So it seems the House of Saud and the rabid Likudniks see eye-to-eye on Iran…!

Saudis brace for ‘nightmare’ of U.S.-Iran thaw

When Saudi Arabia’s veteran foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, made no annual address to the U.N. General Assembly last week for the first time ever, his unspoken message could hardly have been louder.

For most countries, refusing to give a scheduled speech would count as little more than a diplomatic slap on the wrist, but for staid Saudi Arabia, which prefers back-room politicking to the public arena, it was uncharacteristically forthright.

Engaged in what they see as a life-and-death struggle for the future of the Middle East with archrival Iran, Saudi rulers are furious the international body has taken no action over Syria, where they and Tehran back opposing sides.

Unlike in years past, they are not only angry with permanent Security Council members China and Russia, however, but with the United States, which they believe has repeatedly let down its Arab friends with policies they see as both weak and naive.

Like Washington’s other main Middle Eastern ally, Israel, the Saudis fear that President Barack Obama has in the process allowed mutual enemies to gain an upper hand. {…}

Already aghast at U.S. reluctance to back rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, Tehran’s strongest Arab friend, Saudi princes were horrified to see Washington last month reaching out to Hassan Rouhani, the new Iranian president.

The Saudis’ worst nightmare would be the administration striking a grand bargain with Iran,” said former diplomat Robert Jordan, U.S. ambassador to Riyadh from 2001 to 2003.

Col. Lang posted this great diatribe recently…

Don’t Move the Strategic Goal Posts for U.S. Policy on Iran

Diplomacy is the most realistic strategic option for achieving President Obama’s stated goal of prevention. As the case of North Korea demonstrates, economic sanctions and international political isolation will not prevent a determined country from developing nuclear weapons. Moreover, the history of sanctions suggests that the international political will to enforce serious sanctions will erode over time. {…}

Meanwhile, military strikes conducted by either the United States or Israel are not likely to prevent Iran from joining the nuclear weapons club. Iran’s civilian nuclear expertise and knowledge is substantial and can’t simply be bombed or assassinated out of existence… …Additionally, military action will also likely strengthen recruitment of radicals to the ranks of Al-Qa’ida by playing into its strategic narrative that the United States is at war with Islam. Furthermore, these attacks would only solidify the position of hardliners in Tehran as they exploit intense feelings of Iranian nationalism during a time of crisis while bolstering their argument that Iran needs a nuclear weapon to deter further attacks.

Nonetheless, not everyone is content with President Obama’s strategic objective of prevention. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, for instance, has advocated the more expansive strategic objective of denying Iran any domestic capability to enrich uranium. A recent letter from 76 U.S. senators urges the President to prevent Iran from achieving an amorphous and ultimately unverifiable “nuclear weapons capability”. Still others have insisted that issues with Iran will only be resolved through whole-sale regime change in Iran.

By changing the aim of US policy, however, any one of these alternative strategic goals would require a comprehensive change to the current American strategic approach emphasizing diplomacy. More dangerously, moving the strategic goal posts on Iran now would almost certainly doom a diplomatic approach to failure before it has been genuinely tested. This will leave US policymakers with ever less attractive strategic options for resolving suspicions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.

Funny how the Israeli Defense Minister just paid another visit to Hagel, eh…?

Pentagon chief reassures Israel over Iran nuke issue

Defense Department officials said Hagel and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon met at the Pentagon Tuesday, sharing their views on the latest development regarding the Iran nuclear issue and the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, the American Forces Press Service, the U.S. Defense Department’s news service, reported.

Hagel told Yaalon that while U.S. officials intend to test the prospect for a diplomatic solution with Iran, they “remain clear- eyed about the challenges ahead and will not waver from a firm policy of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

This was the third face-to-face meeting between the two defense officials in the past six months. The meeting came amid Israel’s rising concerns over Washington’s recent diplomatic engagement with Tehran on its disputed nuclear program.

So which is it…?

Which Side of the ‘War on Terror’?

…Pity the poor American who wants to be a good citizen, wants to understand the world and his country’s role in it, wants to believe in the War on Terrorism, wants to believe that his government seeks to do good … What is he to make of all this?

For about two years, his dear American government has been supporting the same anti-government side as the jihadists in the Syrian civil war; not total, all-out support, but enough military hardware, logistics support, intelligence information, international political, diplomatic and propaganda assistance (including the crucial alleged-chemical-weapons story), to keep the jihadists in the ball game.

