Is Israel becoming that “burdensome stone” around the neck of the US?
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people;
And it shall come to pass in that day,
that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. [space size=12]
Who’s side is the US on? Is Israel a “burdensome stone” for the US?
1-15-12 [space size=12]
US, Israel in open rift over Iran: Big joint military drill cancelled – www.debka.com [space size=10]
US-Israeli discord over action against Iran went into overdrive Sunday, Jan. 15 when the White House called off Austere Challenge 12, the biggest joint war game the US and Israel have every staged, ready to go in spring, in reprisal for a comment by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon in an early morning radio interview. He said the United States was hesitant over sanctions against Iran’s central bank and oil for fear of a spike in oil prices.
The row between Washington and Jerusalem is now in the open, undoubtedly causing celebration in Tehran.
Nothing was said about the 9,000 US troops who landed in Israeli earlier this month for a lengthy stay. Neither was the forthcoming visit by Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, Thursday mentioned.
The exercise was officially postponed from spring 2012 to the last quarter of the year over “budgetary constraints” – an obvious diplomatic locution for cancellation. It was issued urgently at an unusually early hour Washington time, say debkafile’s sources, to underscore the Obama administration’s total disassociation from any preparations to strike Iran and to stress its position that if an attack took place, Israel alone would be accountable. [space size=10]
Israel’s Deputy Prime minister further inflamed one of the most acute disagreements in the history of US-Israeli relations over the Obama administration’s objections to an Israel military action against Iran’s nuclear sites in any shape or form. Yaalon ventured into tricky terrain when he pointed out that US Congress had shown resolve by enacting legislation for sanctions with real bite. But the White House “hesitated.” He went on to say: “A military operation is the last resort, but Israel must be ready to defend itself.
The friction was already fueled last week by the deep resentment aroused in Israel by Washington’s harsh condemnation of the assassination last Wednesday, Jan. 11, of the nuclear scientist Prof. Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, and absolute denial of any US involvement. [space size=10
Although Tehran has since accused the United States of the attack, the White House treated it as the defiant sign of an approaching unilateral Israeli military operation against Iran to which the administration is adamantly opposed. [space size=10]
Friday, Jan. 13, the Pentagon announced the substantial buildup of combat power around Iran, stationing nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait – two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit – and keeping two aircraft carriers the region: The USS Carl Vinson, the USS John Stennis and their strike groups. [space size=10]
Debkafile’s military sources report that a third aircraft carrier and strike group, the USS Abraham Lincoln, is also on its way to the Persian Gulf. [space size=10]
This massive military buildup indicates that either President Obama rates the odds of an Israel attack as high and is bolstering the defenses of US military assets against Iranian reprisals – or, alternatively, that the United States intends to beat Israel to the draw and attack Iran itself. [space size=10]
The official purpose of Gen. Dempsey’s visit next Thursday was supposed to be coordination between the US armed forces and the IDF. But his main object was another try to dissuade Israel’s government and military leaders from plans to strike Iran without Washington’s prior consent. [space size=10]
The “budgetary constraints” pretext for cancelling Austere Challenge 12 is hard to credit since most of the money has already been spent in flying 9,000 US troops into Israel this month. Although the exercise in which they were to have participated was billed as testing multiple Israeli and US air and missile defense systems, the exercise’s commander, US Third Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc, announced that the event was more a “deployment” than an “exercise.” [space size=10]
Its cancellation leaves Washington and Jerusalem at loggerheads in four main areas:
1. President Obama believes he is rushing through the sanctions against Iran’s central bank CBI and oil restrictions with all possible speed. He needs time to persuade more governments to support him. Israel sees little real progress in the crawling diplomatic bid for backers and is impatient for action. At the rate the sanctions are going through, they will not be in place before the end of 2012 and by then, Iran will have already acquired a nuclear weapon. [space size=10]
Israeli leaders also suspect that the Obama administration may be foot-dragging deliberately in the hope of encouraging Iran to enter into negotiations and so avoid a military showdown. They point out that all previous rounds of talks were exploited for Iran’s forward leaps in their nuclear weapon drive, free of international hassle.
