Like many others, I was initially shocked when I read last week that US intelligence had determined with “moderate confidence” that Iran abandoned its quest for nuclear weapons in 2003. Hadn’t US intelligence determined just 11 months earlier with a far greater degree of confidence that Iran was determined, despite the potential consequences, to develop nuclear military power?
From the US Annual Threat Assessment delivered on January 11, 2007:
We assess that Tehran is determined to develop nuclear weapons–despite its international obligations and international pressure.
But then I began to process this development in the context of the rest of the news surrounding it.
Like his father and Bill Clinton before him, President George W. Bush is determined to carve out for himself a positive legacy before the end of his presidency. Mr. Bush can’t do that if his second terms ends with the entire Muslim world hating him. And while there is little hope of convincing the Muslim world to suddenly love America, let alone the Bush Administration, there is no hope whatsoever of that happening if Israel strikes Iran with tacit US approval.
Israeli leaders responded to the US intelligence report by stressing that Israeli intelligence did not concur with the conclusions, and that Israel would still strike Iran if it felt there was no other option.
But an Israel cabinet minister told Time magazine what everyone knows to be true: that the US report had effectively taken the option of a preemptive Israeli strike off the table, since Israel did not intend to attack Iran without the green light the Olmert government believes it needs from Washington.
In addition to that, I believe, as do others I have spoken to, that the findings of this report are part of the overall scheme to divide the Land of Israel.
Again, like his father and Bill Clinton before him, the creation of a Palestinian Arab state would be the jewel in the crown Bush hopes will be his legacy. Bush declared with messianic vigor in 2004 that he would be the one to bring peace to the Middle East, and he is determined to see that pledge through.
However, Mr. Bush only has one year left to get things done, and we are no further along in the “peace” process today than we were 10 years ago. How in the world could this situation possibly be brought to a head in just one year? Well, it certainly won’t if there are other major regional concerns, like a nuclear Iran. So the US took that concern off the table in order to focus maximum attention on ramming through the division of the Land of Israel.
If you ask me, Bush and Rice are not to be believed when they express frustration over the findings of the intelligence report. This is all part of the plan.
Stan has written a must-read analysis of this situation, explaining how the US intelligence report is only the latest piece of evidence that in the end, Israel will stand alone with no national friends or allies.
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