||This article appears in the May 29, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Bibi Fails To Deliver for London
In Meeting with Obama
by Dean Andromidas and Jeffrey Steinberg
[PDF version of this article]
May 22Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanhayu came to Washington this week, with one overriding mission: to win concessions from the Obama Administration for London's planned military strikes against Iran's purported nuclear weapons program. After nearly four hours of talks at the White House on May 18, Netanyahu failed to extract any agreement from President Barack Obama, on either the Iran war plan, or on his efforts to sabotage any movement towards a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
As a result of the standoff, London is furious at their Israeli puppet. Already, under British leadership, the key European nations have thrown their unconditional backing to the Netanyahu government, in pushing confrontation with Tehran. This casts Europe in the war camp, and places even greater importance on the Obama Administration's planned efforts to begin talks with the Iranian leadership.
Sources close to the Obama Administration confirmed to EIR that Middle East special envoy George Mitchell, along with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were "all over" the Obama-Netanyahu talks, to make sure that the President would not flinch. In late April, White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers had tried, unsuccessfully, to hijack and sabotage the Administration's Middle East peace efforts, in remarks at the Israeli Embassy on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the State of Israel. Mitchell, according to the sources, insisted that Summers be kept away from the Obama-Netanyahu talks, and the President reportedly agreed to the demand.
Netanyahu's efforts to steamroll the President into adopting Israel's fabricated claims that Iran is but weeks or months away from a deployable nuclear weapon, were dealt a real blow just hours before the Oval Office session between the President and the Prime Minister, when a 12-person U.S.-Russian scientific team, sponsored by the EastWest Institute, delivered a report to President Obama's National Security Advisor, Gen. James Jones (ret.), concluding that Iran is, at minimum, five years away from any credible nuclear weapon. The report buttressed standing U.S. intelligence assessments, downplaying any imminent Iranian nuclear threat.
President Obama, it must be added, is no novice on the issue of Israel and Palestine. Among his acquaintances during the formative years of his political career in Chicago were some leading Arab scholars and activists, including Dr. Rashid Khalidi, now a professor at Columbia University, but a longtime Chicago area figure, and frequent dinner partner of Barack Obama, when he was an Illinois state senator.
Now, look for things to get really nasty, commented Lyndon LaRouche. London is furious that the United States is insisting on diplomacy with Tehran, and will now move to blow things up in the Persian Gulf. LaRouche said that the only solution is to get really rough with Netanyahu, and to explicitly call him out on his British agentry, to force him to change horses, and start taking his orders from Washington.
Netanyahu's British agentry dates back to his father's service as chief of staff and successor to British agent and Likud Party mentor Vladimir Jabotinsky. He takes his orders from London, not from anyone inside Israel. A strike against Iran has nothing to do with Iran's alleged nuclear program, but is aimed at keeping all of Southwest Asia in a state of perpetual crisis, chaos, and war. Such an attack by Israel against Iran would, indeed, be suicidal.
LaRouche said to look out for a flight forward on Netanyahu's part, once he gets back to Israel.
Totally Opposite Approaches
Netanyahu and Obama were speaking different languages. While Obama clearly articulated his commitment to a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including an end to all Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian territory, and implementation of all previous agreements, Netanyahu refused to say the two magic words, "Palestinian State." And while Obama laid out his intention to stop Iran's purported nuclear program through diplomatic and non-military means, Netanyahu spoke of a end-of-the-year "deadline," after which Israel will have to take up "other options."
Netanyahu tried to link Iran and the peace process by asserting that, as long as Iran is posing a danger, no peace is possible with the Palestinians. Obama replied, "If there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way. To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestiniansbetween Palestinians and Israelisthen I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with the potential Iranian threat."
To make the point clear to Netanyahu, the Obama Administration's "hard cops," the Clintonians, reaffirmed the Administration's policies. On the day after the meeting, Director of Central Intelligence Leon Panetta was quoted by the political quarterly Global Viewpoint, warning that if Israel were to attack Iran, Netanyahu knows that it would lead to "big trouble." "The threat posed by Iran has our full attention," Panetta said.
The judgment of the U.S. intelligence community is that Iran, at a minimum, is keeping open the option to develop deliverable nuclear weapons. It is our judgment that Iran halted weaponization in 2003, but it continues to develop uranium enrichment technology and nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
At a press conference after her meeting with Netanyahu at the State Department, Secretary of State Clinton reiterated U.S. support for the two-state solution. "I think the President was very clear yesterday in his statement that he wants to see a stop to the settlements. I hosted a dinner for Prime Minister Netanyahu later in the day at the State Department, and we reiterated that that is the position and policy of the United States government."
