Analysis: Netanyahu nearing decision on Iran strike. Ready to order attack last fall, but Obama pressured against. Two leaders to meet on September 30th at White House.

Netanyahu talking at the cabinet meeting Tuesday morning. (Photo by Emil Salman/Haaretz).

Netanyahu talking at the cabinet meeting Tuesday morning. (Photo by Emil Salman/Haaretz).

(Washington, D.C.) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is nearing a decision on an Iran strike. As he does so, he will soon come to the United States. The Israeli leader and his top national security team will meet with President Obama at the White House on September 30th. The premier will then address the U.N. General Assembly on October 1st.

Netanyahu’s expressed mission: To persuade the U.S. and Western powers to intensify — not ease up on – pressure on Iran to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the fuel to build them.

The big question: Is Netanyahu’s real mission to prepare the world for war?

Admittedly, there has been talk of such a war numerous times in recent years. But few realize just how close Netanyahu was to ordering the attack.

Media reports indicate that Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak were ready to order a strike on Iran in 2010, but faced stiff opposition from the head of the Mossad and other top defense and intelligence officials, and thus backed off.

On August 2nd, 2012, readers of this blog will recall that I wrote this column: “COULD ISRAEL STRIKE IRAN IN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER? Ahmadinejad calls for ‘annihilation’ of Israel; Netanyahu warns U.S. time is running out to stop Iran.”

Just last month, a former senior Israeli official confirmed that Netanyahu was, in fact, extremely close to ordering an attack on Iran in the fall of 2012 — with the support of top Israeli defense and intel officials — but was pressured not to do so by President Obama.

Israel’s former National Security Advisor Giora Eiland “discussed the Israeli plan and Washington’s objections during a closed conference two weeks ago, saying that Netanyahu had originally intended to order a strike on Iran sometime between September and October of 2012, at the height of the US presidential campaign and around the same time as Netanyahu’s famous speech at the United Nations,” reports the Times of Israel. “The report claimed that Netanyahu was requested by the Obama administration to call off the attack, possibly so as not to interfere with the American electoral process. The former general was quoted as saying that although Israel is not controlled by the US, it does take American considerations into account with regard to issues of global significance. ‘On many subjects Israel can perform independently,’ Eiland was quoted as saying. ‘The construction in Jerusalem, the attack on Gaza as well as other regional issues — we don’t need to ask the Americans before we take action, even if they don’t like it. But, when an issue involves something of American interest, we cannot act against their will.’ However, ‘changing times’ could allow for an Israeli strike in the future, Eiland reportedly said, also noting that in light of Washington’s apparent lack of appetite for military action in Syria, the chances of an American strike in Iran were slim.”

In October 2012, then, Netanyahu famously declared before the U.N. General Assembly Iran would likely reach the “red line” between spring and summer 2013. He indicated if the world did not take decisive action, Israel would have to.

Since then, while the U.S. and Western powers have increased economic sanctions, the Iranians have not stopped enriching uranium. To the contrary, they have continued making nuclear weapons fuel, hardening their facilities, and moving steadily towards an arsenal of nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them.

I believe, therefore, that Netanyahu and his team have been steadily preparing — once again — for war with Iran. In July of 2013, as you may recall, I wrote a blog headlined: “Has the end game begun? Privately, senior Israeli officials now warning Iran war could come in 2013. Netanyahu preparing public.”

Jerusalem’s concerns have since been affected by two developments:

  1. The emergence of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in early August, which seems to be lulling the Obama team into a false sense that Tehran is moderating and becoming more willing to cooperate.
  2. The use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad regime – and President Obama’s weak, dithering, vacillating approach towards the Syrian crisis — which has further worried the Israeli government, and caused them to believe that maybe they really have no choice but to act on their own.

“It is not exactly starting off as a happy New Year in Jerusalem,” I noted in a September 5th column for National Review Online. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet are mortified by what they are seeing unfold — not in Damascus, but in Washington. To be sure, Israeli leaders are concerned but not surprised by the horrific blood-letting that is underway between the evil Assad regime and the demonic forces of al-Qaeda and their radical Islamic partners. But the Israelis are stunned and dismayed by the vacillating, lurching, confused, and chaotic approach to decision-making of President Obama and his top advisers….[B]ehind the scenes, Netanyahu and his team have never felt more alone. If President Obama is so distrusted by the American people and her representatives in Congress that he cannot build solid support for limited military strikes against Syria’s chemical-weapons facilities, the Israelis are coming to the painful realization that there is no chance for the president to pull together support for preemptive military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Zero. Nada. Zilch.”

