(Updated on MARCH 28, 2010)
(JIWON: While I keep reading Israeli LEFT-wingers’ ‘bla-bla-bla’ on the issue of Iranian nuclear threat, I know how dangerous it is to post their opinions. Who knows? This computer work might help Iranian regime. Therefore, I decide to post nothing but this.)
General Petraeus: Iran becoming a ‘thugocracy’ Mar 7, 2010 / By Politico
(…) Asked whether a nuclear Iran could be contained, Petraeus said, “First of all you have to ask the country that is most directly concerns about this, and that would be Israel.” (…) “President Ahmadinejad is often our best recruiting officer, because his actions and his rhetoric are causing much more embrace of CENTCOM and other activities than would otherwise be the case,” Petraeus said.
Amar Primor: Where have all the anti-Semites gone? Mar 26, 2010 / By Haaretz
(…) The Jewish enemy-demon was replaced by the Muslim immigrant-criminal. Islamophobia replaced anti-Semitism, and it is the strongest card today in the hands of the extreme right in Europe. (…) The glass is half full, and this leaves room for hope. 65 years after the end of World War II, anti-Semitism is no longer politically correct and in most cases does not pay off electorally. But the other half of the glass obliges us to remain strictly on our guard.
(JIWON: The same goes to PM Netanyahu’s Big-Mouth in Three Tongues. NO need to post Iranian response to PM to tell AIPAC: Jerusalem isn’t a settlement.)
Obama Embraces European View
Warmonger’s Column One (Bibi’s Cheerleader): Obama’s war on Israel Mar 19, 2010 / By Jerusalem Post, Deputy Managing Editor
Post poll: Obama still in single digits Mar 27, 2010 / By Jerusalem Post
Netanyahu distances himself from remarks attributed to associates Mar 28, 2010 / By Jerusalem Post
(…) Netanyahu stressed that the remarks quoted in Yediot Aharonot saying that Obama was a “tragedy” for Israel, were “unacceptable” to him and to everyone working on his behalf. “There are disagreements between us and the Americans, but these are disagreements between friends,” he said. (…)
PM Netanyahu: Remarks about Obama inappropriate Mar 28, 2010 / By Ynetnews
(…) Netanyahu slams media coverage of crisis with Washington, says ‘these are disagreements among friends, based on longtime relationship, tradition’ (…) Netanyahu commented on a report by Yedioth Aharonot, in which sources close to him drew harsh criticism of the American administration and said, “President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton adapted a clear Palestinian point of view. This is a sick and insane matter; it is a catastrophic situation. We are facing a hostile administration like never before. The president wants to establish a Palestinian state and give them Jerusalem,” was written in the report. (…)
‘Obama resigned to nuclear Iran’ Mar 28, 2010 / By Jerusalem Post
Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton expressed concern Sunday that Washington was coming to terms with a nuclear Iran.
“I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that’s why there’s this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack in Iran,” Bolton told Army Radio.
The former envoy claimed that this pressure was the focus of last week’s meetings in Washington between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau and US officials, including President Barack Obama.
Bolton said that the Obama administration had embraced the view, prevalent in Europe, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the key to the resolution of all other conflicts throughout the Middle East, including the Iranian conflict.
He added that the rift in US-Israel relations stemmed from a fundamental difference in the understanding of the Middle East and Israel’s role in the Middle East, and is not really about east Jerusalem at all.
Bolton said that the treatment Netanyahu received during his visit “should tell the people of Israel how difficult it’s going to be dealing with Washington for the next couple of years.”
