GADI ADELMAN

COUNTER-TERRORISM EXPERT & ADVISOR

Iran Strikes: Are You With or Against Israel?

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Are you with us or against us?Israel says time is running out and Leon Panetta says Israel could attack Iran as early as April. As all this unfolds the Obama administration cautions our greatest ally Israel rather than Iran.

Just days after 9/11 on September 13, 2001, then-Senator Hillary Clinton stated during an interview on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather,

"Every nation has to either be with us, or against us.  Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price."

President George W. Bush elaborated those words on September 20, 2001; during an address to a joint session of Congress,

“Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

Bush went a little further and in simple terms explained what he meant,

“They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.”

During his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, Bush named terrorist groups,

“Our military has put the terror training camps of Afghanistan out of business, yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries. A terrorist underworld -- including groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Jaish-i-Mohammed -- operates in remote jungles and deserts, and hides in the centers of large cities.”

Three out of four of the groups he named, Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad all have one thing in common. They are all funded, supplied and trained by Iran.

He continued by explaining his expectations and the consequences for those that chose not to be “with us”,

“My hope is that all nations will heed our call, and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own. Many nations are acting forcefully.”

“But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will.”

George W. Bush gave several goals and spoke of our ‘allies’,

“Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.”

He went on to name two countries specifically,

“Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September 11, but we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.”

“Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.”

Once again, Iran continues today as it did then, aggressively pursuing weapons and exporting terror. Bush then coined a phrase for these countries. The “the axis of evil”,

“States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.”

Read that last sentence again, it was stated 10 years ago and it’s not as if Bush was clairvoyant, it was just commonsense. “The price of indifference would be catastrophic.”

Towards the end of his address Bush made it clear what he and more importantly, what America would not permit,

“We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.”

There is no longer any option of time and Iran is one of the world’s most dangerous regimes. When Bush made all these points and accusations they were not just words to soothe a country that was in mournin. If that were the case he would have spoken only of Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.  Nor were his words campaign rhetoric; he was in his first year of office at the time.

Now, ten years later Iran is beyond an axis of evil, but what’s worse is they may already even have weapons grade uranium according to Clare Lopez.

Back on January 19, I interviewed Clare Lopez, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and the Clarion Fund and vice president of the Intelligence Summit on my radio show ‘America Akbar’.

Clare Lopez

Many of you may know of Clare as she often writes for Family Security Matters and other publications. For those who don’t know her she formerly was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006, and has served as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher for a variety of defense firms.

While discussing Iran’s nuclear aspirations I said that Iran would probably be able to get to ‘weapons grade’ before the year end. Clare’s response was frightening to say the least,

“I’d be extremely surprised if they already have not gotten to weapons grade, I’d be extremely surprised if they don’t already have functioning war heads”.

Last Thursday, David Ignatius of the Washington Post reported in his article “Is Israel preparing to attack Iran?” that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s “biggest worry is the growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran over the next few months.” Ignatius has been traveling with Panetta and wrote,

Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June — before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon — and only the United States could then stop them militarily.

Ignatius, has become known for his articles of senior U.S. defense and intelligence officials, it is obvious that he was reporting what he had been told by Panetta in Brussels. In the article he explained that the administration is having intense discussions on the ‘what if’ scenarios,

The Obama administration is conducting intense discussions about what an Israeli attack would mean for the United States: whether Iran would target U.S. ships in the region or try to close the Strait of Hormuz; and what effect the conflict and a likely spike in oil prices would have on the fragile global economy.

So with all the tough talk and sanctions do Obama and Panetta side with our only ally in the Middle East? As explained in the article, that would be a no,

President Obama and Panetta are said to have cautioned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack.

Two weeks ago I explained this as well,

“Even with all the cooperation and training that the U.S. military shares with Israel and visa-versa, this current administration does not want an attack on Iran, especially by Israel.”

But “cautioning Israel” from attacking is a lot different than just not wanting it. I thought Israel was our friend and ally and Iran was the axis of evil. Perhaps they are warning the wrong country. Let’s remember the goal Bush talked about,

“To prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.”

We have seen over the past three years the way this administration has treated our friend Israel, I have written about it extensively, but this brings a whole new meaning to “either you are with us or against us”.

Just yesterday, Caroline Glick, the Deputy Managing Editor of The Jerusalem Post wrote in her column how “American “friends” like Wexler and Obama play Israel for a fool again and again.”