This is the back drop for Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to the U.S. to meet with top administration officials, and address the international community. And despite all the talk in recent weeks about Syria, Netanyahu is signaling in advance his focus remains Iran above all else.

“In a week and a half, I will go to the United Nations General Assembly, and before that I will meet with President Obama. I intend to focus on stopping Iranian nuclear program. Really stopping the nuclear program,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting Tuesday, according to a report by the Times of Israel.

“The prime minister presented four criteria for doing so: ’1. Halting all uranium enrichment; 2. Removing all enriched uranium; 3. Closing [the Fordo enrichment facility at] Qom; and 4. Stopping the plutonium track,’” noted the Times. “Evidently responding to suggestions that the US might be willing to lift or reduce some sanctions on Iran in return for diplomatic progress, Netanyahu added: ‘Until it is genuinely stopped, the pressure on Iran must be stepped up, not eased or reduced.’ On Monday, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that Iran was willing to close its uranium enrichment facility at Fordo in return for an easing of Western sanctions. Quoting an intelligence source, the magazine reported that Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, might consider closing down the heavily fortified Fordo facility, near the holy city of Qom, and allow international observers to supervise the destruction of the centrifuges, if the West were to lift the sanctions regime it has placed on Iran’s oil industry and central bank. Rouhani could make the offer later this month at the United Nations General Assembly, the report said.”

The Times also reported:

  • On Sunday, the prime minister met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem following the joint Russia-US deal announced Saturday regarding Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
  • In comments aimed at his hosts, Kerry said the deal, if successful, “will have set a marker for the standard of behavior with respect to Iran and with respect to North Korea and any rogue state, [or] group that tries to reach for these kind of weapons.”
  • Netanyahu thanked Kerry for his efforts to purge Syria of chemical weapons and linked the agreement with Syria to the ongoing campaign to curb Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
  • “We have been closely following – and support – your ongoing efforts to rid Syria of its chemical weapons,” Netanyahu said Sunday. “The Syrian regime must be stripped of all its chemical weapons, and that would make our entire region a lot safer.
  • “The world needs to ensure that radical regimes don’t have weapons of mass destruction because as we’ve learned once again in Syria, if rogue regimes have weapons of mass destruction, they will use them. The determination the international community shows regarding Syria will have a direct impact on the Syrian regime’s patron, Iran. Iran must understand the consequences of its continual defiance of the international community, by its pursuit toward nuclear weapons… if diplomacy has any chance to work, it must be coupled with a credible military threat.”

Will Netanyahu order an attack on Iran? This remains to be seen, but signs are pointing in that direction.

Yet again, we need to pray for peace, but be prepared for the possibility of another war in the epicenter.


>> Track the latest developments and analysis on Twitter — @JoelCRosenberg.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Remembering September 11th, 2001. Thoughts on that day. Lessons learned. What’s happening now?

Sept11UPDATED: (Washington, D.C.) — Where were you on that fateful Tuesday morning? What lessons have we learned? What’s happening now?

A few thoughts:

* To misunderstand the existence and nature of evil is to be risk being blindsided by it.

* We were blindsided by the evil of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s. We were blindsided by the evil of Imperial Japan on December 7th, 1941. We were blindsided by the evil of Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait in 1990. We were blindsided by the evil of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001. Will we be so foolish as to be blindsided again?

* On September 11th, 2001, I was home in our the townhouse near Dulles Airport where we lived at that time. I didn’t have radio on. I didn’t have TV on. Instead, I was finishing the next to last chapters of my first novel, The Last Jihad, which begins with Radical Islamic terrorists flying a jet plane on a suicide mission into an American city. My wife, Lynn,had just dropped off one of our sons at pre-school and had heard on the radio about the attacks. She burst into the house and said, “You will not believe what’s happening right now.” We turned on TV and began watching the coverage and were horrified by what was unfolding. And it turns out that at that moment, Flight 77 — which had just taken off from Dulles — was being hijacked, turned around, flown over our house, and into the Pentagon. It was eerie and surreal. We spent the day gathered with friends, praying for our country and wondering what would happen next.

* How is your spiritual life today? Did 9/11 change you, did it draw you closer to Christ? Are you — and your family — spiritually better off than you were 12 years ago?