Washington and its main Mideast allies in the conflict – Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – have not impeded the movement to Syria of jihadists coming to join the rebels, recruited from the ranks of Sunni extremist veterans of the wars in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, while Qatar and the Saudis have supplied the rebels with weapons, most likely bought in large measure from the United States, as well as lots of what they have lots of – money.

This widespread international support has been provided despite the many atrocities carried out by the jihadists – truck and car suicide bombings (with numerous civilian casualties), planting roadside bombs à la Iraq, gruesome massacres of Christians and Kurds, grotesque beheadings and other dissections of victims’ bodies (most charming of all: a Youtube video of a rebel leader cutting out an organ from the chest of a victim and biting into it as it drips with blood).

All this barbarity piled on top of a greater absurdity – these Western-backed, anti-government forces are often engaged in battle with other Western-backed, anti-government forces, non-jihadist. It has become increasingly difficult to sell this war to the American public as one of pro-democracy “moderates” locked in a good-guy-versus-bad-guy struggle with an evil dictator, although in actuality the United States has fought on the same side as al-Qaeda on repeated occasions before Syria. Here’s a brief survey…

Please read about that litany of countries we ‘softened up’ with economic sanctions…!

Now, just as it seems we’re about to do the right thing…

US Suspends Millions In Aid To Egypt Military

The US government said it was “recalibrating” its $1.3bn (£0.8bn) annual aid to Egypt, putting on hold the delivery of large military systems and withholding some of its cash assistance.

“Large-scale military systems and cash assistance to the government,” would be frozen, a spokesman said, “pending credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections.”

Guess who just had to chime in…

Israel alarmed about US cut in aid to Egypt

Officials and experts in Israel have responded with a mixture of disappointment and alarm to the news that the United States planned to reduce its military aid to Egypt in response to this summer’s brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and the continuing violence it has spawned.

Israel views the aid as part and parcel of its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, and essential to the maintenance of stability in the region.

Israel has been involved in the Obama administration’s discussions on the cuts. Israeli officials would not comment publicly on the matter in Jerusalem on Wednesday, in part because there had been no official announcement yet from Washington.

But one Israeli official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate diplomacy involved, warned that the implications of punitive cuts in Egypt’s aid could go far beyond the issue of Israeli-Egyptian relations. The United States was playing with fire, he said.

“You cannot disassemble the peace treaty and take out this part or that part,” the official said. “But there are other elements in this conundrum. This is not just about Israel. This is about America’s standing in the Arab world.”

Noting that military aid was not just about tank shipments but also a sign of presence and commitment, he added: “If America is seen to be turning its back on Egypt, an old ally, how will it be seen? People will see it as the United States dropping a friend.”

Asked about US aid to Egypt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said he would speak only “in general terms,” but made it clear that any withdrawal of aid was a concern.

“Our interest is basically having the peace with Egypt continue,” Mr Netanyahu said in a radio interview last week.

“That peace was premised on American aid to Egypt, and I think that for us is the most important consideration, and I’m sure that’s taken under advisement in Washington.”

Could you imagine the potential ramifications if the Likudniks pulled out of the Camp David Accord, or even the Oslo Accords…? Sorta pick up their ball and go home in a snit scenario…!

Like this even…

Palestine, Israel officials argue at IPU summit

Heated arguments erupted between Palestinian and Israeli delegations in meetings during the 129th summit of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, speaker of Fatah-affiliated lawmakers official Azzam al-Ahmad said Wednesday.

Al-Ahmad told a local Palestinian radio station Wednesday that the Israeli delegation exploded with anger when the Palestinian and the Moroccan delegations suggested including the issues of Jerusalem and settlement activities on a meeting agenda.

He added that the speaker of the Israeli delegation started to shout and interrupted speakers in a way that angered international and European delegations.

He said that President Mahmoud Abbas “agreed to resume peace negotiations while settlement activities were ongoing,” added al-Ahmad. The Israeli delegation eventually withdrew from the meeting.

Al-Ahmad said he responded to the Israeli official’s claims by highlighting that the Palestinian Authority “informed the Inter-Parliamentary Union that the Palestinian side agreed to resume negotiations only after receiving an official message from the United States confirming that all aspects of settlement activities are illegal.”

In summation, don’t ya think that if we stopped stirring them up in the Middle East, we’d be a little safer at home…? No…?