|The Presidents of Israel [left] and Azerbaijan|
|The map says it all|
Did U.S. Just Torpedo Israeli Deal for a Base in Azerbaijan? -Brad Knickerbocker
This week a widely cited report claimed that Israel is developing a "secret staging ground" in Iran's neighbor to the north - Azerbaijan - for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Quoting unnamed senior U.S. diplomats and military intelligence officials, a lengthy article in Foreign Policy magazine asserts that "Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran's northern border." "The Israelis have bought an airfield," a senior administration official is quoted as saying, "and the airfield is called Azerbaijan."
"I think this leak today is part of the administration's campaign against an Israeli attack," former US diplomat John Bolton said. "Clearly, this is an administration-orchestrated leak," Mr. Bolton said, adding, "It's just unprecedented to reveal this kind of information about one of your own allies.”
Bases in nearby Azerbaijan (including abandoned former Soviet airfields) could be used for landing and refueling after any strike, allowing Israeli jets to carry more ordnance. Such airfields also could be a staging point for search-and-rescue helicopters that might be necessary to recover downed Israeli pilots. They also could be used to launch drone aircraft for bomb damage assessment once any strike is concluded.
(Christian Science Monitor)
U.S. Leaking Information to Thwart Israeli Strike -Ron Ben-Yishai
The most important American objective is to eliminate potential operational options available to the IDF and the State of Israel. It is blatantly clear that reports in the past week alone have caused Israel substantive diplomatic damage, and possibly even military and operational damage.
The U.S. campaign also sharply contradicts President Obama's declaration at the AIPAC Conference, whereby he and the U.S. recognize Israel's sovereign right to defend itself by itself. One cannot utter these words and a moment later expose Israel's vulnerabilities and possible strike routes to its enemies.
Making a Federal Case Out of Jerusalem -Rick Richman
The State Department spokesperson was tortured with a series of questions Wednesday about whether Jerusalem is part of Israel. [see video above]
Obviously acting on instructions to say only that Jerusalem is an issue to be resolved by negotiations, she gave the same answer to the question, "What is the capital of Israel?"
The reporter might have referenced the State Department website, which identifies Israel's capital as Jerusalem (and says Israel's area is 20,330 square km., "including Jerusalem"); or the CIA website, which says the same thing; or the Department of Defense website, which is replete with references including a picture of Secretary Gates and Prime Minister Netanyahu "during a working lunch meeting in Jerusalem, Israel."
This all could have been avoided if the White House had ended the charade about the city that has been Israel's capital since 1950; and stopped fighting a nine-year-old boy's passport designation in the Supreme Court.
The 'flexibility' doctrine -Charles Krauthammer
You don’t often hear an American president secretly (he thinks) assuring foreign leaders that concessions are coming their way, but they must wait because he’s seeking reelection and he dares not tell his own people.
Not at all, spun a White House aide in major gaffe-control mode. The president was merely explaining that arms control is too complicated to be dealt with in a year in which both Russia and the United States hold presidential elections.
Can you imagine the kind of pressure a reelected Obama will put on Israel...?
[Jewish World Review]
White House Denies Leaking Info on Israeli Access to Airbases -Yitzhak Benhorin
A top White House official Saturday said the White House had "no interest" in leaks of this kind, adding that the administration would "gladly prosecute" the people behind it - if they knew who they were.