Washington Post: Possible U.S.-Iran Talks Obscured By Something Ominous

Can you guess what is ominous? Once you see the headline, you’re probably going to think that this Editorial is going to be Trump Derangement Syndrome. Nope

The hype of possible U.S.-Iran talks obscured something much more ominous

A FRENCH attempt to jump-start talks between the United States and Iran got plenty of attention over the weekend at the Group of Seven summit, but it might have been less serious than it seemed. Though President Trump agreed with French President Emmanuel Macron that a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani could happen within weeks, Iran’s foreign minister dismissed the prospect on Tuesday as “unimaginable.”Meanwhile, the hype over a possible diplomatic breakthrough obscured a much more ominous development: another escalation in Iran-related tensions across the Middle East, this time driven by Israel.

Since July, Israel has quietly expanded its air campaign against Iranian assets and allied militias from Syria to Iraq, with potentially far-reaching consequences for U.S. forces in the region. U.S. officials have said a July 19 airstrike on a weapons depot north of Baghdad was carried out by Israel, which has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria in recent years but had not targeted Iraq since 1981. Three other recent attacks on arms storehouses controlled by Iranian-linked militias are also believed to have been Israeli operations.

On Sunday, a drone attack on a Shiite militia convoy in western Iraq reportedly killed a senior commander and up to eight others. The previous night, an Israeli air raid in Syria killed two operatives of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which also blamed Israel for a drone that crashed near its media center south of Beirut. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed credit only for the Syria operation, saying it had preempted an Iranian-directed drone attack on multiple military and civilian targets inside Israel.

So, Israel fighting back against all the Iranian backed forces designed to harm Israel and her citizens. That’s a good thing, right?

Israel clearly has a right to defend itself from Iranian attacks, and there should be no objection to its action in Syria, a lawless country where Tehran and its allies operate with impunity…

See, the right to defend itself. But

…But the expansion of what has been a mostly measured and covert Israeli campaign to Iraq comes with considerable risks — including for the United States. Some 5,000 U.S. troops are still based in the country — and could be targets for Iranian reprisals; at the same time, the Iraqi government, which remains allied with Washington, is highly vulnerable to pressure from the Shiite militia groups, which among other things control a large bloc in parliament. That faction reacted to the attack on the militia convoy Sunday by blaming both Israel and the United States and calling for U.S. forces to leave the country. (snip)

Mr. Netanyahu faces a tough election next month, and he has been a staunch opponent of any U.S.-Iranian rapprochement. He might consider this a good moment to escalate with Iran; he may also believe that Mr. Trump will not object, even if the result is damage to U.S. interests in Iraq and a greater risk of a full-scale war. Unfortunately, on the latter point, he’s probably right.

Got that? Israel is supposed to just stand by and allow Iran to arm all these nations and groups, which don’t just threaten Israel, but actually use the munitions. They launch rockets, suicide attacks, firearms attacks, kites and balloons, murder soldiers and private citizens. Does the WPEB really want Israel to stand down? Of course they do. Like most Democrats, they hate Israel. Just like Iran. Iran would be very happy if Israel stood down.

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