Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy added to speculation of an impending Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear program in a statement published by The New York Times Wednesday."If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks," Halevy said.Speculation in the media and in political circles about the timing of a potential attack on Iran has focused in recent weeks on whether it needs to happen over the summer, before the US elections, or if it can wait until afterward, maybe as far away as next spring.
Earlier in the week, both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that time was running out for sanctions and diplomacy to have an effect on Iran's nuclear ambitions. Both men made the statements during a visit to Israel by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
“We clearly have something to lose by this stretched time [during] which sanctions and diplomacy takes place, because the Iranians are moving forward, not just in enrichment,” Barak said.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has informed US Defense Secy Leon Panetta that Israel will make its own decisions on how to deal with Iran.
The two men discussed the issue at a special reception held at the Defense Ministry's Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on Wednesday before taking a tour of an iron Dome installation in Ashkelon.Barak told Panetta during their time together that Israel's government would decide for itself how it will deal with its own security issues – including the existential threat posed by the Iranian nuclear development program.
Barak pointed out that while sanctions and diplomatic efforts might have some place in that equation, they are unlikely to have any real impact on preventing the Ayatollahs from continuing that program.
Such a threat cannot be ignored, least of all by Israel.
But a Channel 2 news report said irritated American officials are telling Israel that it is overplaying its hand with its constant warnings about time running out on stopping Iran’s nuclear program and its threats to launch military action against IranThe message being conveyed by Obama Administration officials behind the scenes, the TV report said, is that the US knows what it is doing on Iran, and that while an Israeli strike could damage the Iranian program, an American strike, if deemed necessary, would finish it. Israel ought to stop talking about deadlines, and stop risk being perceived as meddling with domestic American politics ahead of November’s presidential elections.
I suggested during our conference call yesterday that the only friend the Muslim Brotherhood has in high places is Barack Obama. I didn't mean that facetiously.
Turkey's application to join the SIno-Russian Shanghai Cooperation Organization following Prime Minister Erdogan's July 19 pilgrimage to Russia is a diplomatic humiliation for the United States, and of the first order. Just when Washington is demanding that Russia withdraw support for the Assad regime in Syria, and when Turkey is the linch-pin for American logistics in support of the Syrian opposition, Erdogan has proposed in effect to joint the Russian-Chinese club (without being compelled to hand in his NATO credentials). As AL Monitor wrote July 19:
The fact is that the Muslim Brotherhood and its various offshoots represent a threat to everyone in the region:
But the Obama administration (and establishment Republicans like John McCain) insist that America must support democratically-elected Islamist governments. That is deeply misguided. The Muslim Brotherhood is about as democratic as the Nazi Party, which also won a plebiscite confirming Adolf Hitler as leader of Germany. Tribal countries with high illiteracy rates are not a benchmark for democratic decision-making.
It appears that the Russians, the Turks and the Saudis will keep Syria at a low boil, making it difficult for either side to fully impose its will on the other, and impossible for a Sunni Islamist regime to emerge. What is remarkable, though, is the success of Russian diplomacy: despite all of the Obama administration's courtship, the Erdogan government has decided to signal its dependence on Moscow in the most visible (and, for Washington) humiliating way possible. It may be that the Turks were compelled to apply for membership in the SCO by the utter fecklessness and stupidity of American policy, both of the administration and of the Senate leadership. As long as the United States declares its support for the humbug of Muslim democracy in Egypt and Syria, the rest of the world will treat us as hapless lunatics and go about the business of securing their own interests without us.
Dan Cathy could have saved his company, Chick-Fil-A, a lot of trouble. All he had to do was keep his views about family to himself.
Instead, he answered a question honestly. In a recent media interview, the company’s president and COO said what he believes and why he believes it. But his politically incorrect views are intolerable, judging from the anger of many on the left, including several big-city officials who are dead-set against his views.Now, spirited debates about controversial topics are an American tradition. But it didn’t stop there. The politicians began threatening to block Chick-Fil-A’s plans to expand in their cities.At this point, we’ve moved well beyond debate. It’s a free-speech issue now.
These officials did not merely express an opposite point of view. They threatened to use their political power to punish a man, and those who work for him, for saying something they disagree with. The message this sent is crystal-clear -- and chilling: Conform to the “accepted” view, or else.“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” Cathy added in the interview that led to the controversy.
After hearing the way he’s been treated since then, you have to wonder: Do we, in fact, live in such a country anymore?
Let's say that you own a business. And let's say that as a person of faith, you decide to use the profits from that business to support, at least in some small part, traditional marriage. Now let's say that your political opponents find your position stunning and launch a boycott against your business.
So far, no harm, no foul. It may be irritating that your political opponents choose to make your personal political predilections the basis of a crushing economic attack. But it's their right.
But now let's say your political opponents are in government. And let's say they use the power of their office to shut down your business — not because you violated any law or broke any regulation, but because they don't like your position on traditional marriage.
This would be fascism.