On May 19, however, the day after Netanyahu's White House meeting, an unnamed Israeli official reiterated Netanyahu's threat, and was quoted by Israel's Channel 10 TV saying that Obama's insistence on engagement with Iran would force Israel to make a "difficult decision" by the end of 2009.
Iranian 'Nuclear Threat' a Fake
On the same day that Netanyahu met Obama, a report was released by a blue ribbon panel of 12 Russian and American scientists, who concluded that the idea of an imminent nuclear threat from Iran, as posed by the Bush neocons, the British, and Netanyahu, was nothing but a fake. Published by the New York-based EastWest Institute, the report was endorsed by former Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry, and was presented to National Security Advisor Jones, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.
The report should give a cold shower to the hot-headed "let's bomb Iran lobby." While unequivocally asserting that a nuclear-armed Iran would be unacceptable and destabilizing, the report explained that, since Iran has only 1,010 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, under the most favorable circumstances, it would take one to three years to enrich it to a high grade and create a nuclear devicenot a warhead, but a device. It would then take another five years to develop a warhead with the power of a perhaps 10 kilotons and a weight of 1,000 kg. On top of that, the Iranians would only have enough enriched uranium to make one bomb, which, far from being a deterrent, would more likely provoke a preemptive attack from a potential enemy.
As for Iran's missile technology, despite the Ahmadinejad government's public statements, it is North Korean liquid fuel rocket technology, based on old Soviet Scud missiles. The technology can produce missiles with low thrust and poor accuracy. Iran's most powerful rockets, the Shahab 3 and 3m, are copies of the North Korean Nodong missile, whose engine is a scaled-up Scud model with only twice its thrust. Tehran has no other technology. The Nodong and the Iranian Shahab 3 have a maximum range of 1,100 km with a 1,000 kg warhead. The only way Iran could produce an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), let alone an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), is to strap together two or more Nodong-type missiles, to produce a weapon of dubious effectiveness. The report underlines that neither Iran, nor its would-be missile technology suppliers, North Korea or Pakistan, have the scientific, technical, or industrial depth to develop an IRBM or an ICBM that is worth the trouble of putting a warhead on it.
The report also determined that the proposed U.S. missile shield in Central Europe would not work for some very fundamental technical reasons, including the fact that the trajectory of a missile fired from Iran simply could not be adequately detected by the system's radars, if Iran took some rudimentary countermeasures. On the other hand, the deployment of the forward radars would be able to detect missiles fired from European Russia with an effectiveness that would give the United States a strategic edge over Russia, and therefore violate the ABM Treaty.
While the report said Iran most likely had the capability to produce a nuclear device eventually, the threat was far from imminent. It recommended the use of non-military means, such as diplomacy, sanctions, and other international measures, to convince Iran to give up any designs it has in acquiring nuclear weapons.
Since Iran does not have the capability to produce IRBM or ICBMs, nor is there any evidence that it has decided to do so, the report concludes that the deployment of a U.S. ABM system in Europe should be cancelled, after which "the United States and Russia could explore in a serious fashion the possibility of cooperation in ballistic missile defense.... A wide range of options could be explored, including the possibility of boost-phase missile defense."
Sykes-Picot Powers Move Against U.S.
Just as in 1916, when Great Britain and its stooges in France divided up the Ottoman Empire with the secret Sykes-Picot agreement, the British are moving with their European stooges to sabotage this latest U.S. effort to come to an agreement with Iran. On May 20, the French daily Le Canard Enchaîné, an intelligence leak sheet, ran an article entitled "Washington and the Europeans Are Not Talking the Same Language to the Israelis." Written by editor-in-chief Claude Angely, the article reported that when he was received in the White House, Netanyahu knew that if "he resisted Obama's pressure, nobody in Paris, London, Berlin or Rome would make life more difficult for him." Quite the contrary.
In a meeting organized tens days earlier in Berlin, in which five representatives of the foreign ministers of France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Spain participated, the question was raised of "reinforcement of agreements between the European Union and Israel," the important stipulation being: "there will be no attempt to condition that reinforcement of relations with Israel with any demand," e.g., the creation of a Palestinian State or the freezing of settlements, thus freeing Israel from a very important potential pressure point.
This move represents a reversal in policy, since certain European leaders had hoped to make Israel's hope for more favorable economic links with the European Union contingent on the peace processespecially since the EU countries are the biggest contributors of aid to the Palestinians.
This reversal of EU policy was no doubt the work of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was the chief architect, along with the Bush Administration, of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blair is now the special representative of the Quartet of Middle East mediators, which includes the United States, Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union. While his mandate is to coordinate economic aid to the Palestinians, he is much more welcome in Prime Minister Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem than in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's office in Ramallah. After meeting Netanyahu, Blair proclaimed that the Israeli Prime Minister can become the peace maker, an assertion that Netanyahu would be the last to believe.