2. President Obama insists on the US acting alone in attacking Iran with no Israeli military involvement. This would leave him free to decide exclusively when and how to stage an operation. He is counting on the tightened military and intelligence cooperation he has instituted between the two armed forces and agencies to safeguard Washington against the surprise of a lone Israeli action. [space size=10]
But Israel has declined to make this commitment – even in the face of US officials’ efforts at persuasion. [space size=10]
3. US military strategists are counting on an Iranian reprisal for an attack on its nuclear sites to be restrained and limited to certain US military assets in the region, Israeli targets and oil installations in the Persian Gulf, including a temporary and partial closure of the Strait of Hormuz, through which one fifth of the world’s oil passes. [space size=10]
They expect Israel to refrain from striking back for Iranian attacks and to leave the payback option entirely in American hands. US officials have said they fear an Israeli overkill would tip the entire American military operation into imbalance and generate unforeseen consequences. [space size=10]
The incoming US troops were therefore armed with the sophisticated missile interceptorTHAAD systems (easily transportable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense hit-to-kill weapons) to show the Israeli government that the US would stay on top of all the military moves against Iran – offensive and defensive alike. [space size=10]
On these three points, the US and Israel disagree. Neither Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, nor Defense Minister Ehud Barak or Deputy Prime Minster Yaalon, who are responsible for all decisions on Iran, are willing to put all their trust for defending Israel in American hands or relinquish unilateral military options against Iran. They believe US officials when they assert that the administration is prepared to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, but they want to see proof of the pudding and actions to back up the rhetoric. In the light of credible intelligence that Iran is very close to achieving its nuclear goal, Israel is holding on to its military option over American objections.[space size=14]
Russia will be a major player
Russia: Attack on Tehran is Attack on Moscow – Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu – www.israelnationalnews.com
Russia has given Iran its bear hug and warns Israel and the West that an attack on Tehran would be considered an attack on Moscow.
ITAR-TASS/Russian Federation Russia has given Iran its bear hug and warns Israel and the West that an attack on Tehran would be considered an attack on Moscow. The threat heightens the prospect of World War III in the event of a military strike on Iran.
“Iran is our neighbor,” Russia’s outgoing ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, told reporters in Brussels. “And if Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.”
Kremlin Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev accused Israel of provoking the United States towards war against Iran, the Russian Interfax news agency reported Friday. “But at the same time, we believe that any country has the right to have what it needs to feel comfortable, including Iran,” he added.
Rogozin warned on Friday that more attacks on Iran could cause “a scorching Arab Summer.”
Russia also has come to the defense of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, warning Western nations not to intervene in Syria with military forces. Russia is a major arms supplier to Syria and has a heavy investment in Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Japan also is drifting towards Iran, backtracking from its promise last week to back American sanctions aimed at persuading Iran to halt its unsupervised nuclear development.
Last week’s assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist has aroused more “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” protest rallies in Iran, where the scientist was buried on Friday.
Iranian state radio said the 32-year-old scientist was involved with enriched uranium, a key ingredient for a nuclear weapon.
Iran could be the trigger for the upcoming war!
Middle East may destabilize because of “intensifying” Iran nuclear crisis, warns William Hague
William Hague has warned that “intensifying” tensions with Iran could escalate into a crisis that destabilizes the entire Middle East unless the country abandons its nuclear enrichment program.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the Foreign Secretary expressed concerns that Iran’s actions could spark a nuclear arms race, and called on the Iranian government to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the growing confrontation.
“We do have to confront this problem, because Iran has embarked on a course which threatens the whole region of the Middle East with nuclear proliferation,” Mr Hague said.
“It is an intensifying problem that we have over their nuclear programme. And so there is a risk that this will become a greater crisis as 2012 goes on.”
Mr Hague’s comments came as the European Union prepares to agree an embargo on Iranian oil in eight days’ time, in response to Iran’s decision to step up its efforts to produce the materials for a nuclear weapon.
They followed last week’s assassination of a fourth Iranian nuclear scientist in two years, blamed by Iran on Mossad, the Israeli security service; recent missile tests by Iran; and continuing threats by its clerical regime to close the narrow marine artery through which more than a third of the West’s seaborne oil reserves pass.
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Pastor Thomas Holm
The ministry of The Joseph Plan