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Cheney Again Pushes for Attack on Iran

Guardian story:

See also Andrew Sullivan commentary

The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned.

The shift follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although the Bush administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A well-placed source in Washington said: "Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo."

The White House claims that Iran, whose influence in the Middle East has increased significantly over the last six years, is intent on building a nuclear weapon and is arming insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(...)

The Washington source said Mr Bush and Mr Cheney did not trust any potential successors in the White House, Republican or Democratic, to deal with Iran decisively. They are also reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway.

"The red line is not in Iran. The red line is in Israel. If Israel is adamant it will attack, the US will have to take decisive action," Mr Cronin said. "The choices are: tell Israel no, let Israel do the job, or do the job yourself."

Back on my Delphi chatboard, I used to get a lot of heat for saying that Israel was setting our nation's policies in the mideast, but this is just more proof that is indeed the case. If Israel wants to fight Iran, that's their problem and they are the ones who should make the attack. It's appalling that we've become nothing more than Israel's proxy army.


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Comments (12)

Lee Ward:

Current events show that the diplomatic solution worked in NoKo, and it can work here - if we want it to...

The problem is we have a defense-industry stooge in the White House, and a moron in the Oval Office who isn't smart enough to figure that out.

Lee Ward:

And you are absolutely right that Israel is pulling strings on US policy.

Heralder:

Lee, but Iran is not North Korea.

As far as Israel pulling the strings, that's a misrepresentation.

They are also reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway.

Which we know is true. It's also important to not have Israel overwhelmed and destroyed, thought it's pretty much only the U.S. and Israel that actually feel that way...no one else seems to care too much what happens to them.

If Israel wants to fight Iran, that's their problem

No, it's everyone's problem. And if Israel attacks Iran it's for a reason.

Israel is an ally of ours, and it would not be right to leave them twisting in the wind, especially over something we believe in (Iran being a potential threat to their state). That's far from being a proxy army, just as Blair agreeing the war in Iraq is important doesn't make him Bush's poodle.

Misrepresentation. If you care so much about how well we're liked or not, step number one should be to stand by your friends.

Taking into account Israel's actions when dealing with the middle east as a whole is very important strategically.

Paul Hamilton:

Israel is a very questionable ally. They take gobs of taxpayer money from us and in return, they spy on us, attack our ships and almost shoot down one of our civilian aircraft, just to cite a few examples of their actions. Of course the religiously-insane, who see the US as the Sword of the Lord, believe that we must defend the Chosen People. One more very good reason why religion and politics must be kept separated.

A question for you: If Israel were to simply vanish tomorrow, what effect would it have on you?

And as for standing by your friends, that's all well and good so long as you have friends of good character. I don't know that Israel qualifies.

(And no, I'm not saying that places like Iran and Syria are any better, but the whole middle east is a cesspool, and we'd be better off if we could tell them to just shove their oil.)

Heralder:
A question for you: If Israel were to simply vanish tomorrow, what effect would it have on you?

Sorry, but you'll need to rephrase the question. Do you mean harmlessly vanish or utterly annihilated by Iran? The difference in answer is between World War 3 and ineffectual theorizing.

I have a problem with the very fact that you're asking that question, is everything to be judged only by how it affects me?

And as for standing by your friends, that's all well and good so long as you have friends of good character. I don't know that Israel qualifies.

I'm unfamiliar with Israel spying on us or attacking us.

So what you're saying is you don't think Israel is a good ally and that they should be abandoned if they rose to face Iran's constant threats of destruction?


Paul Hamilton:

I meant vanished, or if you prefer, if they never existed in the first place. How would that affect your daily life?

Spying -- just google "israeli spies" and you'll get many, many examples.

Attack on our ship:
http://www.ussliberty.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ussliberty.html

There are many more -- google "uss liberty."

Heralder:
I meant vanished, or if you prefer, if they never existed in the first place. How would that affect your daily life?

I'm not being a jerk, but that's not only impossible to answer, but pointless. Try it with any country...the answer is useless to anything that's happening now or could in the future and the variables are almost infinite.

Maybe I'm taking the question too literally, but I don't know any other way to take it. It seems that you're looking for the answer that indicates my daily life would be no different if Israel was never created, but I don't believe that. The next Hitler could have been born in Arab controlled Jerusalem and started a horrible war that was responsible for the end of humankind. I simply don't know.