* On this day last year, terrorists attacked the American consulate in Benghazi.

* Today, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turns 48. He was born on September 11th, 1965. Please pray that Christ would open the eyes of this man and save him and his family. After all, Jesus commanded us to love our enemies.

* Last night, President Obama addressed the nation on the Syrian crisis.  Here is the full text of his remarks. Many commentators found his remarks — and his entire approach towards Syria — confusing, muddled and vacillating, myself included. Noted former AP chief political writer Ron Fournier: “The good news is we’re not at war. The bad news is … almost everything else about President Obama’s handling of Syria – the fumbling and flip-flopping and marble-mouthing – undercut his credibility, and possibly with it his ability to lead the nation and world.”

* Bible prophecy warns us about some specific disasters that are coming to certain cities and certain countries in the last days of history — will we be so foolish as to ignore such advance warnings?

* I’m flying today — heading to speaking engagements out West. I will not live in fear, but rather trust the Lord my Shepherd. (Psalm 23)

* Throughout the day, I will be Tweeting other thoughts, reflections and observations.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

BLINK: Prez Buckles: Puts War on the Back Burner Until Congress Reconvenes on September 9


President Barack Obama has back-peddled on threats to strike Syria in response to a chemical attack reportedly initiated by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad which killed hundreds of men, women and children last week.

In a speech this afternoon the President called for a vote in Congress to authorize war, but reserved the right to act without Congressional approval.

Obama says he has the authority to act on his own, but believes it is important for the country to have a debate.

Perhaps he hasn’t been paying attention, because fully 90% of Americans polled earlier this week were against any interference in Syria.

As noted in a previous report, the only reason for why Obama would refrain from striking Syria at this time would likely come as a result of Russia’s Vladimir Putin threatening large-scale retaliation. It seems this is exactly what may have taken place amid widespread reports that Russia was mobilizing forces in the region and that they would respond by striking targets in Saudi Arabia if the U.S. commenced their attack.

The last straw may have been Chinese and Russian officials walking out of a UN Security Council meeting in which Britain and the U.S. attempted to garner support for the strike.

By all indications, President Obama seems to have just gotten the geo-political crap kicked out of him.

“I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”

“For the last several days, we’ve heard from members of Congress who want their voices to be heard. I absolutely agree. So this morning I spoke with all four congressional leaders, and they’ve agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session. In the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with the information they need to understand what happened in Syria and why it has such profound implications for America’s national security. And all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote.”

With an issue so pressing that it threatens the security of the United States and the world, we find it odd that the President is OK with waiting for Congress to come back in session for a vote on Syria.

If Assad’s actions in Syria  have “profound implications for America’s national security” shouldn’t the President be calling for an emergency Congressional vote in the next 24 hours? Or would it be too much of an inconvenience for our Senators and Representatives who are on vacation right now?

According to Congressional schedules, Congress will not reconvene again until September 9th.

However, Obama did note that he can push the button anytime he feels like it, despite a Constitutional mandate that only the U.S. Congress can declare war:

 The President made clear that “we are prepared to strike whenever we choose.”

Strikes would be “effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now,” Obama said, adding that he is “prepared to give that order.”

The American people have already spoken. If you were paying attention, Mr. President, you would have heard us.


Via Satori: Matt Drudge Tweets: Putin Is the Leader of the Free World

SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You


Tourists are flooding into Israel in 2012 in record numbers. They are coming on religious tours. They are coming on cruise ships. They are coming for meetings and business. And they are doing so despite concerns over a possible war between Israel and Iran. “Based on the Central Bureau of Statistics data released today, 305,000 visitors arrived in Israel in September 2012, an increase of 8% on last year (283,000) and 13% more than the record year of 2010,” reports the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. “Of these, 236,000 were tourists (visitors who stayed at least one night in Israel), 3% more than last year and a new record for the month of September….From the beginning of the year until the end of September, a new record of 2.6 million visitor arrivals was registered, 7% more than the same period last year and 6% more than the previous record in 2010. Of these arrivals, 2.2 million were tourists, 4% more than the same period last year. 444,000 were one day visitors, 27% more than last year.”

Have you ever been to Israel before? Interested in going with The Joshua Fund in 2013. Please join us! I’m looking forward to leading our 2013 Prayer & Vision Tour to Israel, which will include the 2013 Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Larwyn’s Linx: How Much of the Obama Campaign’s $181 Million September Haul Was Illegal?

