Jim Lobe on Antiwar Radio

jim_lobeJim Lobe interviewed by Scott Horton on Antiwar Radio. His analysis in this particular interview is rather unimpressive. While Lobe’s reporting over the years has been indispensable, he is too optimistic in his analysis. Since at least the autumn of 2003 he has been announcing the demise of the neocons. Here as well his reading of the Obama-Netanyahu summit is overly positive. For a reality check see this interview with Jeff Blankfort.

Jim Lobe on Antiwar Radio (26:11): MP3

Jim Lobe, Washington Bureau Chief for Inter Press Service, discusses Hillary Clinton’s emphatic rejection of any kind of Israeli settlement growth, the Obama administration’s (first in a generation) hard-line on Israel, the low probability of a Palestine/Israel 2-state solution even with a settlement freeze and allegations that Netanyahu sees Iran as Amalek – eternal biblical persecutor of Jews.

Continue reading “Jim Lobe on Antiwar Radio”

Despite Smiles, Obama, Netanyahu Seem Far Apart

When 'Bibi' met Obama

Here’s Jim Lobe’s (IPS) analysis of yesterday’s meeting between Obama and Netanyahu:

While reaffirming the “special relationship” between their two countries, U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared unable to bridge major differences in their approaches to Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts following their White House meeting here Monday.

And while Obama repeatedly stressed the importance of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu never uttered the phrase or alluded to the possibility of a Palestinian state during a 30-minute press appearance with the U.S. president after their meeting in the Oval Office.

While Obama said he may be prepared to impose additional sanctions against Iran early next year if diplomatic efforts to persuade it to curb its nuclear programme fail to make progress, he refused to set what he called “an arbitrary deadline.” Israeli officials had pressed Washington for an early October deadline.

Continue reading “Despite Smiles, Obama, Netanyahu Seem Far Apart”

US: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Greatest Threat of All?

Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service give an insightful analysis of events in Washington over the past week. At the AIPAC conference Israel hawks espoused hyperbole towards the “existential threat” that Iran poses towards Israel in the fight to secure foreign policy agenda ahead of the more pressing ‘Af-Pak’ issue, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari conducted summit talks with President Obama.

WASHINGTON, May 10 (IPS) – A potentially major clash appears to be developing between powerful factions inside and outside the U.S. government, pitting those who see the Afghanistan/Pakistan (“AfPak”) theatre as the greatest potential threat to U.S. national security against those who believe that the danger posed by a nuclear Iran must be given priority.

The Iran hawks, concentrated within the Israeli government and its U.S. supporters in the so-called “Israel lobby” here, want to take aggressive action against Iran’s nuclear programme by moving quickly to a stepped-up sanctions regime. Continue reading “US: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Greatest Threat of All?”

Major Foreign Tests Likely Over Next 100 Days

Jim Lobe‘s prognosis for the Obama presidency’s upcoming 100 days:

While Barack Obama has clearly improved Washington’s image abroad during his first 100 days in office, the next 100 will almost certainly prove much more challenging for the new president’s foreign policy.

Putting aside the possibility that the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression could become much more severe than the White House currently anticipates, or that the swine flu currently spreading out of Mexico explodes into a modern-day version of the 1918 epidemic over the coming months, Obama will face a series of difficult decisions on how to deal with a plethora of actual and potential geo-strategic crises.

Continue reading “Major Foreign Tests Likely Over Next 100 Days”

Obama Team Debates Stance on Israeli Attack Threat

And another excellent analysis of the US-Israel-Iran triangle and the machinations within the new Obama administration concerning a possible Israeli ‘pre-emptive’ strike against Iran by Jim Lobe and Gareth Porter

A recent statement by the chief of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. David Petraeus, that Israel may decide to attack Iranian nuclear sites has been followed by indications of a debate within the Barack Obama administration on whether Israel’s repeated threats to carry out such a strike should be used to gain leverage in future negotiations with Tehran.

In the latest twist, Vice President Joseph Biden, who has been put in charge of the administration’s non-proliferation agenda, appeared to reject the idea. “I don’t believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu would [launch a strike],” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday. “I think he would be ill-advised to do that.”
Continue reading “Obama Team Debates Stance on Israeli Attack Threat”

Empire – Israel and the US

You won’t see anything like this on the BBC. The Al Jazeera show Empire on the US relationship with Israel.  Interviewees include Stephen Walt, Jim Lobe, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe, Anatol Lieven, Stephen Walt and Aaron David Miller. There is a hard hitting segment on AIPAC towards the end of the Part 1. However, despite the excellent contributions from interviewees, especially Lobe, Shlaim, Lieven and Stephen Walt, the host keeps imposing the tired old Leftist view of Israel as a ‘strategic asset’ to the US on the narrative. The program could have also done without the Egyptian idiot in the second part of the show.

In this episode of Empire, Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, and his guests zero in on the special relationship between the US and Israel.

They explore who benefits from the special relationship and whether the status quo will prevail.

Continue reading “Empire – Israel and the US”