All day I was toying with the idea of sending around one or more of the stories about Israel’s supposed deal with Azerbaijan to use their airfields as a staging area for an attack on Iran. But I kept asking myself who really benefits from the story – and never pressed “send.” Now I have an answer to my question, and as I suspected the beneficiary (and source) of the story was Israel’s “best friend,” Barack Obama.
ABC News – 3/29/2012
JERUSALEM - Two reports today about Iran's nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli military strike have analysts in Israel accusing the Obama administration of leaking information to pressure Israel not to bomb Iran and for Iran to reach a compromise in upcoming nuclear talks.
The first report in Foreign Policy quotes anonymous American officials saying that Israel has been given access to airbases by Iran's northern neighbor Azerbaijan from which Israel could launch air strikes or at least drones and search and rescue aircraft.
The second report from Bloomberg, based on a leaked congressional report, said that Iran's nuclear facilities are so dispersed that it is "unclear what the ultimate effect of a strike would be…" A strike could delay Iran as little as six months, a former official told the researchers.
"It seems like a big campaign to prevent Israel from attacking," analyst Yoel Guzansky at the Institute for National Security Studies told ABC News. "I think the [Obama] administration is really worried Jerusalem will attack and attack soon. They're trying hard to prevent it in so many ways."
...Thursday's reports come a week after the results of a classified war game was leaked to the New York Times which predicted that an Israeli strike could lead to a wider regional war and result in hundreds of American deaths. In a column this afternoon titled "Obama Betraying Israel?" longtime defense commentator Ron Ben-Yishai at Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper angrily denounced the leaks as a "targeted assassination campaign ... of potential Israeli operations in Iran," Ben-Yishai writes. "The campaign's aims are fully operational: To make it more difficult for Israeli decision-makers to order the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] to carry out a strike, and what's even graver, to erode the IDF's capacity to launch such strike with minimal casualties."
And the question remains: why do the Russians know more about Obama's agenda than America's citizens?