The Blog

Iran Threatens, While U.S. Contains Israel

10:21 AM, Feb 21, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

NBC reports: "Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying Tuesday. . . . Iran announced air defense war games to practice protecting nuclear and other sensitive sites, the latest in a series of military maneuvers viewed as a message to the West that Iran is prepared both to defend itself against an armed strike and to retaliate."

And America's posture toward the Iranians? Warning the Israelis not to strike. "We think that it's not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,"  Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Gen. Martin Dempsey said over the weekend on CNN. "I mean, that's been our counsel to our allies, the Israelis, well-known, well-documented."

As a Wall Street Journal editorial explains: 

Is the Obama Administration more concerned that Iran may get a nuclear weapon, or that Israel may use military force to prevent Iran from doing so? The answer is the latter, judging from comments on Sunday by Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.

Appearing on CNN, General Dempsey sent precisely the wrong message if the main U.S. strategic goal is convincing Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions. He said the U.S. is urging Israel not to attack Iran—because Iran hasn't decided to build a bomb, because an Israeli attack probably wouldn't set back Iran by more than a couple of years, and because it would invite retaliation and be "destabilizing" throughout the Middle East. . .

In a single sound bite, General Dempsey managed to tell the Iranians they can breathe easier because Israel's main ally is opposed to an attack on Iran, such attack isn't likely to work in any case, and the U.S. fears Iran's retaliation. It's as if General Dempsey wanted to ratify Iran's rhetoric that the regime is a fearsome global military threat.

Whole thing here.

Recent Blog Posts