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Obama Dispatches Donilon to Israel

by Keith Koffler on February 17, 2012, 6:49 pm

As the confrontation with a defiant Iran over its nuclear program grows, President Obama is sending National Security Adviser Tom Donilon to Israel for consultations.

The United States and its allies have in recent weeks ratcheted up sanctions against Iran, but so far with no noticeable effect on slowing the country’s nuclear weapons program.

Donilon’s visit follows a trip by the chief of Israel’s spy agency Mossad to Washington earlier this month, reportedly to talk about the possibility of bombing Iran. Obama and Netanyahu spoke by phone January 12.

From the White House:

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon will travel to Israel from February 18-20 for consultations with senior Israeli officials about a range of issues, including Iran, Syria, and other regional security issues. National Security Advisor Donilon’s travel is the latest in a series of regular, high-level consultations between the United States and Israel, consistent with our strong bilateral partnership, and part of our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Daily Telegraph is reporting that senior Obama administration officials have determined that sanctions are unlikely to force Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Officials in key parts of the Obama administration are increasingly convinced that sanctions will not deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear programme, and believe that the US will be left with no option but to launch an attack on Iran or watch Israel do so.

But there is a strong current of opinion within the administration – including in the Pentagon and the state department – that believes sanctions are doomed to fail, and that their principal use now is in delaying Israeli military action, as well as reassuring Europe that an attack will only come after other means have been tested.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Israel in October, and CIA Director David Petraeus is reportedly in regular contact with senior Israeli officials.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin H February 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Obama has turned our military into a laughing stock. Did you see the latest training exercise with the men wearing boobs and maternity bellies? I’m almost hoping Israel goes ahead without us. Maybe we need some more “leadership from behind.”

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Susan February 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I saw that article Robin. How degrading to the men. The chickification of our military as Rush would say.

If Israel does attack Iran, I hope they do it on their own. This administration has very loose lips.

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Sadie February 17, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Loose lips and a forked tongue.

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Star February 18, 2012 at 11:53 am

Now that paints a pix.

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rawheadrex February 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm

People need to realize islam is committed to the annihilation of the Jews and has been since mohammed did not find favor with them when he presented his “vision” of some obscure moon god who inspired him to write the drivel that is the qu’ran when he was not molesting young female relatives.
Israel is a nation, of however indefinable geographic location, that has existed some six thousand or so years. It is dedicated to its own survival by necessity and has withstood maniacal attempts to eradicate it; the Russian pogroms, the Holocaust and even our own KKK, whose members also hated catholics and blacks(the KKK may have been the first equal opportunity organization, which like its government sponsored disciples has produced the dreck(nice Yiddish word appropriate here) that is so common in the PC literature that clogs the minds of people who refuse to think for themselves; i.e., liberals.

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srdem65 February 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

sniff*sniff* I smell war.

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Jack February 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm

don’t see how it can be avoided.

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Knothead February 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Candidate Obama was open to unconditional talks with Iranian president madmanAjihad early in his rise to stupidity. How’s that working out for being a good neighbor in the Middle East?

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wags February 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Whatever happens with Israel and Iran is none of our problem. We don’t have the stomach for another war on behalf of Israel, let them proceed on their own.
I can already hear the saber rattling as Israel goads us into another war.
If you want to spend more trillions in military spending, watch gas prices go to five dollars a gallon and prepare for more dead and wounded men and women listen to Israel or for once let them do the dirty work.

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Sadie February 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm

When and what war was on behalf of Israel? IDF has always fought their own battles and serves the interests of the USA and the free world. Think of Israel as the Normandy in the ME. Lose her, lose everything.

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Shofar February 18, 2012 at 2:15 am

What happens to Israel is our problem. Israel’s destruction would only embolden Ahmadinejad and the radical Islamist to use nuclear weapons on the West. This entire Iran question is not just about Israel, it is about western culture and civilization.

A nuclear Iran could, and I believe would, supply other extremist groups/governments with nuclear weapons, and pose a threat to all of Europe and the US. To think this is simply a Middle East problem shows a lack of understanding of Ahmadinejad and the entire Islamist movement. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that he is waiting for the 12th Imam, and if need be he will start the final confrontation that will bring back the Mahdi.

I would recommend that you study up on Islamic eschatology, and learn what the Shi’a believe. Also, Ahmadinejad’s mother is considered a Sayyida, meaning that she is a direct descendant of Mohammad. With Ahmadinejad’s hard line Shi’a beliefs, and having a mother that is Sayyida, it is no wonder that he feels it is his responsibility to bring back Muhammad al-Mahdi, and the end of times.

As I said, this is NOT about Israel alone. This is about saving western civilization. Those that say we are not at war with Islam maybe correct, but Islam (especially the hard liners) are at war with the West.

Learn, study the religion and its history before you try and pillory Israel. And remember, they are the only true friend the US has in the Middle East.

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wags February 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Sadie,
I hope you don’t have a straight face while writing that.

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ol gator February 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Wags, you did your part presenting the unplugged, ignorant liberal side
which I’m sure aligns with barry hussein’s as well.. Please read & learn
from what the others have posted.. The survival of OUR ONLY ALLY in the region is in real peril ! If Israel goes down, we go down! Those muslim fanatic’s hate runs deep enough to cut our supply of oil in order to impose their evil will upon us!
in other words: mom & dad wont have the gas for their car to get you to the movies…. you’ll have to walk Wags !

