Friday, May 18, 2012

Is U.S. Congress Ready to Vote on Legislation Authorizing War With Iran?

US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90) - Shapiro’s comments, made at closed forum in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, broadcast on Channel 2 news

The US military option for Iran is ‘ready,’ it has completed its planning for a military strike on Iran American ambassador to Israel says the US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro  said in remarks at a closed conference in Tel Aviv that were broadcast on Israel TV on Wednesday night.

“It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically, and through the use of pressure, than to use military force,” Shapiro said in comments that were recorded Tuesday and were broadcast Wednesday. “But that does not mean that option isn’t available. Not just available, it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.”

Shapiro, the Channel 2 TV report said, was speaking at a closed forum in Tel Aviv — reportedly an Israel Bar Association event — and the comments were recorded by a newspaper reporter. The TV item noted that the envoy had apparently not intended for his remarks to be publicly aired.

The broadcast of the Shapiro comments came a day after Israel TV reported that the Israel Air Force is soon to take part in joint military exercises in the US. The IAF has not trained in the US for several years.

The exercises, to be held in the coming months, will strengthen the relationship between the IAF and the US Air Force as they practice carrying out joint operations, according to the report.

Israeli and US air defense forces are also to take part in a major joint drill later this summer in Israel to simulate a massive attack. Thousands of US soldiers are expected to arrive in Israel for the drills.

The various reports come amid ongoing concern in Israel and the US over Iran’s drive toward a nuclear weapons capability. Israel’s leaders have said Iran must not be allowed to go nuclear, and indicated that they are contemplating military intervention if all other efforts to thwart Iran fail. US President Barack Obama has said Iran must not get the bomb, and ruled out the notion of containment, but has urged patience to give economic sanctions and other pressure more time to work while stressing that the military option is “on the table.”

In Israel on Tuesday, American National Guard and Israeli Home Front Command forces conducted search and rescue drills. The operations would be applicable in the case of either an earthquake or a missile barrage, officials said. If there were a major aerial missile attack or a large enough earthquake in Israel, US forces might assist in search and rescue operations.  - Times of Israel

May 17, 2012 – WASHINGTON – This week, Congress is considering two pieces of legislation relating to Iran. The first undermines a diplomatic solution with Iran and lowers the bar for war. The second authorizes a war of choice against Iran and begins military preparations for it. H.Res.568: Eliminating the Most Viable Alternative to War – The House is expected to vote on H.Res. 568. Read the resolution. Section (6) rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran. Section (7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to Iranian enrichment. This language represents a significant shift in U.S. policy and would guarantee that talks with Iran, currently scheduled for May 23, would fail. Current U.S. policy is that Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons. Instead, H. Res. 568 draws the “redline” for military action at Iran achieving a nuclear weapons “capability,” a nebulous and undefined term that could include a civilian nuclear program. Indeed, it is likely that a negotiated deal to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and to prevent war would provide for Iranian enrichment for peaceful purposes under the framework of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty with strict safeguards and inspections. This language makes such a negotiated solution impossible. At the same time, the language lowers the threshold for attacking Iran. Countries with nuclear weapons “capability” could include many other countries like Japan or Brazil. It is an unrealistic threshold. The Former Chief of Staff of Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated that this resolution “reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war.” H.R. 4310: Authorizing War Against Iran and Preparing the Military for it. While H. Res. 568 undermines our diplomatic efforts and lowers the bar for war, H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 begins military preparations for war. Section 1221 makes military action against Iran a U.S. policy. Section 1222 directs our armed forces to prepare for war. – Huff Post
U.S. attack preparations finalized: The American ambassador to Israel said this week that not only was America willing to use military force to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but that preparations had already been made for a possible attack. “It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically and through the use of pressure than to use military force,” the ambassador, Dan Shapiro, said at a meeting Tuesday of the Israeli bar association. “But that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available. And not just available, but it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.” While American leaders, including President Obama and his defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have frequently said all options are on the table regarding Iran, the notion of specific plans being made is not something they typically talk about. In fact, at a March speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby, Mr. Obama warned that “loose talk of war” could actually speed Tehran’s move toward weaponization, saying “now is not the time for bluster.” – NY Times

One must ask… are we defending freedom?  Are we standing by a friend and ally?  Or has Obama already dropped too far behind Romney in the polls that now he uses the defense of Israel as his latest ploy and gets ready to go to war with Iran to help his re-election possibilities?

You be the judge…


Change: US envoy to Israel - US ready to strike Iran

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Below are different articles on the Middle East. They could be “testing the political waters” of public opinion; showing they have been posturing for a while.
Statement by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta on Meeting with Minister Ehud Barak
SecDef welcomed Israeli Defense Min Ehud Barak to the #Pentagon today. They met to discuss bilat #defense issues.!/DeptofDefense/status/203153083230982144/photo/1
US is ready to attack Iran, says ambassador
Plans for military attack on Iran ‘ready’: U.S. ambassador to Israel
Nehushtan to ‘Post:’ IAF ready for Iran threat
The Israel Air Force is prepared for the many missions and threats it faces in the Middle East, including a possible operation against Iran’s nuclear facilities, outgoing OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan has told The Jerusalem Post.
Turkey fighter jets scramble after Israeli plane flies over northern Cyprus

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