For months, Israel’s leadership has made it appear as though a military strike against Iran may be imminent.
However, some (including myself) have viewed such sabre rattling as nothing more than a bluff – a bluff intended to politically scare up U.S. support for a military strike in an election year.
A report from The Washington Post today makes it appear as though President Obama agrees. For the Obama administration seems to be calling Israel’s bluff.
In short, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been waving Iran before the GOP like a piece of red meat, imploring Republicans to hit Obama hard politically with the spectre of Israel’s vulnerability. Mitt Romney obliged in late July, pledging full support for an Israeli strike.
However, it appears President Obama hasn’t been moved. This much has been made clear by the host of Israeli figures who have been publicly whining recently about the fact that Obama hasn’t been puffing out his chest enough and threatening Iran with our military might.
Here’s the best quote from an unnamed Israeli official cited by the Post:
“What we’d like to see is President Obama saying something in the next few days or weeks, something serious,” said one official.
“It could be (a declaration) of red lines, or some forceful statement,” he said. “The point is not to convince Israel, but to convince the Iranians, that we, the United States, mean business. We will tighten sanctions. There’s a military option. … The Iranians have to understand unequivocally that the Americans are serious about preventing them from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
The point is not to convince Israel, but to convince the Iranians, that we, the United States, mean business.The unintended meaning of the official’s words belies a current truth: the U.S. has made clear to Israel that it means business — it will not support a military strike in the present environment. Full stop.
As Netanyahu continues to bark, Israeli leaders are begging our President to bite. However, Obama seems intent on not allowing this tail to wag the dog.
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