Jewish World Review Nov 17, 2011 / 20 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772
As the world turns . . . and the centrifuges whirl in Iran
By Paul Greenberg
Gosh, what a surprise: According to
Speaking at the G-20 Summit, French President
Free translation from the French: If Israel's existence were threatened,
It's the first lesson in diplomacy: Some words are for public consumption only. Indeed, they may be taken to mean the opposite of what they say. Some people use language to communicate their intentions; diplomats use it to conceal theirs.
All it takes to interpret M. Sarkozy's words is a little familiarity with the games of French diplomacy -- and with the history of successive French republics, now up to five excluding Vichy. Not to mention the late unpleasantness known as the Dreyfus Affair.
The French would doubtless be joined by the rest of the West, as in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973. ... Moral support might have been plentiful when war erupted in the
Inescapable conclusion: The only people who'll go to war to defend
The mullahs' dream of a nuke of their own becomes closer to reality with every turn of those centrifuges in the vicinity of
Once the fanatics in
It wouldn't even be necessary for
The Israelis have acted against such a developing threat before.
If the usual international sanctions, resolutions and general blather prove as ineffectual as they usually do, the Israelis may decide they have little choice but a pre-emptive strike. Or as they put it, nothing has been taken off the table. Including the possibility of military action. And the clock is ticking. Like a time bomb. Think about the repercussions of making such a decision, or of not making it, and either way visions of mushroom clouds begin to form in the mind.
Quick, a little comic relief. This grim scenario could use it. Sure enough, this just in from
A little off-the-record gossip between the American and French presidents during a light moment at the G-20 made it into the record after all. It seems a French website that analyzes the media (like a patient on a couch) has released some snippets of a conversation between M. Sarkozy, snide as ever, and Mr. Obama, obliging as ever when it comes to standing idly by. These two leaders of the Free World could have been two girls badmouthing a third during a visit to the powder room.
"Netanyahu," said the French president, "I can't stand him. He's a liar." The American president didn't object to that less than flattering description, but neither did he explicitly agree with it. Instead, he appealed for sympathy himself: "You are sick of him, but I have to work with him every day!" Which would seem fair enough. Since the Israelis have to put up with Mr. Obama every day. Much as Americans have to.
It's good to know heads of state can trade gossip like the rest of us around the office water cooler. And that nobody takes it too seriously.
It's a funny world. When it's not terrifying.
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