On Saturday, meanwhile, The New York Times reported that international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies suspect that Teheran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands. (…)
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates: Stalled talks affect US national security
Petraeus requests West Bank, Gaza be included in Centcom’s sphere Mar 24, 2010 / By World Tribune
03:01 General Petraeus: I will not ever run for political office (AP) Mar 25, 2010 / By Haaretz Flash News
Petraeus Confirms INN’s Report: “I Never Blamed Israel” Mar 25, 2010 / By Arutz Sheva (Settlers’ Voice)
Petraeus: ‘I didn’t say Israel intransigent’ Mar 25, 2010 / By Jerusalem Post
Petraeus to Ashkenazi: I never said Israel policy endangers U.S. Mar 25, 2010 / By Haaretz
US general reaffirms military bond with Israel Mar 25, 2010 / By Ynetnews
Political crisis, but no military crisis: US General David Petraeus on Wednesday spoke with Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi and reassured him that he never said Israel’s policies endanger US troops in the Middle East.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates: Stalled talks affect US national security Mar 25, 2010 / By Ynetnews
US secretary of defense agrees with General Petraeus that stalled talks affect entire region
Yitzhak Benhorin Published: 03.25.10, 18:29 / Israel News
WASHINGTON – “The absence of Middle East peace does affect US national security interests in the region,” US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Thursday.
Gates expressed fears that hostile elements will exploit the stalled peace talks.
“Lack of progress toward Middle East peace is clearly an issue that is exploited by our adversaries in the region and is a source of certainly political challenge,” he said. “Whether it has a direct impact, I’m not entirely sure. But there is no question that the absence of Middle East peace does affect US national security interests in the region.”
Gates, together with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, said that the political tension would not affect the important relationship between the IDF and the US military. Mullen said he had spoken to the IDF’s Chief of Staff Major-General Gabi Ashkenazi twice last week and that relations between the two armies continue to be extraordinarily strong.
Gates spoke in response to a question about last week’s comment by head of the US Central Command General David Petraeus, who is responsible for US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Petraeus expressed his concern that lack of progress in talks between Israel and the Palestinians would affect the entire region.
Testimony to the way the Arab world is carefully following the crisis echoed in the words of King Abdallah of Jordan … Jordan: Israel is playing with fire
(…) US citizens, however, are not angry. Despite the crisis and the harsh words spoken by US President Barack Obama and Israeli ministers, according to a CNN poll Israel is still considered an important friend among Americans.
The poll, conducted in the days before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, reveals that most Americans see Israel as an ally of the US.
Some 41% of respondents said they considered Israel to be a friendly state, but not an ally. Some 39% said Israel was an ally, and only 12% said they considered Israel unfriendly to the US, while 5% described Israel as an enemy state.
General Petraeus is hardly the only defense official who has warned…
Conservatives Who Demanded We ‘Listen To’ And ‘Stand Behind’ Gen. Petraeus Now Disregard Him Mar 16, 2010 / By Think Progress
(…) While conservatives are currently on the offensive against Petraeus’s concerns today, they thought differently in 2007. As the country was heatedly debating our policies in Iraq, leading conservatives demanded that we listen to Petraeus and agree with the views he advocated: (…) General Petraeus is hardly the only defense official who has warned that failing to bring a just end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can lead to Muslim radicalization and endanger our troops. In 2004, the Defense Science Board Task Force noted that our “one sided support in favor of Israel” and failure to resolve the conflict was a leading source of “threats to America’s national security.” Given how eager the right was to endorse Petraeus’s Iraq solution in 2007, will they listen to him, CENTCOM, and other defense officials about the dangers of not acting to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
White House angry at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan Oct 5, 2009 / By British Media
Officials: No rift between Obama, McChrystal Nov 2, 2009 / By Armytimes
Obama meets Afghanistan General McChrystal aboard Air Force One Oct 2, 2009 / By Amrybase.us
(…) The situation “is serious and I choose that word very, very carefully… neither success nor failure can be taken for granted,” said McChrystal (…) The process could take weeks, officials say, warning that past conflicts like the Vietnam war have shown the folly of throwing thousands of men into a fight that is not properly defined. Asked if he was worried that the political debate was holding up military action, McChrystal said: “I think the more debate we have the healthier this is going to be.” “I don’t think we have the luxury of going so fast we make the wrong decision,” he added.
