Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Archive for the ‘Ehud Olmert’ Category

Monday Afternoon Tea: TNR on the Israeli Strike, and Norman Podhoretz’s Worldview Courtesy of Politico

Posted by K.E. White on September 24, 2007

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud OlmertSummary: The New Republic’s Dennis Dennis Ross gives an excellent explanation of what brought about and what effect was wrought from Israel’s Syrian strike. Meanwhile, Politico’s David Paul Kuhn brings focus to Neo-con patriarch Norman Podhoretz.Syrian leader Bashar al Assad

Ross argues that Israel’s Syrian strike reinforces Israel’s deterrent capability and is a response to Syria’s arms build-up (and–of course–a possible message to Iran). Ross endorses Israel’s move, considering it a stroke of hard-power precision—getting the desired results, without fanning a great conflict.

Ross delves into Israel’s penchant for secrecy, but misses the critical issue: What will be Syria’s next move? Is Syria as isolated as we think? And could Arab silence on Israel’s strike be another blow their fragile legitimacy at home?

Meanwhile, Kuhn reveals two aspects of meeting Norman Podhoretz held with George W. Bush and Karl Rove: 1) that he urged them to strike Iran and 2) they seemed to admit that negotiations with Iran were pointless.

Norman PodhoretzKuhn also fleshes out Podhoretz’s Middle East position: that the war in Iraq is necessary for American security, and is part of a greater conflict between Western liberalism and Islamofascism (a Podhoretzian turn of phrase).

Segment of interest: Podhoretz stands by his prediction that the Bush administration will strike Iran. Is this all part of a well constructed bluff on the part of the administration to alter Iranian calculus? Could Bush be simply building the best bargaining position possible for the next President?

Check out this Campus Progress biography for more on Podhoretz’s monumental contribution to the neoconservative movement–from an opposing viewpoint.

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Posted in Bashar al Assad, Ehud Olmert, Iran, Israel, New Republic, Norman Podhoretz, Politico, Syria | Leave a Comment »

Blog-on Blog—Olmert’s China Wrap-Up: Sorry, No Big News on Iran

Posted by K.E. White on January 11, 2007

Olmert wrapped up his visit to China by chatting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Ehud Olmert
Hu Jintao
Nothing groundbreaking from China on Iran; Olmert potentially retreating from Sharron’s policy of withdrawal; and Iran’s nuclear negotiator OKs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

From Reuter’s coverage, appearing in multiple publications:

His [Olmert’s] discussions with Hu proved “satisfactory beyond expectations”, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters on departure from Beijing, without elaborating…

“The fact that they (joined the resolution) is significant,” Olmert said.

His aides said that in his meeting with Hu he praised China for coming out strongly against Iran, which insists its atomic ambitions are peaceful but whose virulent rhetoric against Israel has raised war fears abroad.

“But while we are happy with the diplomacy so far, the prime minister did make clear that, ultimately, tougher economic sanctions may be needed,” one Olmert aide said.

Hu’s office had no immediate comment on the talks.

But on another front—Israel’s stance on unilateral withdrawal, the policy Ariel Sharron endorsed—there is some possibility important news:

In an interview with Chinese news agency Xinhua, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seemed to signal a sudden shift in policy with his statement that unilateral withdrawal has proven to be a failed policy.

Olmert, who began a three-day visit to China on Tuesday, told the news agency that while he was willing to negotiate a withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria, it would only be done in the framework of bilateral negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

On the face of it, Olmert’s remarks contradict the unilateral withdrawal, or “convergence,” plan that he’d been promoting since becoming prime minister.

Not really shocking with Olmert’s slipping popularity in Israel.

And getting back to the Iran nuclear dilemma, we have this from Xinhua:

Iran‘s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said on Tuesday that the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is “good” if it is enforced justly, the official IRNA news agency reported.

 Larijani made the remarks at a joint press conference with visiting Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee Mushahid Hussain Sayed.

Iran has criticized the NPT before as unfairly monopolizing nuclear technology its depository powers—aka the recognized nuclear states: the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, and and China.

Posted in China, Diplomacy, Ehud Olmert, Hu Jintao, Iran, Israel, WMD | 1 Comment »