Obama to Iran and Israel: ‘As President of the United States, I Don’t Bluff’
Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic – March 2, 2012
At the White House on Monday, President Obama will seek to persuade the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to postpone whatever plans he may have to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities in the coming months. Obama will argue that under his leadership, the United States “has Israel’s back,” and that he will order the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear program if economic sanctions fail to compel Tehran to shelve its nuclear ambitions.
‘Loose Talk of War’ Only Helps Iran, President Says
Helene Cooper, New York Times – March 4, 2012
As Republicans on the campaign trail ramped up their support for Israel in a possible military strike on Iran, President Obama used a speech before a pro-Israel lobbying group on Sunday to warn against the “loose talk of war” that could serve to speed Iran toward a nuclear weapon.
Iran Opens Door to Possible Nuclear Inspection
David Crawford, Wall Street Journal – March 4, 2012
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog suggested that his government might try to defuse international tensions over its nuclear program by allowing the agency to visit a suspected nuclear-test site from which inspectors had been barred.
Before Attacking Iran, Israel Should Learn From it’s 1981 Strike on Iraq
Colin Kahl, Washington Post – March 2, 2012
On June 7, 1981, eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets, protected by six F-15 escorts, dropped 16 2,000-pound bombs on the nearly completed Osirak nuclear reactor at the Tuwaitha complex in Iraq. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon saw the reactor as central to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s quest to build nuclear weapons, and they believed that it posed an existential threat to Israel.
Obama, Netanyahu Face Struggle Over Iran “Red Lines”
Matt Spetalnick, Reuters – March 5, 2012
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are deeply at odds over how fast the clock is ticking toward possible military action against Iran’s nuclear program, and their talks on Monday are unlikely to change that.
Buying Off North Korea (Again)
Wall Street Journal – March 1, 2012
Nobody could believe North Korea’s luck when its soccer squad scored a goal off mighty Brazil at their 2010 World Cup match-up in South Africa. So we’ll forgive Kim Jong Eun if he feels like the diplomatic equivalent of Robinho for the point he just won against the Obama Administration.
A North Korean Corleone
Sheena Chestnut Greitens, New York Times – March 3, 2012
What kind of deal do you make with a 20-something who just inherited not only a country, but also the mantle of one of the world’s most sophisticated crime families? When Kim Jong-un, who is thought to be 28 or 29, became North Korea’s leader in December after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, he became the de facto head of a mafia state.
North Korean Leader Takes a Defiant Stance as He Visits Border
Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times – March 4, 2012
In a visit to the heavily armed border with the South, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered his troops on higher alert, escalating his militaristic language in spite of American calls to improve ties with the Seoul just a week after his country agreed to a nuclear freeze in return for badly needed food aid.
Los Alamos Residents Brace for Layoffs at Lab
Dan Frosch, New York Times – March 3, 2012
Sharon Stover remembers the stories her mother used to tell about what life was like when Los Alamos National Laboratory first opened during World War II.
Budget Sequestration Would be a Dagger to Defense
Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post – March 4, 2012
It turns out that “budget sequestration,” portrayed as an evenhanded way to spur bipartisan negotiations over budget deficits, is actually a dagger aimed at defense spending. The president and other top administration officials have said the automatic spending cuts required by sequestration are “bad policy.” But they still support “sequestration” as a political tool instead of proposing needed changes that might fulfill its original purpose: pushing Democrats and Republicans into realistic budget negotiations.