Monday, September 03, 2012


An Israeli Air Force F-16I. Recent policy decisions by the Obama Administration may actually hasten, rather than deter, an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities (photo via

The Obama Administration has (reportedly) come up with a plan that will supposedly deter an Israeli strike against Iran, while at the same time, prevent Tehran from attacking U.S. interests in the region.

Someone alert the Nobel Peace Prize committee. Mr. Obama wants another one.

Here's how the plan would supposedly work, according to The New York Times. The U.S. is considering new "curbs" against the Iranian regime (and its nuclear program), hoping to forestall an Israeli attack. The administration hopes the same measures will persuade to resume nuclear talks with the west that have been all-but-stalled for many months. From today's report in the Times:

Already planned are naval exercises and new antimissile systems in the Persian Gulf, and a more forceful clamping down on Iranian oil revenue. The administration is also considering new declarations byPresident Obama about what might bring about American military action, as well as covert activities that have been previously considered and rejected.

As part of a planned show of strength, the U.S. is planning a major mine sweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf later this month. Ships, aircraft and personnel from 25 nations will participate in the drill, rehearsing skills that would be used to re-open the Strait of Hormuz in the event of a conflict between Iran and its enemies. Tehran has repeatedly vowed to block the strategic waterway in the event of an Israeli strike, or in retaliation for western military action.

The Times also reports the administration is considering a public declaration of so-called red lines that would prompt a U.S. response (if Iran crosses them), and the employment of covert measures that have been previously ruled out. Collectively, the U.S. proposals are designed to buy time, illustrating that Washington is serious about dealing with Tehran and its nuclear program, and dissuading Israel from launching a near-term strike. Concurrently, the tightened sanctions are supposed to put the screws to the Iranian regime and force them back to the bargaining table.

But Israel is hardly reassured. An article posted at the Israeli site puts a completely different spin on the matter. Diplomatic sources tell Israeli journalists that the U.S. is scrambling to distance itself from the Israel and appears to be giving Iran the green light to launch a counter-strike, if Israel attacks first:

The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country's nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.

According to the report, Washington used covert back-channels in Europe to clarify that the US does not intend to back Israel in a strike that may spark a regional conflict.

To anyone outside of Foggy Bottom, this "proposal" is the height of fecklessness--a veritable fool's errand that will almost guarantee the opposite results.

Consider the position of Israel. Based on this "offer," the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will (rightly) conclude it has been sold down the river again, leaving it with no option but striking Iran before that nation's nuclear program reaches the point of no return. The U.S. plan comes on the heels of an announced down-sizing in a planned exercise between American and Israeli forces, scheduled for early this fall. Based on these developments, Israel views itself as "alone" in facing the Iranian menace, adding more urgency to reported attack preparations.

From the Iranian perspective, the proposal is an open invitation for Tehran (and its surrogates) to hit back in retaliation for an Israeli strike, using all the resources at their disposal. In return, the U.S. only asks the Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas simply refrain from hitting our interests in the region.

Yet once again, the administration is deluding itself. The Israeli Air Force will use U.S.-built aircraft and weaponry to carry out any raid against Iran's nuclear facilities. American intelligence has provided some of the data used to formulate Israeli attack options. When IAF F-15s and F-16s head east, there will be claims of U.S. complicity in the attack, even if we distance ourselves from the Israelis, as evidenced by President Obama's new policy options. Against that backdrop, it will be almost impossible for Iran to resist the temptation to strike out at us. calculating its has little to fear from an Obama Administration and a response that will likely be quite measured.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton was quite right today when he described Israel as alone, with no other option than military force for dealing with Iran. From Big Peace:

There is no way at this state to prevent iran from going nuclear without the use of fore. It is very unfortunate in my opinion, but I see no possibility that Obama will use military force, and therefore it falls upon Israel. I think that even though the Administration says that containment is not its policy, it will become its policy the day after Iran possesses nuclear weapons."

Mr. Obama's latest geopolitical machinations remind us of another politician who worked to avoid conflict at all costs, yet only hastened its onset. We speak, of course, of British Prime Neville Chamberlain, architect of the infamous appeasement scheme that was supposed to contain the ambitions of Adolf Hitler. Of Chamberlain and his policies, Winston Churchill aptly observed:

"You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war."

And so shall we, sooner rather than later.

1 comment:

Baelzar said...

How could any Jew vote for this man?