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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Leon Panetta’

Source: Behind Closed Doors Panetta Called Israel Ungrateful, ‘Chazerai’

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Despite the commonly accepted view that the meetings of U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, and President Shimon Peres, were generally positive, in private conversations Panetta expressed frustration at the lack of confidence expressed by Netanyahu and Barak regarding the American commitment to stopping the Iranian nuclear program, Maariv reports. An Israeli source told the paper that the Americans believe Israel is being ungrateful. The source even used the term “Chazerai”—which in colloquial Hebrew means selfishness—to describe Netanyahu’s and Barak’s attitude in light of unwavering U.S. support for Israel’s security.

Panetta’s visit to Israel was intended to enhance the image of the Obama Administration’s unquestionable supports for Israel without question. This is how political circles interpreted Panetta’s decision to create a photo-op next to an Iron Dome battery near Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza Strip.

But before Ashkelon, Panetta met on Wednesday with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who lectured him on the futility of diplomacy, sanctions and “tough” statements which to date have not caused the Iranians nuclear program to budge. The PM also reiterated that the time to resolve the issue peacefully is running out.

“Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, and we must do everything to prevent Iran—the world’s most dangerous regime—from developing the world’s most dangerous weapons,” went Netanyahu’s lesson on the urgent need for a military option. “Today the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program. This has to change, and it must change quickly, since the time to resolve the issue through peaceful means is running out.”

Standing by the Iron Dome battery, it actually appeared as if Panetta had internalized the gist of the lecture, begrudgingly or otherwise. “The most severe sanctions imposed on Iran ever are now,” Panetta told reporters. “Iran supports the Assad regime, Hezbollah, and other terrorist elements. We have a strong commitment to Israel’s security. Pressure on Iran will continue, but the military option is on the table if diplomacy fails.”

At which point it was Defense Minister Barak’s turn to lecture his U.S. counterpart on the advantages of military force over diplomacy. Barak told the reporters—with Panetta listening—that Israel’s leadership is pessimistic about the possibility that Iran would abandon its nuclear ambitions following the sanctions. “The possibility that the ayatollahs will sit around the table and decide to give up their nuclear option is very low,” Barak explained his government’s position.

Then Barak delivered his punch line: “Israel must make decisions on this matter, and the U.S. Administration understands it.”

It turns out, according to Maariv, that while Panetta, the trained diplomat, is good at concealing his true reactions to being schooled so openly by two Israeli leaders, he was quite expressive in private about their arrogance.

For the record, however, the explosive term “Chazerai” was used by Maariv’s source to represent an equivalent English term used by Panetta, whose parents immigrated from Calabria, Italy, and probably did not speak much Yiddish at home.

Panetta: Iran Could Produce Nuke Within a Year

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaking on the CBS program “60 Minutes” on Sunday, said that Iran could develop a nuclear weapon within about one year.

Panetta qualified this statement by saying that it would likely take Iran upwards of three years to produce a missile or other payload that could deliver the weapon.

Panetta repeated the Obama administration’s position that it would “take whatever steps are necessary” to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, which he called a ‘red line’ for both the US and Israel.

Obama’s Success Trumps Israel’s Defense

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Roger Cohen’s New York Times column (January 16th), is the latest in the Obama camp’s efforts to pressure Binyamin Netanyahu to risk Israel’s being nuked by a nuclear Iran rather than cause any ripples in President Obama campaign for re-election to a second term.

He quotes purported advice of an unnamed American ambassador in Europe declaring Mr. Netanyahu an ingrate for all that Obama has done for Israel, and suggests the Netanyahu should “above all stay out of our election-year politics.”

Accordingly, Obama is furious because Netanyahu went “over his head” by speaking “to a Republican-dominated Congress” even though Congress invited him; Netanyahu’s “ingratitude for solid U.S. support”; and Netanyahu’s refusal to declare a second freeze on building Jewish homes over the 1949 armistice lines “for the sake of peace negotiations” even though the first freeze failed to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiations table. For Mr. Cohen: Obama can do no wrong, and Mr. Netanyahu can do no right.

“I would add a further piece of advice to Netanyahu,” Mr. Cohen writes, “if he cares about his dysfunctional relationship with Obama — and he should because Israelis know the United States matters… Do not attack Iran this spring or summer.”

Mr. Cohen writes of Netanyahu’s chutzpah for considering bombing Iran, and this “despite a call from Obama last Thursday and messages from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.”

