Daily Archives: March 6, 2012

Netanyahu in AIPAC speech: Israel cannot afford to wait much longer on Iran

Israel’s prime minister warns of the dangers of a nuclear Iran, which he says will provide a ‘nuclear umbrella’ to terrorists; in earlier meeting, New York Times reports Obama said talk of war is increasing oil prices.

Haaretz

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at the AIPAC conference in Washington on Monday, called on the international community to acknowledge the fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

“Amazingly, some people refuse to acknowledge that Iran’s goal is to develop nuclear weapons. You see, Iran claims that it’s enriching uranium to develop medical research. Yeah, right,” Netanyahu said.

“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it?  That’s right, it’s a duck. But this duck is a nuclear duck and it’s time the world started calling a duck a duck,” he said.

Netanyahu reiterated the fact that Israel reserves its right to protect itself. He added that for Israel all options remain on the table. “I will never gamble with the security of Israel.,” he explained.

Netanyahu warned of the dangers of a nuclear Iran. “A nuclear-armed Iran would dramatically increase terrorism by giving terrorists a nuclear umbrella,” he said. “That means that Iran’s terror proxies like Hezbollah, Hamas will be emboldened to attack America, Israel, and others because they will be backed by a power with atomic weapons.”

Drawing a parallel with arguments against attacking Iran, Netanyahu said the War Department explained that such an operation at Auschwitz could provoke “even more vindictive action by the Germans”.

“Think about that, even more vindictive action than the Holocaust,” Netanyahu said. He dismissed arguments that an attack on Iran would exact too heavy a toll by provoking Iranian retaliation. He held up a copy of a 1944 letter from the U.S. War Department rejecting world Jewish leaders’ entreaties to bomb the Auschwitz death camp because it would be “ineffective” and “might provoke even more vindictive action by the Germans.”

“My friends, 2012 is not 1944,” Netanyahu said. “Today, we have a state of our own. And the purpose of the Jewish state is to defend Jewish lives and to secure the Jewish future.”

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu met with U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House and said that Israel has not made any decision on attacking Iran to stop its nuclear program.

Sources who were briefed on the meeting afterward said Obama and Netanyahu agreed to increase their coordination on Iran. Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz is to visit Washington in two weeks to discuss the issue with U.S. officials.

During their meeting, Obama told Netanyahu that Israel and the United States have an identical goal with regard to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“I have no intention of trying to contain the Iranian issue,” Obama reportedly told Netanyahu.

“I think that there’s time for diplomacy and in any case I am not taking any options off the table, including a military option.”

The New York Times reported that Obama said that discussion of a possible strike on Iran was leading to global oil price increases, and was undermining sanctions on Iran.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded that U.S. officials’ remarks against an Iran strike may be showing weakness to the Iran regime, according to the New York Times report.

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LOL!!! Santorum tells organized world Jewry that Iran, not Israel, is an ‘existential threat’ to free world

US Republican candidate tells AIPAC conference that US should set clear ultimatum for Iran to tear down nuclear facilities.

jpost.com

US Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum addressed the annual AIPAC policy conference on Tuesday, warning against the dangers of Iran, which he referred to as “an existential threat to freedom-loving people across the world.”

Santorum slammed US President Barack Obama for not working to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Santorum said that Iran was intent on obtaining nuclear weapons and that the US must issue a clear ultimatum for them to tear down their nuclear facilities.

“Any further delay from action now encourages the Iranian regime to not take America seriously…and not stop in their quest for a nuclear weapon,” Santorum stated.

“We must be prepared to set an ultimatum, and if that ultimatum is not met we must tell them that if they do not tear down those facilities, we will tear them down ourselves,” he added.

Santorum said that his comments on Iran were not “bellicosity and war mongering,” but rather they were an attempt to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, “a nightmare for all freedom loving people.”

The Republican candidate stated that under a Santorum administration there would be no daylight between US and Israeli desires.

Santorum’s AIPAC speech was scheduled to be followed by addresses from his Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. The Republican candidates were in the middle of “Super Tuesday,” consisting of primaries in ten states.

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Canada bans all dealings with Syrian central bank, closes Syria embassy

Haaretz

Canada imposed fresh sanctions on Syria on Tuesday, banning all dealings with the central bank and seven cabinet ministers as part of a campaign to stop President Bashar Assad’s crackdown against rebels.

The measures also prohibit the provision or acquisition of financial or other related services to or from anyone in Syria or those acting on Syria’s behalf.

Canada also announced on Monday that it was closing its embassy in Syria. Britain, the United States and France also have already closed their embassies in the country. Canada has been advising its citizens to leave for some time.

“The continuing, appalling violence perpetrated by the Assad regime on the people of Syria compels us to again tighten the vice on those responsible … Our message remains clear: Assad must go,” Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement.

The sanctions are the sixth round imposed by Ottawa on Damascus.

Earlier on Monday, China said on it will send an envoy to Syria in a fresh bid to help staunch violence there that has divided Beijing from Western and Arab powers demanding stronger action to rein in the forces of President Bashar Assad.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Li Huaxin, the country’s former ambassador to Syria, will visit there for two days from Tuesday, promoting a six-point plan that Beijing issued on the weekend as the basis of a solution to the violence.

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John McCain: U.S. should bomb Syria

politico.com

Arizona Republican John McCain on Monday became the first senator to call for  U.S.-led air strikes to stop the slaughter of unarmed civilians being carried  out by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition  groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to  stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. The only realistic way to do so is  with foreign airpower,” McCain, a Vietnam War veteran and the top Republican on  the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a speech on the Senate floor.

“Therefore, at the request of [opposition forces], the United  States should lead an international effort to protect key population centers in  Syria, especially in the north, through airstrikes on Assad’s forces.”

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen.  Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), two of McCain’s closest allies on foreign policy,  issued a statement Monday night saying they backed McCain’s position toward  Syria.

An estimated 7,500 Syrians have been killed by Assad’s military during the  past year, including hundreds in the city of Homs which has been targeted by  tank and artillery attacks.

McCain, the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, said the goal of the U.S. air  strikes should be to “establish and defend safe havens” in Syria where  opposition forces can organize and plot political and military attacks against  Assad. The international community could also deliver humanitarian and military  assistance to these safe zones, including food, water, weapons and training.

“Increasingly, the question for U.S. policy is not whether foreign forces  will intervene militarily in Syria. We can be confident that Syria’s neighbors  will do so eventually, if they have not already. Some kind of intervention will  happen, with us or without us,” McCain said. “So the real question for U.S.  policy is whether we will participate in this next phase of the conflict in  Syria, and thereby increase our ability to shape an outcome that is beneficial  to the Syrian people, and to us.

“I believe we must.”

So far, the Obama administration has opposed military intervention in Syria,  believing that tougher economic sanctions and greater diplomatic pressure will  drive Assad from power.

But McCain said the U.S. has little to show after a year of diplomatic  efforts, which have failed to halt what the senator called Assad’s “killing  spree.” McCain drew comparisons between Syria and Libya, where NATO forces  conducted air strikes against the armed forces of dictator Muammar Qadhafi.

“The kinds of mass atrocities that NATO intervened in Libya to prevent in  Benghazi are now a reality in Homs,” McCain said. “Indeed, Syria today is the  scene of some of the worst state-sponsored violence since Milosevic’s war crimes  in the Balkans, or Russia’s annihilation of the Chechen city of Grozny.”

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