Opinion

On Iran: A Round of Opinions

Bill Kristol and Michael Makovsky, in The Weekly Standard, Oct. 14, 2013

“Netanyahu said at the U.N. that ‘in standing alone, Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others.’ This … echoes Churchill in his July 1940 speech: ‘We are fighting by ourselves alone; but we are not fighting for ourselves alone.” Churchill asserted that London, ‘which enshrines the title deeds of human progress,’ was defending civilization itself. So today, if Israel – an outpost of human progress in the Middle East – decides that she has no choice but to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Israel will not be fighting for herself alone.”

Henry Kissinger to President Richard Nixon in 1970 on Israel and the very predicament we see today. [From White House Years by Henry Kissinger]

“Israel, with her survival at stake, cannot afford to take chances…. The nature of the Israeli’s situation is bound to influence their interpretation of ambiguous events. We, on the other hand, have an incentive to minimize such evidence, since the consequences of finding violations are so unpleasant. Violations force us to choose between doing something about them and thus risk the blowup of our initiative; or doing nothing and thus renege on our promises to Israel, posing the threat of her taking military action. Accordingly, we tend to lean over backwards to avoid the conclusion that the Arabs are violating the cease-fire unless the evidence is unambiguous.”

Bret Stephens on France’s action, as a member of the negotiating group, in stopping, for now, a ‘very, very bad deal’ with Iran. Wall Street Journal, Nov. 11, 2013

“This now puts the French at the head of a de facto Axis of Reality, the other prominent members of which are Saudi Arabia and Israel. In this Axis, strategy is not a game of World of Warcraft conducted via avatars in a virtual reality. ‘We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid,’ a defensive John Kerry said over the weekend on Meet the Press, sounding uncomfortably like Otto West (Kevin Kline) from A Fish Called Wanda. When you’ve reached the ‘don’t call me stupid’ stage of diplomacy, it means the rest of the world has your number.”

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