TNR's Peretz Misstates Obama's NIE-Iran Position

The New Republic's Marty Peretz, who has been touting the candidacy of Barack Obama for many months now-even resorting to distorting the role of foreign pllicy adviser Robert Malley in Obama's campaign-* has this statement today on his blog:    

The fact is that almost no one believes that the National Intelligence Estimate of Iran's nuclear program.  As an editorial in today's New York Sun points out, North Korea also did not yet have a deliverable atomic weapon  Yet the world's powers--including China, though half-heartedly--moved and are still engaged in putting a stop to what everyone knows is on its way to be a catastrophic reality.

Nothing less is the case with Iran.  And, although the silly team of Stephen Walt and Mearsheimer has put its dubious credentials behind Ahmadinejad in saying that he is not really threatening Israel with genocide, almost no one takes the two seriously and others wish Dr. A'jad well in his ambitions.

Anyway, it is not only Israel which justifiably dreads the dreams of the mullahs, although the palpable threat to the Jewish state is both plausible and concrete enough to put the powers on military alert.  I, for one and there are many others, do not have any faith that there will be a diplomatic solution to the danger from Iran. 

I also have little confidence that economic sanctions will do very much at all to stop the nuclear march the ayatollahs' regime.  First of all, the pabulum that comes out of the Security Council is just that, watered down and compromised enough to be without force or even threat.  Then, frankly, the Iranians will sacrifice much to get a bomb.  Like the North Korean communist regime that brought its population over the edge of destitution in order to be a nuclear power. 


The NIE report was almost unique in being discredited by people across the political spectrum here in America, our European allies, and even the United Nations.

Perhaps, Marty Peretz should look a bit more closely at Barack Obama's statements and policies.

OBAMA DOES, IN FACT, ACCEPT THE ALMOST WHOLLY DISCREDITED NIE REPORT, which has given Iran breathing space from international pressures designed to thwart its nuclear weapons program. (John McCain was skeptical from day one about the NIE report and his skepticism was correct). Obama used the intelligence report for political purposes to buttress his views that diplomacy is the way to deal with the Iranian threat.

Again, here, Marty Peretz allows his support for Obama to cloud his judgment. Obama is the man most identified with advocating diplomacy in dealing with Iran-a course of action which Peretz discounts as feckless. He does not have "any faith that there will be a diplomatic solution to the danger from Iran".

Maybe he should tell Barack Obama his views.

* Martin Peretz -- an Obama supporter -- wrote at the end of December that he got the "
shudders" when thinking about the foreign policy influence of "Zbigniew Brzezinski... Anthony Lake, Susan Rice and Robert O. Malley".

In a perplexing development, Martin Peretz subsequently wrote a blog entry denying that there were reasons to be concerned about Senator Obama's foreign policy team. He wrote that ‘spooky" stories have been circulating about his foreign policy staff and, trying to justify his new view, offered only one example to assuage concerns. He stated that Robert Malley was not a foreign policy adviser ("Malley is not and has never been a Middle East adviser to Barack Obama" -- remember this because it will come up later in this column) and there were no reasons to be concerned about the Senator's team.

Mr. Peretz wrote this without even mentioning his article just a few weeks before which expressed concern (if not outright loathing) about Robert Malley and other members of the team as mentioned above (welcome to the updated version of 1984's Memory Hole).


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