McChrystal clear: Even with more troops, victory not certain Sep 21, 2009 / By Interact.stltoday
(…) Gen. McChrystal’s report was intended for President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. It became public Monday, in redacted form, after Bob Woodward of The Washington Post obtained a copy. Its early publication has amplified a debate that Mr. Obama had hoped to postpone until later this fall. Many congressional Democrats are leery of committing more troops to Afghanistan. Most Republicans, remembering that the Taliban government harbored Osama bin Laden during the planning for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are reflexively in favor of “victory.” Thoughtful people on both sides of the debate will benefit from reading Gen. McChrystal’s assessment of what victory means. The former head of the Joint Special Operations Command is nobody’s idea of a kinder, gentler warrior. But his vision of the way forward has more to do with diplomacy and politics than it does with military tactics.
Petraeus Stresses Avoiding Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan 21 Feb 2010 / By World of News
McChrystal issues directive on civilian casualties July 7, 2009 / By Stripes.com
Free General McChrystal Oct 7, 2009 / By American Spectator, John Guardiano
(…) The United States suffers from too much public ignorance and apathy about U.S. military requirements. … That’s why it is imperative that U.S. military leaders speak publicly and often about wartime requirements and defense policy — not to advocate particular policies, which they should not do, but rather to inform and educate the public. … The United States, after all, prides itself on having an educated and professional military. Thus, U.S. military leaders are not mere functionaries. (…) The general is a wartime military commander, not a politician. His job is to “report the facts as he sees them — and to do so without favor or prejudice, and without fear or concern for any potential political ramifications back home.” The political questions are best left to the politicians and the pundits. But the military facts on the ground in Afghanistan, and what must be done to remedy the situation there, certainly fall within McChrystal’s purview of responsibility and expertise. (…) U.S. military leaders absolutely must work within the chain of command; however, the chain of command is a two-way street. It runs up to the commander-in-chief, President Barrack Obama; and it runs down to the young sergeants and corporals who are risking their lives in Helmet Province. General McChrystal is accountable to both. … Indeed, McChrystal’s recent public pronouncements are about keeping faith with his young charges. (…) The United States, remember, is a constitutional democracy. The American people do not serve the military; the military serves the American people. That’s why public dialogue and public discussion about military matters are so crucially important (…)
How Soon Liberals Forget: Is McChrystal the New Shinseki? Oct 6, 2009 / By The New Republic, William Galston
(…) The current situation is entirely different. McChrystal is offering his professional judgment well in advance of a presidential decision. Yes, he’s doing it in public, but that’s something that small-“d” democrats should welcome. Combined with the leaking of his report, his London speech has triggered a public debate that is much more robust and better informed than it would otherwise have been. Jones suggested that military advice should “come up through the chain of command,” while Gates chastised that it is “imperative” that military and civilian leaders “provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately.” How quickly we forget: That was the rationale used to muzzle General Eric Shinseki during the run up to the Iraq war. Wouldn’t we have been better off to have had a no-holds-barred debate involving senior military officials prior to the invasion about the number of troops it would take to stabilize Iraq after the invasion? Wouldn’t we have had the kind of public discussion that the American people deserved but did not get? Does McChrystal’s speech put pressure on the president, as some have charged? Sure, and what’s wrong with that? The general is saying that the mission the president articulated back in March after a thorough policy review requires more troops than are now on the ground in Afghanistan. If he’s right about that, the president owes the country one of two things: send the troops or redefine the mission. McChrystal’s intervention makes it more difficult to fudge the decision. In my book, that’s a good thing. And people who don’t want more troops sent should agree.
From Bush’s Petraeus to Obama’s Petraeus
(Updated on MARCH 18-25, 2010)
(JIWON: If I were Anti-Defamation League’s Foxman or any member of AIPAC, I would never give up criticizing General Petraeus until it finally triggers a public debate that is much more robust and better informed than it would otherwise have been. In my humble opinion, there is absolutely NO reason for Republican Jews or Evangelists to avoid this PUBLIC DEBATE.)
