Melanie Phillips

30 March 2012

Obama's knife in the back?

Published in: Daily Mail

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Is the Obama administration using either leaks or black propaganda to sabotage Israel’s defence against the threat of genocide? America’s former ambassador to the UN John Bolton certainly thinks so – and he is not a man given to rash speculation.

An article on the website of  Foreign Policy magazine last Wednesday, written by former unofficial Yasser Arafat adviser and established Israel-basher Mark Perry, quoted four unnamed ‘senior diplomats’ and ‘intelligence officers’ saying that Israel had been granted access to air bases in Azerbaijan on Iran’s northern border. The article suggested that this meant Israel planned to use Azerbaijan either for a strike at Iran or for other support for such an attack.

An Azeri official has subsequently said the claim that Azerbaijan has granted Israel access to its air bases for an attack is ‘absurd and groundless’. That denial, however, is clearly limited. And several observers have concluded that whether this is a genuine leak or disinformation, the story is an attempt to harm Israel by its principal western ally.  Indeed, assuming it is not a total fabrication but is based on actual briefings, it is hard to conclude anything else.

On Fox News, Bolton said :

‘I think this leak today is part of the administration’s campaign against an Israeli attack.’ ... Bolton, a Fox News contributor, noted that a strike launched from Azerbaijan would be much easier for the Israelis than a strike launched from their own country -- jets could stay over their targets longer and worry less about refueling. But he said tipping the Israelis’ hand by revealing “very sensitive, very important information” could frustrate such a plan. 

...“Clearly, this is an administration-orchestrated leak,” Bolton told FoxNews.com. “This is not a rogue CIA guy saying I think I’ll leak this out. It’s just unprecedented to reveal this kind of information about one of your own allies.”

As Dan Margalit asks in the Israeli paper Israel Hayom:

‘What reasonable interest does someone in the Pentagon have in hardening the Iranian pharaoh’s heart on the eve of Passover, and indicating to him that he has nothing to fear? This borders on insanity.’

Sabotaging an ally’s defences in this manner goes much further than Obama’s previous known position in trying to stop an Israeli attack on Iran. This actively assists Iran, and thus potentially places the lives of millions at risk from that regime’s deranged belligerency. Is this what Obama meant when he tried to reassure American Jews recently that

‘...when the chips are down, I have Israel’s back’?

And since Iran does not merely threaten Israel but is already at war with America and the west it has pledged to destroy, is this not in fact a knife in the back of the west itself?

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

Read full biography

Books

  • The World Turned Upside Down
  • Londonistan
  • The Ascent of Woman
  • America's Social Revolution

Contact Melanie

Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
Northcliffe House
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT

Contact Melanie