But Mr. Cohen eventually cuts to the chase: “Then there is the American political calculus. An Israeli strike a few months before the U.S. election in November would stymie Obama. He would be in no position,” Mr. Cohen decries, “to express anger given the clout of the pro-Israel lobby, the important Jewish vote in Florida, and the fulsome support any Israeli bombing would get from the Republican contender.”

Joining Cohen in this anti-Israel media barrage is Aaron David Miller, former State Department Mideast advisor, in Foreign Policy (November 8, 2011), wherein he brings five reasons Israel “might want to think long and hard about preemptively striking Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

True, “Sanctions may never prevent the Iranians from acquiring a weapon, but they do have some impact,” Mr. Miller says.” Impact perhaps, but anything less than stopping Iran’s producing nuclear weapons is irrelevant.

“An Israeli attack might be quietly welcomed by the rulers of some Persian Gulf states, but,” Mr. Miller decides, “it would be viewed on the Arab street as another example of Israeli aggression and US double standards.”…… “The Iranian capacity to strike the continental United State may be limited, but the capacity to wage a clandestine war against US and Israeli interests across the Middle East is far more formidable,” Mr. Miller opines. In other words, until now, Iran has refrained from waging a clandestine war against US and Israeli interests, but if Israel attacks, then all bets are off.

Mr. Obama’s Iran policy was put under the harsh light of reality by General John M. Keane (ret.), former US Army Vice Chief of Staff, in testimony before the US House Homeland Security and House Intelligence Committee on October 26, 2011:

 

“Since 2003 in Iraq the Iranians have provided rockets, mortars, enhanced IED’S and money to the Shia Militia who were directly involved in killing U.S. troops in Iraq,” General Keane said. “Moreover, the Iraq Shia Militia were trained by the Iranian special operations force, the Qods Force, at training bases in Iran…… Similarly, the Iranians are supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan with money and ammunition.”

“… It is time to review our strategy for Iran against the harsh reality that despite our rhetoric, attempts to negotiate, isolate and sanction, the Iranians continue to use their proxies against US interests and continue to pursue nuclear weapons. Therefore, one must conclude the obvious that, our policy has failed and failed miserably……if we continue the half measures of the past the Iranians will continue to kill us, continue to sponsor terrorism and use their proxies against our interests and continue to pursue nuclear weapons,” declared General Keane. “The next nightmare for the world is around the corner, an unchecked Iran with nuclear weapons.”

 

President Obama has apparently decided that he can either community-organizer-style talk the Mullahs into dropping their aspirations for nuclear domination of …well, the world, or he has decided that a nuclear Iran is something that America can live with after all is said and done – or not done in Mr. Obama’s case.

Then why are Mr. Obama and friends so concerned? It’s all about the re-election campaign. No matter how serious the threat, Israel is forbidden to rock the Obama re-election boat. Mr. Netanyahu should keep quiet and stop making Iran an issue.

Nonetheless, the Iranian nuclear threat is fast becoming a significant political football which Republican presidential contenders see Mr. Obama fumbling in a big way.

EU Gets Tough On Iran With Planned Oil Embargo

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

International pressure on Iran took a major step forward, as European foreign ministers declared their countries’ intent to embargo oil from the Islamic Republic, beginning as early as July, and freeze the assets of Iran’s central bank.

Iran, in anticipation of a possible oil embargo, was already embroiled in a war of words with the United States over Teheran’s threats to close the Straits of Hormuz, effectively strangling maritime commercial traffic in the Persian Gulf, when European Union leaders meeting in Brussels moved to toughen economic sanctions on the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

American Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta responded to Iranian defense officials’ threats to attack American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf by telling reporters that the United States was “fully prepared to deal with any Iranian threat” in the Gulf.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, on an official visit to the Netherlands while the EU foreign ministers were meeting in nearby Belgium, praised Dutch support for the sanctions.

The United Nations also announced that a special mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency would travel to Iran at the end of this month to investigate international suspicions of a “military angle” to Iran’s feverish drive for nuclear power. Iran has repeatedly denied intentions of building nuclear weapons, but it has also subverted international efforts to verify the civilian scope of Iran’s plans.

Video Surfaces of US Marines Desecrating Taliban Corpses

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

A video that surfaced on Wednesday showed US Marines urinating on what appeared to be the bodies of dead Taliban fighters.

Afghan PM Hamid Karzai was first to respond, calling the act “completely inhumane” and demanding that the US military discipline the perpetrators.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the video “shocking” and “utterly deplorable,” and added that “those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent.”

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/video-surfaces-of-us-marines-desecrating-taliban-corpses/2012/01/12/

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