Sunday, October 09, 2011

Panetta's visit

The following letter appeared in the Jerusalem Post letters on Fri Oct 7, in response to remarks by US Secty of Defense Leon Panetta on his visit to Israel and his meeting with PM Netanyahu earlier in the week.

His comments were insulting to an ally like Israel, that has never asked for US forces to come here and protect us. He advised Israel not to act unilaterally against Iran under any circumstances, but to rely on US protection. As if we believe that the US, especially under Pres. Obama, has our best intertests at heart and will act to protect us. If Iran is on the point of developing nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them by missile, then who would be their first target? Can we depend on the US to act, even if it is also threatened by such a development, by the threat to its Arab allies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain) as well as to the US forces still present in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel must always retain the freedom of action that it needs for its own defense and as the most powerful regional player should be treated with respect and not patronized.

Secretary Panetta: the last time we depended on the United States to rescue us was when Pres. Johnson said that he would send an "international armada" of ships thru the Straits of Tiran to break the siege of Eilat imposed by Pres. Nasser of Egypt in 1967. Only it never happened, he could only send a US aircraft carrier, and that never arrived. So don't lecture us about depending on the "might" of the USA. If we depended on anybody else for our own defence we'd be in deep trouble.
But, if it comes to attacking a country intent on destroying us, such as Iran, then we would be happy for the help. You are right we should not do it unilaterally, we should expect to depend on the leader of the free world, if the US is still that, to support us. So please let us know when the threat from Iran becomes imminent, and then we can respond together, as allies should.
Jack Cohen


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