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Sadie February 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

wags,

Was thinking the same thing about your comments.

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Shofar February 18, 2012 at 1:55 am

Iran has to have their nuclear program up, running and producing WMDs before January 2013. If they don’t, they face the prospect of a Republican in the WH who will not deal with them as this administration has.

The Mullahs and Ahmadinejad know that their time is growing shorter and shorter. If the GOP wins the WH and take the majority in the Senate and maintains the majority in the House, it will be bye-bye to the madmen in Iran (I hope!).

The problem is that Israel cannot wait to see what the election results will be, and they will need to act sooner than later. It is the cost of survival. Israel face two choices, unilateral action and world condemnation or waiting and the possibility of extermination. The Jewish people waited once before in modern history thinking that madmen can be dealt with logically, and it cost six million lives. I don’t see them making the same mistake.

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Jack February 18, 2012 at 3:48 am

Great posts. That is common sense as Israel can’t afford to wait when its own survival is on the line and staying with Israel is in our best interest and the right thing to do.

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SnarkEsq. February 18, 2012 at 4:56 am

Sorry for being off topic, but I KNEW that MO would be away for a four day ski weekend just like last year. Vail last year, now Aspen. But, yeah, keep playing those class warfare games:

http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/151910

Michelle Obama in Aspen for ski vacation
by Carolyn Sackariason, Aspen Daily News Columnist
Saturday, February 18, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Aspen on Friday afternoon and is here with her daughters for a ski vacation.

Few details about her trip were available. Sources said she is staying at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co. She is reportedly skiing at Buttermilk today, where the Crowns, of Chicago, own a home on the Tiehack side.

Several people have known about the “low-key” vacation, with the Secret Service in town for the past few days scoping out places for the family to relax and enjoy what the resort has to offer.

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo confirmed that he has met with the Secret Service and has loaned seven deputies to help protect the first lady and her family.

“This is not state visit. … I think she has the right and privilege to be able to escape from public life,” he said. “It’s a privilege to have the first lady here.”

Pitkin County Democratic Party Chair Blanca O’Leary said she heard that Obama was visiting but hadn’t gotten confirmation from the White House. O’Leary added that she’s pleased that the first lady has chosen Aspen to spend some down time with her daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Last President’s Day weekend Obama and the girls spent the holiday at Vail and Beaver Creek.

O’Leary noted that there are more Democratic supporters locally than our neighbors to the east.

“I’m very happy she’s here and not at Vail because we have better ski mountains and there was a higher turnout for the president here,” O’Leary said. “I hope she comes back.”

Obama was in Aspen last July when she spoke at the Crowns’ residence in front of about 150 supporters, most of whom paid between $1,000 and $10,000 to attend. The event was a joint fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee and President Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.

In her 28-minute talk, Obama thanked the Crowns — whom she described as personal friends — for hosting the event. She touted her husband’s accomplishments, highlighting that he took over an economy “on the brink of collapse” and nurtured it into “one starting to grow again.”

During conversation with Obama, O’Leary said the first lady was impressed with Aspen.

No public events are scheduled for the first lady’s visit.

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Granny Jan/Janice February 18, 2012 at 7:57 am

Moochelle at least is mooching off of supporters and not staying at a 5 star hotel.

She recently said that she takes the kids skiing to get them out of the “bubble’ that is the big White but I think she just wants to show off her new svelter figure and smoosch with the other 1%ers.

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Star February 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Was there a non-Photoshop-related weight loss?

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sablegsd February 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm
Wigglesworth February 18, 2012 at 9:24 am

Obama is looking at this from a purely political perspective whereas for Israel it is a vital security concern. Obama’s job approval rating has been trending upward and the economy has shown modest improvement so he does not want to do anything that might upset that momentum. Sure his approval rating will go up when the bombs first drop, but what happens to the price of gas if oil flow out of the region is reduced for a month or two? It will surely go up and could hurt the economy and his job approval rating. If Obama had a 40% approval rating and his reelection was looking bleak then it would probably make sense to role the dice and go after Iran a month or so before the election.

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Star February 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

You don;t think M and the tots left because something might jump off, do you?

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Star February 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Also, with this wargaming, remember my former filmmaking partner’s wife’s family right over there in Iran–when we pounce or Israel pounces. Real people getting caught up or hurt.

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Brett February 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Ummm…(raising hand)…’Tom Donilson’…couldn’t we send someone…better?

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Brett February 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm

…I mean, the guy’s a Lobbyist who happened to read some books on Bosnia…

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Mary Walker February 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Sure is JIDF Israeli Firster in here.

Where can I download the latest Hasbara manual?

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Jeff February 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

troll much

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Sadie February 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm

LOL. Thinking of just loading and firing off verbally for starters.

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Jeff February 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Hes getting worried, cause at this point I dont blame Israel one bit if they strike first n soon..

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where is israel February 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I wonder how things would look if this were not election season.

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sablegsd February 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Go Israel. You don’t need comrade downgrades permission to defend your country from the koranimals that he loves.

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