Iranian Atomic Urgency
• The NY Times Room for Debate features a nice discussion on attacking Iranian nuclear sites. Among the talking heads are Aaron David Miller, Rashid Khalidi, Daniel Gordis, and Daoud Kuttab. But Jeffrey Goldberg doesn’t like the way the Gray Lady frames the debate:
It is not only the leaders of Arab countries who fear Iran. There is a reason the Iranian regime has failed to export its revolution to the Sunni Arab world, and that is popular suspicion of its motivations, as well as a range of other sectarian and religious disputes. And Iran is especially unpopular now that it has sided with the minority Alawite regime in Damascus, against Syria’s Sunni majority.
In other words, American action against Iran could be understood as America siding with the Arabs, not only with the Israelis. This is not news, of course, except to the author of this contentious and ill-informed introduction.
• A former Bush administration official says Israel will ultimately have to deal with Iran alone. Too many people in Washington and Europe have no appetite for pre-empting Tehran, nor does anyone have a backup plan should sanctions and diplomacy fail. David Wurmser soberly writes in Israel HaYom:
But right now, the cavalry is not going to ride to Israel’s side, even at the last moment. There is nobody of influence within the establishment or bureaucracy in Washington, let alone abroad, seriously arguing for preemptive action, nor are there any factors in the next half year – or even longer – which will change that. While America is not done as the great superpower, we have again become a sleeping giant, like the 1930s in terms of proactive foreign policy. Something much worse and more personally affecting will have to afflict the United States before it acts preemptively stop Iran or other extremely dangerous nations from building armies to threaten and pursuing the most destructive weapons. Until then, sadly, our allies are on their own.
• A bloody weekend for Syria. On Saturday, an estimated 200 people were killed in Daraya, a Damascus neighborhood. More at the Washington Post.
• AP: Russia says it has “guarantees” that the Syrian army won’t deploy or use chemical weapons, but I remain skeptical. Do you really believe he’ll be more straightforward with Moscow than he has been with his own countrymen being mowed down everyday?
• An Egyptian court convicted 76 people for ransacking the Israeli embassy in Cairo. All but one received suspended sentences, notes AP.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• The Guardian dropped conservative columnist Josh Trevino. Politico obtained a copy of the joint statement indicating Trevino had an undisclosed conflict of interest in one of his columns:
Joshua Treviño wrote a piece for the Guardian on February 28, 2011 titled ‘Peter King has hearings, but is he listening?‘ The Guardian recently learned that shortly before writing this article the author was a consultant for an agency that had Malaysian business interests and that he ran a website called Malaysia Matters. In keeping with the Guardian’s editorial code this should have been disclosed.
(Image of jets via US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Rissmiller)
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