Israelis Puzzled by Dempsey Comments Opposing Strike on Iran

Dempsey described a potential Israeli strike as dangerous and counterproductive, in a break with typical deference to Israeli warmongers

by John Glaser, September 01, 2012

A senior Israeli official on Saturday told the Jerusalem Post he was confused by recent statements from US military chief Gen. Martin Dempsey the US would not support an Israeli strike on Iran.

“Dempsey’s comments are strange in that they would seem to contradict the continual statements from the White House that the security and defense cooperation between Israel and the US has never been as close,” the senior official said.

On Thursday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said he did not want to be “complicit” in an Israeli military strike on Iran, which he said would be dangerous and counterproductive.

He warned that an attack by Israel would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program.” This falls in line with previous analysis by the Obama administration and experts that Iran’s nuclear enrichment is too redundant to be completely destroyed by Israeli attacks and that such a move may encourage the Iranians to actually start making weapons to serve as a deterrent for further strikes.

For now, Dempsey said, whether Iran even wants nuclear weapons is inconclusive. But he did warn that diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely.”

The Israelis might be forgiven for being confused by Dempsey’s blunt statement of opposition to an Israeli strike, given President Obama’s frequent statements in line with Israeli warmongering that “all options are on the table,” a Washington euphemism for war. The administration’s ratcheting up of tensions with Iran through tough guy diplomacy and harsh economic sanctions also sends signals of willingness for war.

But the administration has actually been quite clear that they don’t support a military strike on Iran, if in no other way than the constant reiterations of the intelligence consensus that Iran actually does not even have a nuclear weapons program, and thus no threat is imminent and no attack is justified.

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