A Weekend in the Israeli/neocon Campaign for War With Iran

Here are three articles from Reuters and one from CNN about the back and forth between Israeli and U.S. officials and politicians over this last weekend:

First, via CNN, Sen. Lindsey Graham said the U.S. should “neuter the regime’s ability to wage war” instead of targeting strictly nuclear sites. It seems he already foresees that war — whether an all out attack or just “surgical strikes” — is inevitable. Graham is, of course, a close ally of John McCain, who called for bombing Iran in song way back in 2007, and neocon Joe Lieberman, who has called for attacking Iran and has  downplayed the consequences.

Again on Saturday, the hawkish Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed skepticism that nuclear talks between Iran and the West — due to take place this month, although the location and agenda are to be determined — could work.

By Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington telling U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, “The only way to ensure that Iran will not go nuclear is to create a credible threat of military action.” In other words, sanctions aren’t enough to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

On Sunday night, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates responded that sanctions were indeed working. But he echoed Biden with the mantra that all options remain on the table: “We are prepared to do what is necessary.”

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Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.