Powerline’s Scott Johnson publishes a tranlation of a column originally in Hebrew by Israeli analyst Dan Diker. Read the whole thing, but the campaign is obscuring a very bad week for American foreign policy:
For Arab Sunni Gulf States that are worried about Iran’s ascendancy under a nuclear umbrella, the National Intelligence Estimate submitted by 16 Intelligence agencies underscores growing confusion, disunity, and discord in Washington. That apparent lack of American unity and purpose for them spells weakness and a lack of political will, as a number of leading Islamic affairs experts inside and outside the Washington’s beltway have been warning for some time. At the same time, Iran continues to march ahead with its atomic weapons plans while destabilizing the region via proxy terror groups in Iraq, Hizbullah, Hamas, and promising to liquidate Israel, the US’s key Middle East ally.
John Bolton has branded the NIE as “politics disguised as intelligence.” Whatever it was, it encouraged our enemies and discouraged our allies. Nice work by the agencies.
UPDATE: Max Boot adds:
What particularly concerns Gulf Arabs is the possibility that Iran could go nuclear–a concern unlikely to be erased by the ambiguous findings of the new NIE. While this NIE claims that Iran stopped its nuclear-weapons program in 2003 (in direct contradiction to an NIE finding issued just two years ago that “Iran currently is determined to develop nuclear weapons”), it concedes that “Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing.” Such a “civilian” program could be converted speedily and stealthily to military use. As the new NIE notes, “Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.”
That thought fills Sunni Arabs with dread. “If we accept Iran as a nuclear power that is like accepting Hitler in 1933-34,” warned one senior Arab official, using the kind of analogy that back in Washington would get him dismissed as a neocon warmonger.