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Avner Cohen is a senior fellow of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He is the author of “Israel and the Bomb” and the forthcoming “The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb.”
Avner Cohen, you claim that the time has come for Israel to abandon its policy of nuclear ambiguity. Why now, and why would that be good for Israel?
“Nuclear ambiguity is a cornerstone of Israeli strategic thinking. It was born many years ago, and sealed as part of a comprehensive deal with the United States in 1969. It was appropriate at the time, but today, in my opinion, it is not just anachronistic, but foolish and anti-democratic. Even in realpolitik terms, it is an ‘own goal’ for Israel. In my view, it undermines genuine Israeli interests, including the need to gain recognition and legitimacy and to be counted among the responsible states in this strategic field.”
Are you sure the pressure on Israel is so severe? If Israel is criticized over its nuclear program, it’s usually marginal. The brunt of the criticism is over its treatment of the Palestinians.
In a few weeks, Gen. David Petraeus and the Bush administration will report to Congress on the progress of the U.S. military’s troop surge in Iraq.
But some of the war’s winners are already clear: military contractors who supply everything from bodyguards to bombs, clean socks to ready-to-eat meals. “For the companies involved, this has been a real gravy train,” says William Hartung, who tracks defense spending for the New America Foundation.
Israel has been sliding into ever greater isolation in recent years. Since Benjamin Netanayhu returned to power in 2009 this process has accelerated. The international community has been put off by his tactics: Whenever the question of Israel’s settlement policy comes up, he diverts attention to the Iranian nuclear threat. He argues that the world is facing a situation similar to 1938, and that its reaction is that of Chamberlain trying to appease Hitler. The world doesn’t buy Netanyahu’s rhetoric; his policy of stalling the peace process is perceived as a cynical ploy hiding Israel’s true intent of holding on to the territories.
This explanation fails to take into account that Netanyahu’s rhetoric reflects the paradoxical state of mind of the Israeli electorate. Polls show that a consistent 70 percent of Israelis favor a two-state solution. So why has Israel’s electorate been moving consistently to the right in the last decade? Why is Netanyahu’s popularity in Israel so high? And why is Israel’s public less willing than ever to listen to criticism of Israeli policies?
Federal government admits not testing for arsenic, mercury or other toxic heavy metals in seafood
The US government, and even President Obama himself, have said that Gulf seafood is safe to eat in the wake of the massive BP oil spill.
But an admission from the federal government that it hasn’t been testing Gulf seafood for toxic heavy metals, and news that fishermen are being forced to sign waivers making them liable for toxins in their catch, suggest not everyone is convinced of the safety of Gulf seafood.
Louisiana fishermen’s activist Kindra Arnesen says dock owners are asking fishermen to sign waivers that put the full responsibility for toxins found in the catch on the fishermen themselves.
As the final convoy of the Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., entered Kuwait early Thursday, a different Stryker brigade remained in Iraq.
Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division are deployed in Iraq as members of an Advise and Assist Brigade, the Army’s designation for brigades selected to conduct security force assistance.
So while the “last full U.S. combat brigade” have left Iraq, just under 50,000 soldiers from specially trained heavy, infantry and Stryker brigades will stay, as well as two combat aviation brigades.
Last week’s meeting of 700+ scientists, policymakers, and concerned citizens in Chicago to discuss the science and economics of global warming at the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change was a huge success as measured by the intent of its sponsors: to establish once and for all that the climate realist position is increasingly the accepted conclusion among thinking people in the three categories noted above. That position is this: manmade global warming is not a crisis.
Yes, all parties at the conference pretty much agreed that there was a good deal of warming in the 1980s and 1990s, and that the trend stopped and reversed in the current decade. Global temperatures have been falling in recent years, even though the weather stations and other data chosen to represent the official temperature records are in fact skewed to show higher and more-rising temperatures than are actually occurring.
In 1962, the historian Barbara Tuchman published a book about the start of World War I and called it The Guns of August. It went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. She was, of course, looking back at events that had occurred almost 50 years earlier and had at her disposal documents and information not available to participants. They were acting, as Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put it, in the fog of war.
So where are we this August of 2010, with guns blazing in one war in Afghanistan even as we try to extricate ourselves from another in Iraq? Where are we, as we impose sanctions on Iran and North Korea (and threaten worse), while sending our latest wonder weapons, pilotless drones armed with bombs and missiles, into Pakistan’s tribal borderlands, Yemen, and who knows where else, tasked with endless “targeted killings” which, in blunter times, used to be called assassinations? Where exactly are we, as we continue to garrison much of the globe even as our country finds itself incapable of paying for basic services?
The $700 billion U.S. bailout program launched in response to the global economic meltdown had a far greater impact overseas than other countries’ financial rescue plans did on the U.S., according to a new report from a congressional watchdog.
Billions of dollars in U.S. rescue funds wound up in big banks in France, Germany and other nations. That was probably inevitable because of the structure of the Treasury Department’s program, the Congressional Oversight Panel says in a new report issued Thursday.
The U.S. program aimed to stabilize the financial system by injecting money into as many banks as possible, including those with substantial operations overseas. Most other countries, by contrast, focused their efforts more narrowly on banks in their nations that usually lacked major U.S. operations.
Since BP announced that CEO Tony Hayward would receive a multi-million dollar golden parachute and be replaced by Bob Dudley, we have witnessed an incredibly broad, and powerful, propaganda campaign. A campaign that peaked this week with the US government, clearly acting in BP’s best interests, itself announcing, via outlets willing to allow themselves to be used to transfer the propaganda, like the New York Times, this message: “The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.”
The Times was accommodating enough to lead the story with a nice photo of a fishing boat motoring across clean water with several birds in the foreground.
This message was disseminated far and wide, via other mainstream media outlets like the AP and Reuters, effectively announcing to the masses that despite the Gulf of Mexico suffering the largest marine oil disaster in US history, most of the oil was simply “gone.”
Washington (CNSNews.com) – Sen. Jim DeMint (R- S.C.) said that if President Barack Obama gets his way and the Senate ratifies the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the precedent would be set to place parental rights under the jurisdiction of the international community.
“We believe we need to take clear action here in Congress to protect the rights of parents to raise their children,” DeMint said at a Wednesday panel discussion. “This treaty would, in fact, establish a precedent that those rights have been given over to the international community.”