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.