Dempsey Defends His Remarks on Israel


us-general-martin-dempseyThe chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate panel on Tuesday he did not counsel Israel against attacking Iran over its nuclear program.

Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers on the Senate Budget Committee: “We’ve had a conversation with them about time, the issue of time.”

Dempsey also defended his comment that Iran is a “rational actor,” which has been criticized by Republicans.
Dempsey said that he doesn’t mistake Iran’s rhetoric for a lack of reason, and said that even Iran’s actions that are unacceptable to the United States fit the country’s pattern over the past 30 years.

“We can’t afford to underestimate our potential adversaries by writing them off as irrational,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey’s comments represent the first time he’s addressed his remarks in a CNN interview in which he referrred to the Iranians as a “rational actor” and said an attack by Israel on Iran would be “destabilizing” and “not prudent.” Those comments drew the ire of Israeli officials.

Israel has said its time is running out to be able to stop Iran’s nuclear program, while the United States has wanted time for economic sanctions against Iran to take effect.

When Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) asked Dempsey whether a military strike by the United States was off the table, Dempsey responded: “Absolutely not.”

{The Hill/ Newscenter}


  1. Yeah….it’s about time. you had three years in this administration to do something and now you wake up. move over and let the Israelis do the job….

  2. The bottom line is that bombing Iran will not stop its nuclear program, only delay it. If Barak and company think that contemorary Iran is like Iraq under Saddam, they’re seriously deluded.

  3. i have said it b4 and i’ll say it again: there is a big war coming and no one can deny it. bomb them = war. don’t bomb them = they will bomb us first. better daven hard because we will need all the help from g-d that we can get

  4. Once upon a time no-one believed we would ever have anything but active war with the countries around us. Then Mr. Sadat came to Jerusalem. Maybe things will work out diplomatically with Iran, too. We won’t know unless we try. The alternative is a lot of Israelis dying in a possibly needless war. I don’t want to lose any of my friends or former neighbors because Mssrs. Barak and Netanyahu are lousy diplomats.