Paul Hamilton:

I know you're not being a jerk...

The reason I ask is because so many folks seem to believe that Israel is very, very special and since you might be one of them, I'm trying to get you to confront exactly what it is that gives this nation that status.

Is it worth it? Well, this site...
http://www.wrmea.com/html/us_aid_to_israel.htm
says the US taxpayers have paid more than $23,000 per Israeli citizen to that nation.

This site (which you should like)...
http://www.heritage.org/Research/features/issues/issuearea/ForeignAid.cfm
says that not only is Israel getting the most money from us, but they are the most corrupt nation on the list of top recipients.

I simply cannot fathom what the benefit is in our relationship with Israel that justifies that kind of spending. Now maybe -- just MAYBE -- during the cold war, we needed a proxy in the region which was otherwise mainly supported by the Soviets. We were the same way with Iran, which makes the current situation between them sort of ironic.

But anyway, the whole point of the exercise is to get people to think about, and to justify or fail to justify in their own minds the money we are throwing at Israel. AFAIC, we should cut them off completely, but that's just me...

Heralder:
The reason I ask is because so many folks seem to believe that Israel is very, very special and since you might be one of them, I'm trying to get you to confront exactly what it is that gives this nation that status.

I'm not granting it any supernatural, religious or prophetic importance. They simply deserve to exist. Few seem to feel that way.

I've always been aware of the money that goes to them. I don't know why it does, but then, I'm not sure why we give so much money to people around the world that hate us either.

I prefer the former. Though it'd be nice to know more of the why.

As Larkin mentioned, Israel is a nuclear armed U.S. friendly state in the middle east. That is strategically very important.

Also take under consideration what would happen to Christian and Jewish holy sites were Irsael to be destroyed. The same thing that happened to the Buddha statues in Afghanistan. How would this sort of treatment effect Christians and Jews around the world?

I cannot justify the money honestly, because I don't know all that it's being used for.

Larkin:

Israel enjoys massive nuclear and conventional superiority over the Iranians. They are more than capable of defending themselves.

And yet they lost a small scale war against Hezbollah because of the world bought terrorist propaganda, and Hezbollah hid in a civilian city. Israel still has not had it's captive returned. Hezbollah is an extension of Iran don't forget.

Israel is indeed capable, but is also vastly outnumbered and in constant danger.


mantis:

Oh, what the hell, I'll jump in.

I'm interminably conflicted on Israel. On the one hand, I think a good deal of what they do makes things worse in the Middle East, while on the other I sympathize as they are surrounded by people who want them destroyed. A difficult position for any country.

The reason I ask is because so many folks seem to believe that Israel is very, very special and since you might be one of them, I'm trying to get you to confront exactly what it is that gives this nation that status.

They are a very special country, and this comes from an atheist. The Zionist project, while by no means a perfect and entirely honorable affair, was quite amazing, historically. Even a cursory understanding of what the Jews have faced throughout history at the hands of other religions (mostly Christianity), culminating in the holocaust, would make any reasonable person admit that they needed a country of their own. Geographically Israel was an unwise choice, IMO, but here we are.

This site (which you should like)...
http://www.heritage.org/Research/features/issues/issuearea/ForeignAid.cfm
says that not only is Israel getting the most money from us, but they are the most corrupt nation on the list of top recipients.

Paul, are you not reading the things you link, or are you peddling bullshit? The chart lists levels of corruption (or transparency, really) among the top 10 recipients of aid. They are not ranked in order of corruption; the list maintains the ordering by level of aid. Israel has by far the highest level of transparency among the top recipients. Pakistan is the lowest. I'm starting to wonder about the motives behind your criticism of Israel.

No, it's everyone's problem. And if Israel attacks Iran it's for a reason. Israel is an ally of ours, and it would not be right to leave them twisting in the wind,

Of course Larkin is right. Attacking Israel would be suicide for Iran; they would be annihilated. Iran, despite what the neocons say, is not suicidal.

Heralder:

I need to go now, but I'd like to continue tomorrow if time permits.

Thanks for your input, mantis.

Paul Hamilton:

Mantis -- you're right. I just figured that since the chart was about corruption, a higher number meant more corruption. That was not the case.

The Zionist project was originated in the US and was one more attempt to trigger the Second Coming. "A History of the End of the World" devotes a chapter to the subject.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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