With the third and final presidential debate set to start in a few minutes, it is interesting to read an article in the Times of Israel that carries the views of Efraim Halevy (pictured at left), the former head of the Mossad - for Fox News viewers, the Mossad is the Israeli equivalent of the CIA - who praise Barack Obama and criticizes Mitt Romney's bellicose sabre rattling which Halvey believes could force the USA and Israel into a war with Iran. With a son-in-law in the Army, I have no use for those who have served ZERO time in the military themselves yet are hellbent to send other people's children off to die in avoidable wars. It's no coincidence that none of Romney's sons - like their dad who viewed himself as too important to serve in Vietnam - have ever served in the military. Here are pertinent highlights from the Times of Israel article:
Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy spoke out in favor of US President Barack Obama’s strategy for coping with Iran through sanctions and diplomacy, while criticizing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for taking an extreme position.
“The goal of economic sanctions is to convince Iran’s leaders to abandon their nuclear drive, not to prepare the ground for a military strike,” Halevy said in an interview to Israel Radio Monday morning.
Halevy said that if it wasn’t for Obama’s “brave” strategy, Tehran would not now be facing a severe economic crisis. He added that engaging in negotiations with Iran doesn’t mean putting aside sanctions.
The former head of Israel’s spy agency criticized Romney’s policy on Iran, arguing that the Republican challenger’s refusal to hold talks with Tehran leaves no room for any options other than conducting a military strike.
“In order to be effective with one’s enemies, you have to have two essential capabilities: To overcome them by force if necessary… and do everything you can to get into their minds and try to understand how they see things… and where, if at all, there is room for common ground of one kind or another,” said Halevy. “I think that what we have had over the years is an abundance of one side, and a dearth of the other.”
Halevy made his comments following the Saturday publication of a New York Times report that claimed that Iran had agreed to hold direct talks with the US over its uranium enrichment program following the US elections. The report has since been denied by both the White House and Tehran.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon told Israel Radio that Jerusalem has known for some time of behind-the-scenes contact between the US and Iran, and that it has no objections. Ya’alon said that direct talks would receive Israel’s blessing if they bring an end to Iran’s nuclear program.