This telling piece gives many examples of how every time Obama has asked Israel to adhere to his requests promises are not kept and in reality the situation continues to get worse.

Her article is just another example of this administrations shunning of Israel, but this goes far beyond broken promises, as I wrote 2 weeks ago,

This only leaves Israel one way to deal with this threat and if the U.S. will not work with, let alone back them on any type of military intervention, Israel has no choice but to go about it on its own. It’s truly a matter of survival.

There are only 3 possibilities as to why Panetta would go so far as to give a time line for an Israeli attack.

1.) Helping Israel by giving a false date knowing full well the timeline and feeding Iran false information.

2.) Throwing Israel under the bus once again, knowing full well Israel will attack Iran with or without an Obama administration ‘green light’ and giving Iran a heads up.

3.) Both the U.S. and E.U. sanctions against Iran go in to full effect July 1, 2012. Obama hopes that by naming April, May or June it will put more pressure on Iran to adhere to all requests. Now Iran may not just be facing sanctions, they face a possible attack by Israel.

The first scenario I doubt highly. The U.S. would not help Israel by giving Iran false info unless they planned on standing by Israel’s side and this they have made clear is certainly not the case.

The second scenario seems more likely, it would not be the first time that this administration has thrown an ally under the bus. Last February I wrote about the administration giving highly classified information about the U.K. to Russia after assuring the U.K. they would not,

Information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by President Barack Obama next week.

Defense analysts claim the agreement risks undermining Britain’s policy of refusing to confirm the exact size of its nuclear arsenal.

 

I believe it is actually a combination of both the second and third scenarios I have given. Obama still would like to resolve this issue without military force but he knows full well that if Israel were to attack Iran it would drag the U.S. in to the confrontation one way or another.

Either U.S. troops in the region would be attacked by Iran as promised by Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or by pressure of the U.S. public to stand by our ally Israel.

 

By giving a timeline of an attack Obama hopes Iran may finally bow down to pressure, if not, by giving the actual timeline he has also given Iran information that undermines Israel with the hopes of derailing any plans Israel may have to attack.

But when it comes to Iran we are not dealing with a country that has any desire to sit down and talk let alone give up its nuclear ambitions due to sanctions. Less than a week ago the Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated,

“From now onward, we will support and help any nations, any groups fighting against the Zionist regime across the world, and we are not afraid of declaring this.”

“The Zionist regime is a true cancer tumor on this region that should be cut off,” the supreme leader said. “And it definitely will be cut off.”

This is not just more rhetoric, since the 1979 revolution these leaders have followed through with their threats and the U.S. knows this. As was just reported two days ago in the Examiner,

New York's Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has increased security at the Israeli consulate, synagogues and other Jewish cultural institutions throughout all five boroughs of the city as a result of Iranian threats against Israel and the Jews.

Besides threats against Israel, Iran continues to accuse the U.S. government of plotting against their regime and warned officials in Washington, DC, that they will retaliate against any threat posed by the U.S. military.

When it comes to counterterrorism there is no better law enforcement agency in the U.S. than the NYPD and they would not be taking these steps if they thought Iran’s threats were just more rhetoric.

But the threats are not only concerning to the U.S., Israel’s top Minister of Home Front Defense is concerned for Israelis as reported just yesterday by Haaretz,

Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai is today expected to call for increased investment to protect Israel's cities and national infrastructure. Vilnai presents his annual report on the Home Front's preparedness for emergencies to the cabinet amid reports from the United States that Israel plans to strike Iran before June.

None of us want war, but we only have two obvious choices. We can eliminate the threat of a nuclear Iran now or wait until they use it on Israel or the U.S. That’s it, two choices, now or later.

The Defense Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak just said last Thursday,

“Today, unlike the past, there is no question of the unbearable danger a nuclear Iran poses for the future of the Middle East, for the security of Israel and for the security and financial stability of the entire world.”

“He who says 'later,' may find that it is too late.”

Comments (3)
  • Reese

    Unfortunately, I think we are dealing with a very potential attack on us before BO takes us into war front #4, as he's cutting down our military and destroying our might from with-in; all the while facing rear cheeks to our allies, esp. Israel.

  • Drew  - Thank You

    Gadi, I have to agree with your assessment on the reason Panetta gave the warning to Iran.

  • Teri

    :no-comments: As I have been saying since Obama took office. This man is dangerous. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The American people will stand with Isreal.

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