Thursday, December 07, 2006

There are certain things you're not supposed to mention...

And one of those things is that Israel has a nuclear arsenal.

During his confirmation hearing for SecDef, Roberts Gates was refreshingly honest when he admitted that the US was not "winning in Iraq." No one really knows what this guy's angle ultimately will be, but as regards the Iraq situation, at least he was able to state what has been obvious for sometime now. Considering what the American public have been treated to by the Bush administration these past six years, refreshing honesty has been dumbed down significantly; to the point that simply stating the obvious is now considered revelatory. The Israelis, in particular, found themselves rather stunned by a breech of diplomatic protocol wherein Gates offered a reason as to why Iran might want to acquire nuclear weapons:
They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons: Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf.
Oops. The US and Israelis have had a "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding Israel's nuclear weapons program for decades. Despite the fact that "everyone knows" Israel has a nuclear arsenal, this is simply something American politicians are not supposed to admit or even talk about. One Israeli diplomat seemed inclined to put off this misstep as a lack of understanding about the way the world works. Knowing what we know about Gates, that hardly seems likely. Perhaps he is just out of practice:
It's quite unprecedented. I can only assume he has yet to get to grips with the understandings that exist between us and the Americans.
I'm sure Gates' understanding can and will be improved upon in short order.


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