Send us tips! Bloggers: install a Larwyn’s Linx widget. Get real-time news, 24/7, at BadBlue.


How Much of Obama’s $ 181 Million September Haul Was Illegal?: Breitbart
Obama Campaign Scrambled to Kill Fundraising Scandal: Breitbart
Washington Post Joins Poll Truthers: DTG

Obama’s Illegal Foreign Campaign Money Loophole: Pavlich
China-Based Fundraiser Linked to Illegal Foreign Donations: Beacon
Report: Obama illegally solicited foreign donors via social media: DC

As Predicted: Now That Obama Is Losing, Dems Play Mormon Card: RSM
Gallup on Democratic hopes of retaking the House: Uhm, No.: Lane
Obama’s post-debate negativity shows he has nothing to say: NHJ

S*** Just Got Real: Ace
The Illegal Donor Loophole: Beast
Dumb as a Sack of Hammers, Gov. Hickenlooper [D-CO] Edition : Lane


Thomas Sowell on “Trickle Down Theory” and “Tax Cuts For The Rich”: RWN
Here’s Why They Don’t Want the Military Votes to Be Counted: Elephant
Sesame Street got $ 1 mil stimulus grant; created 1.47 jobs: Exam

Obama’s Plan for Ohio: Kurtz
Obama Leads Cheers of “Si Se Puede!” At Cesar Chavez Rally : GWP
Princeton Economist: Obama Campaign Misleading on Romney’s Tax Plan: WS

Scandal Central

Donor Disclosure Scandal: Another Day for the Most Transparent President Ever: Tatler
Report: Foreign Nationals Donating to Obama Campaign: Beacon
Democrats Target Anti-Voter Fraud Group True the Vote: Breitbart

Dubious donations: Peter Schweizer speaks: Power Line
I Donated to Barack Obama: RS
Meet the Obama donors at the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Beacon

Climate & Energy

Bankrupt green loan loser Abound Solar now under investigation in Colorado: Malkin
Plant that got $ 150M in taxpayer money to make Volt batteries furloughs workers: Fox


Mitt Romney’s 10 Best Lines, Quips, And Quotes From The Debate: RWN
Does Obama have a Russian Donor Problem?: Riehl
Surrounded by celebrities, Obama acknowledges poor debate performance: Exam

Juan Williams: Obama Lost Debate Because of Twitter: AIM
Buzz Bissinger: Why I’m Voting for Mitt Romney: Beast
New York Times staffers stage walkout: Salon

Andrew Sullivan on Suicide Watch: JWF
Buzzfeed Runs Deceptive Headline; Obama Team Immediately Declares “GameChanger!”: Sooper
Meet the Real Mitt Romney: CBS


Security Team Commander: Amb. Stevens Wanted Team to Stay in Libya Past August: Tapper
Congressmen: America Should Stop Doing Business With China’s Two Top Tech Firms: Insider
Egypt’s draft constitution violates international law: Human Rights Watch: GlobPost

Ex-WH Staffer Linked to Fast and Furious Led a State Department Program on Iraq that Wasted $ 206 Million: CNS
Top US security chief in Libya says State Dept. told them to stop asking for more security: Scoop
New civility: Obama supporters threaten to riot if Romney wins: Twitchy

Breaking: Confirmed: Iran sent that drone: Matzav
Obamacare Preview: Patients Dying From Thirst And Starvation In British Government Run Hospitals: LoneCon
The administration set to issue a cybersecurity executive order: HSNW


The Curious Imperative: Godin
Jaw-dropping rotating 3D nebula: Discover
The state of Android vs iOS usage among Facebook users: InsideFacebook


White House Scientists Struggle to Contain Outbreak of Scrutonium: IowaHawk
Visual Lies from DWS: iOTW
LTC Walter Fitzpatrick (RET) – The Growing Obama Police State: MagNote

Today’s Larwyn’s Linx sponsored by: Pink-slip Sen. Sherrod Brown, Elect Josh Mandel

QOTD: “Engaged in a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House’s Center for Narrative Control say they will take “all steps necessary” to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.

“Failure is simply not an option,” said an exhausted Mission Chief David Axelrod. “If left unchecked, this virus may actually force us to move back to Chicago.”” —IowaHawk

Doug Ross @ Journal