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Israel and Iran

Obama’s Blindspot Intact

by BARRY LANDO

In the brief interview he gave ABC before the Superbowl, President Obama declared “I’ve been very clear that we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and creating an arms race, a nuclear arms race, in a volatile region.”

Sounds like a very laudable goal, right. Except for the fact that, as I recently blogged, the nuclear arms race in the Middle East is already under way. It began almost fifty years ago when Israel developed the bomb.

According to a 2007 study by the Federation of American Scientists, “Estimates for Israel’s nuclear weapons stockpile range from 70 to 400 warheads. The actual number is probably closer to the lower estimate. Additional weapons could probably be built from inventories of fissile materials.”

In other words, as I wrote, “One of the most uncommented on ironies today is that Israel is threatening military action to prevent Iran from continuing the same clandestine route to nuclear weapons that Israel took; just as Israeli planes destroyed nuclear reactors in Syria and Iraq to prevent those countries from following Israel’s lead”

Indeed, Israel, probably has more nukes today than either India or Pakistan. Speculation is that they could be fired from long-range artillery, dropped as bombs, or delivered as warheads from Israeli submarines or via Israel’s Jehrico 1 and 2 Missiles.   There has also been conjecture about nuclear land mines, suitcase bombs, and missiles fired from Israelis submarines.

A parallel irony, as I pointed out, is the fact that, for the past fifty years, every American President has refused to publicly recognize the fact of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

On Superbowl Sunday President Obama kept the tradition intact.

Of course, so did ABC News and reporter Matt Lauer who let Obama’s statement go unchallenged. But, hey, that’s what the mainstream media has done for years.

Whatever your views on this crisis, how are we supposed to discuss it–never mind resolve it–with such a political blind spot.

Check it out the missing issue yourself as you follow the breathless coverage of the current crisis.

Barry M. Lando, a graduate of Harvard and Columbia University, spent 25 years as an award-winning investigative producer with 60 Minutes. His latest book is “Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush.” Lando is currently completing a novel, “The Watchman’s File”, concerning Israel’s most closely guarded secret (it’s not the bomb.) He can be reached through his blog.