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‘Insiders’ Poll: Obama Should Restrain Israel

From the National Journal:

Insiders: Obama Is Right to Restrain Israel

By Sara Sorcher
March 5, 2012

National Journal’s National Security Insiders, polled in advance of Monday’s summit, overwhelmingly agree that President Obama is right to try to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to postpone any plans he may have to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Obama should get Netanyahu postpone this until after the elections, anyway. After all, he has his priorities.

“Israel cannot delay Iran for more than a couple of years, but an attack will enable Iran to rally the world behind it and break out of its isolation,” one Insider said.

Iran already has all the people behind it that it is ever going to get behind it. Including, of course, our good friends, Russia and China.

“An attack would also implicate and cause serious problems for the U.S. Israel should see if the new round of sanctions [will] work before considering other options.” Another Insider added that Washington should not undermine sanctions because they’re showing signs of progress.

Really? What progress is that? We keep hearing about more and more Iranian advances.

Obama told The Atlantic last week he would make the case to Netanyahu during a Monday summit at the White House that sanctions are putting Iran in “a world of hurt.” However, if economic pressure fails, Obama said he’d order the military to take out Iran’s facilities. Polled ahead of the meeting, 81 percent of Insiders said Obama should pressure its ally to hold off on military action — for now.

For the record, these ‘insiders’ are listed at the bottom of the National Journal article. There 76 of them. But maybe some of them answered this way rather than risk being put on an Iranian hit list.

Still, some Insiders worry that the Israelis will interpret the Obama administration’s tough stance as a tacit approval of military action. “Since [Defense Secretary Leon] Panetta has said publicly on several occasions that Iran’s obtaining nuclear weapons would be unacceptable, or would be ‘stopped,’ paranoid Iran will presume that America supported the attack, even if only secretly,” one Insider said.

Clearly, these insiders do not know Obama.

If Israel launches a major attack on Iran, it is likely to retaliate against U.S. forces or other U.S. targets in the region, the Insider said. “In this circumstance, President Obama would come under strong criticism if he had not previously pressured Israel to eschew an attack.”

We must not do anything that could possibly anger Iran or make them dislike us.

Still, 19 percent of Insiders said Obama shouldn’t interfere if Israel wants to strike Iran’s nuclear sites. “It is no longer clear that the downsides of a military strike on Iran outweigh the risk of Iran becoming a nuclear power,” one Insider said. “The kinds of sanctions now being imposed should have been imposed years ago; they may now be too late to affect the trajectory of Iran’s nuclear program.”

They are right, you know.

Here are the National Journal’s ‘National Security Insiders’:

Gordon Adams, Charles Allen, Thad Allen, James Bamford, David Barno, Samuel "Sandy" Berger, David Berteau, Stephen Biddle, Nancy Birdsall, Milt Bearden, Peter Bergen, Kit Bond, Paula Broadwell, Mike Breen, Steven Bucci, Nicholas Burns, Dan Byman, James Jay Carafano, Phillip Carter, Michael Chertoff, Frank Cilluffo, James Clad, Richard Clarke, Steve Clemons, Joseph Collins, William Courtney, Roger Cressey, Gregory Dahlberg, Richard Danzig, Andrew Exum, William Fallon, Eric Farnsworth, Jacques Gansler, Daniel Goure, Mike Green, Mark Gunzinger, Jim Harper, Michael Hayden, Pete Hoekstra, Bruce Hoffman, Paul Hughes, Donald Kerrick, Lawrence Korb, Andrew Krepinevich, Rachel Kleinfeld, Charlie Kupchan, W. Patrick Lang, Cedric Leighton, James Lindsay, Trent Lott, Brian McCaffrey, Steven Metz, Franklin Miller, Philip Mudd, John Nagl, Kevin Nealer, Paul Pillar, Stephen Rademaker, Marc Raimondi, Celina Realuyo, Bruce Riedel, Barry Rhoads, Marc Rotenberg, Kori Schake, Mark Schneider, John Scofield, Tammy Schultz, Stephen Sestanovich, Sarah Sewall, Jennifer Sims, Constanze Stelzenmüller, Frances Townsend, Mick Trainor, Suzanne Spaulding, Ted Stroup, Dov Zakheim.

And how can doubt the wisdom of people like Sandy Berger?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

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