the Israeli Prime Minister and staff to rework their position and have the President informed once they were prepared to comply with his demands. Add these to President Obama’s stellar record on the Palestinian Israeli peace process where President Obama has introduced new demands which have become the new maximalist demands of the Palestinians, among which include building freeze beyond the Green Line, using the 1949 Armistice Lines (pre 1967 War boundary lines never before recognized as a real border) as the format of a border with agreed swaps, and the division of Jerusalem in such a manner as to leave the Temple Mount, Old City, and Western Wall under Palestinian control and out of reach for all Jews. The only way one can believe that President Obama would never cut American aid and friendship with Israel has either just awakened from a little over a three year coma or wearing blinders avoiding all new from the Middle East. The probability of President Obama turning the United States away from Israel cutting them adrift to the mercies of a cruel world is real. Should such come to fruition, I fear that even if Congress moved to reestablish American support for Israel, it would take too long and might not come in time. Even with congress passing such a requirement within hours, the President could sit on the legislation for nine days before submitting a veto which then would take another trip through Congress and achieve their override vote, something I doubt is a certainty should it be required.


Beyond the Cusp



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