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April 25, 2008
Obama Keeps Hiring Anti-Israeli Advisors
Commentary Magazine's Gabriel Schoenfeld has noted that another Obama adviser, Joseph Cirincione, seems to have anti-Israel views. His senior aide on nuclear non-proliferation had denounced reports that North Korea had been helping Syria build a nuclear reactor and said such reports were nonsense and were, in part, promoted so as to derail talks with Syria.
Cirincione had written after Israel's strike against the suspected Syrian nuclear plant that stories about it being a North-Korean designed and built plutonium reactor were a lie -- a fiction being spread just as reports had been spread before the Iraq War that misled the press regarding Iraq's program. Shcoenfeld writes:
Based on evidence shown to Congress yesterday, there is now incontrovertible proof that the building bombed by Israel was a plutonium-producing reactor that was geared toward the production of material for nuclear weapons -- exactly what Cirincionne had previously dismissed as lies, in part, cooked up by Israelis trying to influence America's foreign policy.
This tendency to blame and castigate Israel was not the first time phenomenon for Joseph Cirincione. He seems to have a penchant for targeting Israel for opprobrium.
In 2002, he wrote that Israel's possession of three diesel nuclear power submarines that can launch nuclear missiles complicates American efforts to restrain a nuclear arms race. He also claimed that the US Navy monitored the Israeli testing of a new cruise missile from a submarine in 2002 off of Sri Lanka, according to unnamed "former Pentagon officials".
There is no verifiable proof that Israel launched such missiles, just a claim by Cirincione. He also blamed Israel for stoking an arms race that is creating a difficult situation not just for the United States, but also for preventing other nations that have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty from breaking away.
Israel's has followed a principle of ambiguity regarding its nuclear program. Surrounded by an array of enemies that dwarf its own resources, Israel -- a nation founded after the Holocaust -- might reasonable be seen as needing such a nuclear force to protect its existence. It has been rumored that when Israel was on the brink of defeat during the Yom Kippur War , it made known that it might be forced to resort to a nuclear option. Cirincionne looks in askance at Israel's possession of such a deterrent and sees it as a problem for America and for the world.
In 2006, he declared that Israel's raid on the Osirak nuclear reactor was a "failure". This was despite the stunning success of the daring raid (only one man died) in derailing Iraq's program. Years later, Dick Cheney thanked Israel for disabling Iraq's nuclear program, for if Osirak had been allowed to be completed, Iraq might well have had a nuclear arsenal during the Gulf War in 1991. Instead, Cirincione held that it sped-up the Iraqi program and led to a more devoted effort to secretly build nuclear capabilities. This, of course, paradoxically conflicts with his other belief that Iraq did not have such a nuclear program and that America should not have invaded Iraq absent such proof!
He also is firmly against any type of strike against the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
He is in favor of persuading Israel to give up its nuclear program which, as noted above, might be the only thing that can prevent Israel's destruction. One book reviewer noted that Cirincione's believes (as shown in his book, Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons):
If this were not enough to give one qualms about the views of this important adviser to Barack Obama, Cirincione has expanded on these themes in a short article for The Globalist. He criticizes America for not publicizing Israel's weapons programs. He calls for an end of this practice.
He wants to put U.S. muscle behind a plan for seeking a nuclear-free Middle East region. This, of course, would be flexed against Israel. He wrote (in 2005) that Israel was never more secure from external threats and has less need for nuclear weapons than any time in its history. He calls for an "even-handed" approach toward nuclear weapons programs and calls for Israel's nuclear program to be "put on the table" as part of a regional deal to prevent nuclear proliferation.
There are more such policy pronouncements by Joseph Cirincione. They all reveal a stunning naiveté regarding the nature of the regimes that are engaged in nuclear proliferation in the region. Pakistan and North Korea have engaged in a nuclear bazaar to sell nuclear technology; Iran has spent billions to develop a nuclear weapons arsenal; Syria is cooperating with North Korea (and probably Iran) on weapons of mass destruction . They all have monetary or geopolitical reasons to do so. Iran wants to be a hegemonic power in the region-and also may very well have theological "reasons" for developing nuclear weapons. Saddam Hussein was a megalomaniac who wanted nuclear arms to expand his power.
Yet somehow, Cirincione blames Israel for nuclear proliferation and seemingly wants to pressure Israel to shut down its nuclear program and strip itself of any nuclear weapons it may or may not have in its inventory. This man was chosen by Barack Obama to be one of his top advisers in the area of nuclear proliferation. He is also another in a disconcertingly long line of Obama advisers, who seemingly have an anti-Israel bias and who would be very willing to apply American pressure on our tiny ally to disarm itself in the face of its mortal enemies.