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Published on June 1st, 2010 | by Daniel Luban

18

Neocons to Obama: Keep Quiet on Flotilla, Or Iran Gets It

Michael Rubin:

If Obama decides it is in America’s interest to make an example of Israel after the Gaza flotilla incident in order to win goodwill in Cairo, Beirut, Tehran, and Ankara, then he must also recognize that the leadership in Jerusalem is going to conclude that it cannot trust the United States to safeguard its security, and that therefore it must take matters into its own hands on any number of issues, not the least of which is Iran’s nuclear program. In effect, if the White House decides to come down hard on Israel now, it is the same as giving a green light for Israel to strike Iran.

Rubin quickly claims that he is not engaging in “advocacy” for an Israeli strike on Iran, just as he claims to be opposed to military against Iran in general. (The real question, of course, is not whether bombing Iran would be his first choice but whether he prefers war to containment and deterrence as a last resort). But the threat is clear: keep quiet on the flotilla attack, or Israel starts a war with Iran — thereby destabilizing the region and jeopardizing the U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The obvious word for this is “blackmail”.

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18 Responses to Neocons to Obama: Keep Quiet on Flotilla, Or Iran Gets It

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  1. avatar rfjk says:

    Actually, its becoming increasingly immaterial what the US has to say at the UN or even do regarding Israel’s criminal acts against the ‘Free Gaza Flotilla’ or the I/P crises. Israeli threats or blackmail against the US are useless, when the participation and sponsorship of a state like Turkey in support of Palestinians is a real game changer in the region.

    Recently Turkey and Brazil demonstrated the weakening posture of the US in the region in their overture to the Iranians. I’ll bet the farm Turkey is not alone in this present affair of piracy on the high seas. And a possible clue to other participating states behind the scenes, may be the alacrity with which some states condemned Israel almost immediately after the attack.

  2. avatar rfjk says:

    A further point I failed to make is that Iran has virtually nothing to do with the current crises. Any contribution they would initiate would end as badly as Muammar Gaddafi’s sponsorship with the ‘Free Gaza Movement.’ Turkey is an altogether different problem, and appears to be rapidly becoming Israels biggest problem in the region. Even bigger than a nuclear armed Iran.

  3. avatar Jon Harrison says:

    Blackmail — exactly.

  4. avatar DICKERSON3870 says:

    RE: …the threat is clear: keep quiet on the flotilla attack, or Israel starts a war with Iran — thereby destabilizing the region and jeopardizing the U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The obvious word for this is “blackmail”. – Luban

    MY COMMENT: Look upon this as a great fundraising opportunity for the November elections. By using our veto in the UN Security Council to help Israel avoid accepting responsibility for the consequences of its actions, the Obama administration will be earning many millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the coffers of Democrats. That’s the American way!

    P.S. Haim Saban: “Give us mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money!”
    mo money (03:32) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jukQX2pl2Q

  5. avatar Patrick Cummins says:

    The US is caught now between a rock and a hard place. If it fails to condemn Israel, then its prospects of getting UN approval for sanctions against Iran are bound to diminish greatly. And Israel, which has been pushing strongly for these sanctions, has effectively undermined the chances that they will be instituted.


About the Author

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Daniel Luban is a postdoctoral associate at Yale University. He holds a PhD in politics from the University of Chicago and was formerly a correspondent in the Washington bureau of Inter Press Service.



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