Someone put down some red lines, and it was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday: “The stake is the future of the world, and nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons.” Netanyahu said he spoke with "a sense of urgency," and drew out on a diagram how Iran will be ready to employ weapons-grade nuclear fuel that could be used to make a bomb by as early as next summer (see video clip below).
The distance between Tehran and Tel Aviv is 600 miles, about the distance from Portland to San Francisco, and along with the nuclear scenario are complex questions about Iran's medium- and long-range missile arsenal as well. In a conference call with reporters this week, Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose pointed out that the leading question for Western powers (and debating presidential candidates) contemplating a preemptive strike is, "What happens next?" What's the plan after taking out Iran's nuclear capability?
In Afghanistan most joint operations are back on track, despite the record number of insider shootings, Afghan trainees who turned their guns on NATO counterparts, in recent months.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta also confirmed what just about everyone outside the White House has known for weeks: Terrorists planned and carried out the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi earlier this month that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. As the White House spin has unraveled, The Washington Post in a timeline of the administration’s strange posturing on the 9/11 attack in Benghazi notes, “It certainly was in the White House’s interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident.”
The Sudanese government bombed its own people in a crowded marketplace Thursday morning even as its president met in Ethiopia for peace talks. President Omar al-Bashir signed an agreement with South Sudan President Salva Kiir to reopen oil pipelines between the countries and potentially establish a demilitarized border zone. But while the two met a bombing run killed at least one civilian and injured six others in a border area.
Rimsha Masih's case will go before a juvenile court in Pakistan on Oct. 1. The court, which does not impose the death penalty, confirmed that the girl, who is accused of burning pages from a Quran, is 14 years old.