Tuesday, March 06, 2012
I don't believe that to be an operational statement, and I don't think Prime Minister Netanyahu does either. Else why would Netanyahu emphasize Israel's right to defend itself and be "master of its own fate".
In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Obama ordered the US military to interdict any Israeli strike against Iran and I don't think it would surprise Netanyahu either. Else why would Israel, perhaps one of the US's closest allies anywhere, state that they won't warn the U.S. ahead of time of a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
There's too much in Obama's past behavior that suggests his attitude towards Iran is, er, less aggressive than previous administrations for Netanyahu to be able to rely on US support against Iran. And let's face it, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
I think Obama's statement is pure political campaigning, because he's afraid American Jews, who have for a very long time been solid Democrat voters, are beginning to have second thoughts about him. Not to mention the millions of other Americans who realize that Israel is the only reliable ally the US has in the Middle East, and may be the only ally there, period.
As I said last week, I expect that the US will be at war with Iran by Election Day, although I wouldn't care to guess what will set the conflict off. I can appreciate Obama needing to walk a tightrope without either increasing the likelihood of such a conflict, on the one hand, or making Israel feel that his administration is abandoning them, on the other, but the elephant in the room is that Iran continues to act in ways that scream it is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, irrespective of what Khameini and Ahmadinejad say for consumption by the gullible. There is much danger in facing that fact too late.