Netanyahu’s “Red Line” is Just a Red Herring

 America’s SBDC

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By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III | October 1, 2012

– The HuffingtonPost and other sources have reported that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahurequested a meeting with President Obama to discuss tightening restrictions onIran and President Obama has rejected his request. Netanyahu has been trying toget the Obama administration to support Israel’s attempt to set a “red line” orboundary around Iran’s nuclear development program. Netanyahu stated during a recenttrip to Bulgaria, “The world tells Israel ‘wait, there’s still time.’ AndI say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when…Those in the international community whorefuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a redlight before Israel…” The Obama administration has deniedIsrael’s claim that the President has rejected the request for a meeting.According to NBC News, the White House has stated, “The president arrives inNew York for the U.N. on Monday, September 24th, and departs on Tuesday,September 25th… The prime minister doesn’t arrive in New York untillater in the week. They’re simply not in the city at the same time.” {{more}} Did Netanyahu request a meeting and didthe Obama administration reject the request is not the real issue. What American’sneed to ask is why is Israel, a purported ally trying to bait the US intoanother senseless war? Also, why does Netanyahu feel so comfortable insultingand trying to bully an American president? There is a subtle yet significantdifference between the US and Israeli policies towards Iran. President Obamahas clearly stated his objection to a “nuclear armed Iran.” “My policy isprevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.” The Israeli position focuses onnuclear capability. As Phyllis Bennis from the Institute for Policy Studies writes, the Israeli position is much more dangerous.”There is no accepted international definition of “nuclearcapability.” Usually it refers to some combination of access to enricheduranium or the ability to enrich uranium, and the scientific know-how to followthe how-to-build-a-nuke instructions that are pretty much all over theinternet. Like every country that produces nuclear power Iran has all that.” There’s a very big difference between anuclear bomb and isotopes for medical purposes such as cancer treatment.There’s a very big difference between nuclear armament and capability. There’san even bigger difference between capability and delivery and all crediblestudies show that Iran is years away from that possibility. What’s behind Netanyahu’s rhetoricalescalation? Is he attempting to impact US elections with his own ReaganesqueOctober Surprise? Some believe that he’s attempting to lay the foundation foran Israeli attack on Iran as early as October. By Netanyahu’s calculation, anIsraeli attack before the November 6 election would force President Obama toprovide US military support to avoid alienating Jewish voters. Others arguethat this is a veiled attempt to draw the US into backing Israel’s artificiallyand unilaterally determined “red lines” making it easier for Israel toconstruct the case for Iranian violations and a rational for war. Netanyahu’s jingoistic rhetoric does notappear to be backed by some in his own government. Israeli Defense MinisterEhud Barak is on the record as stating, “Despite the differences andimportance of maintaining Israel’s independence of action, we must remember theimportance of partnership with the United States and try as much as possiblenot to hurt that…” Reuters has reported as recently asMarch, “The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree onthree things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has notdecided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverablenuclear warhead.” Defense Secretary Panetta said on Face the Nation, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon?No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’swhat concerns us. And our red line to Iran is do not develop a nuclear weapon.That’s a red line for us.” By not being lured into Netanyahu’s trapPresident Obama has shown some backbone and done the right thing. He, like therest of America has seen this movie before; it was called Iraq. False claims ofan imminent nuclear threat that led America into a protracted unnecessary warwere wrong then and are wrong now. American’s need to ask themselves whattype of “ally” or “friend” tells lies of catastrophic proportions in an attemptto entice the other into war? If “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” thensurely, allies don’t allow each other to attack innocent sovereign nations andstart a regional war of cataclysmic proportions. Netanyahu’s “red line” is just a redherring. Go to,, email: © 2012 InfoWave Communications, LLC.