U.S. Is ‘Flashing Red’ Light at Israel, Sen. Reed Says

By Lee Speigel

Jul 6, 2008 12:39pm

ABC News’ Mary Bruce reports: Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said this morning that the U.S. military is "flashing red" at Israel not to attack Iran.

"From the military commanders I’ve spoken to, the yellow lights are blinking very, very quickly," Reed said in an exclusive "This Week" interview with George Stephanopoulos. "In fact, I think, even, it might be a flashing red, because the consequences in the region would be significant, and they would be region-wide."

Pentagon officials are reportedly increasingly concerned that Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear facilities this year.   

In the same interview, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., agreed with Reed, but to a lesser degree. "I think there’s a caution light. Look, the good news is that the American and Israeli militaries — intelligence community, government — work very closely together," Lieberman said. But he also noted that the "clock is ticking" and that "right now … we have to pick up the strength of our sanctions against them."

Reed joined Lieberman in calling for non-violent negotiations. "I think we have to seize the time. As short as it might be, we have to seize the time for a diplomatic approach, sincerely." Both senators serve together on the Armed Services Committee.

Reed and Lieberman also debated presidential politics and whether Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has shifted his policy on Iraq. "There’s been a significant change in Barack Obama’s position on Iraq in the last week," Lieberman said. Obama said earlier in the week that he would be open to "refining" his policy, but later asserted he was not referring to his 16-month timeline for withdrawal.

Reed, however, strongly disagreed with Lieberman. "Sen. Obama is outlining a strategy to redeploy our forces out of Iraq. Sen. McCain has a strategy of staying there indefinitely. That is the key, significant strategic difference.”

Lieberman went on to say that Obama’s policy on Iraq was falling in line with Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., war strategy. "Look, for a long time, Sen. Obama said, ‘let’s get those troops out as quickly as we can, regardless of what’s happening on the ground.’  Sen. Obama, I think, here on Iraq, is trying to deal with what the former vice president might call an inconvenient truth, which is that, on Iraq, John McCain has been right and consistent, and Sen. Obama has been wrong.”

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