Lieberman Asks For War With Iran; (Bush’s) Petraeus Turns Him Down Sep 11, 2007 / By Talkleft.com
Obama’s Petraeus: Israel Might Attack Iran Apr 1, 2009 / By Huffingtonpost
Petraeus: U.S. has plan to deal with Iran’s nuclear program Jan 9, 2010 / By CNN
Iran can be bombed says General Petraeus Jan 11, 2010 / By Infowars
Iran: General David Petraeus bombing comments were ‘thoughtless’ Jan 11, 2010 / By British Media
Petraeus Claims Iran Aiding al-Qaeda Mar 17, 2010 / By Inforwars
Petraeus says strike on Iran could spark nationalism Feb 3, 2010 / By Reuters
Arab League chief pushes for closer ties with Iran Mar 23, 2010 / By Haaretz
Gates clarifies US Iran policy in Riyadh after Biden fails in Israel Mar 10, 2010 / By DEBKA
US Gen. David Petraeus: ‘Arab-Israeli conflict hurts US’ Mar 18, 2010 / By Jerusalem Post
Lie in Report on Petraeus: a Case Study of Anti-Israeli Agenda Mar 18, 2010 / By Arutz Sheva (Settlers’ Voice)
ADL: Petraeus wrong to link anti-US attitude to Mideast peace Mar 18, 2010 / By Haaretz
Anti-Defamation League’s Foxman Continues to Go After Gen. Petraeus Mar 22, 2010 / By Washington Independent
Analysis: Is there a shift in US military thinking? Mar 22, 2010 / By Jerusalem Post
Defense officials worried that Petraeus’s comments are harbinger of weakened ties
While almost a week has passed since Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the United States Military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) testified before the Senate and dropped his bombshell about Israel, concern within the defense establishment has only grown.
While the assumption among the top IDF brass is that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen does not support Petraeus’s widely-reported claim that Israeli intransigence was a problem for the US military in the Middle East and was fomenting conflict, the comments still worry Israel for a number of reasons.
First and foremost is the possibility that Petraeus’s comments indicate a shift among US military thinkers. While diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and Washington have traditionally known their ups and downs, ties on the military level have always been perceived to be rock-solid.
If what Petraeus expressed is a belief held by other top military officers, then this thinking could translate itself into changes to the military cooperation between the countries, the sharing of intelligence and operational assessments, as well as future joint exercises.
Secondly, Petraeus’s comments could have an impact on the American public’s perception of Israel and might affect the $3 billion in military aid the US provides Israel annually.
One possibility that some officials raised on Sunday was that Petraeus was setting up Israel as the scapegoat for the US military when it pulls out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
As the officer in charge of both those ongoing conflicts, Petraeus will be the one blamed or credited with their outcome. By saying that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict undermines America’s interests in the region, he is laying the groundwork for a defense should the area destabilize when the US pulls out.
If that happens, Petraeus or his successor will be able to refer back to his testimony last week before the Senate’s Armed Services Committee and say, “We told you so already back then.”
Another possibility is that Petraeus’s comments signal a genuine frustration within the US top command with the current trend in the Middle East.
As commander of CENTCOM, Petraeus is responsible for all Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East, except Israel and the Palestinian territories.
With Iran’s influence on the rise in Iraq, Afghanistan and the moderate Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan – the Americans are seeking to retain their influence and are looking for new places where they can do that. Moving the PA into the purview of CENTCOM would provide them with an opportunity to obtain a positive outcome somewhere in the Arab world.
The US military’s interest in what is happening in Israel is twofold. On the one hand, peace assists the US in advancing its diplomatic interests in the region and bolstering moderate Arab regimes. But what happens in the West Bank will also be a demonstration of American power, an indication of whether American military involvement can change the situation on the ground.
For this reason, it came as no surprise to the IDF last month when Mullen, who was visiting Israel, held a long meeting with Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, the American officer in charge of training the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. Dayton was in charge of a similar training program for Fatah forces in Gaza, who were then overrun by Hamas in its 2007 takeover of the Strip.
If he fails again, it will not reflect well on overall US military operations in the region.