I have previously posted about the intelligence agencies officials, ambassadors and nuclear scientists who have all come out in support of the P5+1 world powers nuclear agreement with Iran. Today the Washington Post reports about the U.S. military brass who support the agreement (and I include the Israeli military brass who support the agreement below). Dozens of retired generals, admirals back Iran nuclear deal:
Three dozen retired generals and admirals released an open letter Tuesday supporting the Iran nuclear deal and urging Congress to do the same.
Calling the agreement “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” the letter said that gaining international support for military action against Iran, should that ever become necessary, “would only be possible if we have first given the diplomatic path a chance.”
The letter from the retired military officers followed the release this past weekend of a letter to Obama by 29 of the nation’s leading scientists, who called the Iran deal “technically sound, stringent and innovative” and said it would “provide the necessary assurance in the coming decade and more that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.”
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Signers of the military letter include retired general and flag officers from every branch of service. They include four-star Marine Gens. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Joseph P. Hoar, former head of the U.S. Central Command; and Gens. Merrill McPeak and Lloyd W. Newton of the Air Force.
“There is no better option to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon,” the letter said. “Military action would be less effective than the deal, assuming it is fully implemented. If the Iranians cheat, our advanced technology, intelligence and the inspections will reveal it, and U.S. military options remain on the table.”
“And if the deal is rejected by America,” it said, “the Iranians could have a nuclear weapon within a year. The choice is that stark.”
Retired Navy Rear Adm. Harold L. Robinson, a rabbi and former naval chaplain who chairs the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces, also signed.
“As a lifelong Zionist, devoted to Israel, and a retired general officer and a rabbi for over 40 years, and operating without institutional encumbrances, I have a unique perspective,” Robinson said in an interview.
He said he spoke out to demonstrate that “those of us who love Israel in the United States are not of one mind and one voice on this matter. I thought it was important to represent some of the diversity within the American Jewish community.”
The Israeli government is adamantly opposed to the agreement, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has been in the forefront of a campaign to build public opposition in this country.
The Israeli elected government may be opposed, but its military establishment is not. Israel’s Haaretz reports that an impressive list of top Israeli military brass support the deal with Iran. These military leaders wrote a letter to Netanyahu urging him to support the Iran deal. h/t Israeli Military Brass Support Iran Deal – Washington’s Blog:
Because it’s hard to read names jammed together without any organization, here’s a list of some of the military bigwigs (all now retired) who signed the letter:
- Shlomo Gaza, Chief of Intelligence, Major General
- Carmi Gillon, Director of Israel Security Agency
- Ami Ayalon, Vice Admiral, Director of Israel Security Agency
- Itamar Yaar, Colonel Deputy Israeli National Security Council
- Arie Pellman, Israeli Security Agency official
- Amiram Levin, deputy of the Mossad director, Major General
- Itzhak Barzilay, Mossad official
- Nathan Sharony, Major General, head of planning for the armed forces
Numerous admirals and generals signed the letter as well:
- David Ben Bashat, Vice Admiral
- Micha Ram, Vice Admiral
- Alex Tal, Vice Admiral
- Amira Dotan, Brigadier General, member of Parliament
- Uzi Eilam, Brigadier General, Director of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission
- Aviezer Yaari, Major General
- Giora Romm, Major General
- Moshe Lichtman, Major General
- Amram Mitzna, Major General, member of Parliament
- Abraham Almog, Brigadier General, Medal of Courage
- Asher Levy, Brigadier General
- Yossi Gonen, Brigadier General
- Giora Inbar, Brigadier General
- Arie Keren, Brigadier General
- Yoram Cohen, Brigadier General
- Shlomo Egozy. Brigadier General
- Yosef Eyal, Brigadier General
- Asaf Agmon, Brigadier General
- Uriel Agmon, Brigadier General
- Yoram Agmon, Brigadier General
- Amos Amir Brigadier General
- Mordechai ‘Motke’ Ben Porat, Brigadier General
- Shaul Gavoli, Police Major Geneneral, LDF Brigadier General
- Ilan Paz, Brigadier General
- Yitzhak Rabin, Brigadier General
- Giora Ram (Furman), PhD, Brigadier General
- Yaron Ram, Brigadier General
- Gilad Ramot, Brigadier General
- Gilad Raz, Brigadier General
- lftach Spector, Brigadier General
- Benny Taran , Brigadier General
- Aharon Vardi, Brigadier General
- Shlomo Waxe. Brigadier General
- Izak Zamir, Brigadier General
- Gadi Zohar, Brigadier General
- Amnon Reshef, General
- Ran Ronen, General
- Danny Rothschild, General
In addition, numerous top Israeli military brass have previously come out in favor of the Iran deal, including:
- Efraim Halevy, Mossad Director; former head of National Security Council
- Shlomo Ben-Ami, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Internal Security
- Shlomo Brom, brigadier general; former director of IDF strategic planning division; former deputy national security advisor
- Uzi Arad, national security advisor
- Dov Tamari, military intelligence chief; former head of special operations
- Chuck Freilich, deputy national security advisor
- Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, Chair of Israel’s space agency; former IDF general
- Uzi Even, lead scientist at Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor
- Eran Etzion, Deputy Head of the Israeli National Security Council; former Head of Policy Planning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Israel Ziv, major general
- Eli Levite, deputy director general of Israel’s atomic energy commission
Finally, here’s an interesting aside about one of the interest groups in the U.S. trying to undermine American diplomacy in favor of the alternative for war with Iran.
Gary Samore, president of the bipartisan advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran, resigned his position because he supports the Iran deal. Head of Group Opposing Iran Accord Quits Post, Saying He Backs Deal:
When the bipartisan advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran decided last week to mobilize opposition against the nuclear deal with Tehran, Gary Samore knew he could no longer serve as its president.
The reason: After long study, Mr. Samore, a former nuclear adviser to President Obama, had concluded that the accord was in the United States’ interest.
“I think President Obama’s strategy succeeded,” said Mr. Samore, who left his post on Monday. “He has created economic leverage and traded it away for Iranian nuclear concessions.”
As soon as Mr. Samore left, the group announced a new standard-bearer with a decidedly different message: Sen. John McCain’s “amigo” and fellow Neocon war monger, Joe Lieberman. Joe Lieberman to run group opposed to Iran nuclear deal because its leader no longer opposes it.
Let this serve as a warning how Neocon war mongers can worm their way back into power.