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Good points but still one-sided

Reader comment on item: Romney vs. Obama vis-à-vis Israel
in response to reader comment: Israel's oil and gas reserves change Obama's calculus vis-a-vis Israel

Submitted by sara (United States), Sep 5, 2012 at 17:45

I think you might benefit from reading this piece by Bret Stephens, if you can force yourself to read the 'right wing' WSJ..

Maybe Obama Has Israel's Back, Or maybe it's time to realize that Israel is on its own.

Maybe Martin Dempsey chose his words poorly.

Maybe the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff didn't mean to imply Israel would be committing a crime when he told reporters last week that the U.S. would not be "complicit" with an Israeli attack on Iran. Maybe he hadn't yet read the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, noting that Iran continued to enrich, continued to obstruct, continued to deceive. Maybe Gen. Dempsey wasn't speaking for the president at all, just offering opinions above his pay grade.

Or maybe he was speaking directly for a president who, politics being what they are, can't yet say such things himself.

Maybe it isn't true, as the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported yesterday, that the U.S. has told Iran via European channels that it would not back an Israeli strike provided Iran did not retaliate against U.S. assets in the Persian Gulf. Maybe it's a slur to suggest this administration would ever broach, much less cut, a deal with Tehran at the expense of Jerusalem.

Or maybe it would cut that deal in a heartbeat.

Maybe it's no big deal that the U.S. is walking away from a joint U.S.-Israeli military exercise scheduled for October and cited last year by the State Department as evidence of the "new heights" to which Mr. Obama had carried America's "unwavering commitment to Israel's security." Maybe "slashing by more than two-thirds the number of American troops going to Israel and reducing both the number and potency of missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise," as Time magazine reports, was merely the result of ordinary budgetary pressures.

Or maybe that's another piece of Gen. Dempsey's non-complicity policy.

Maybe the president is serious when he says he will prevent Iran from getting a bomb in the first place, rather than try to contain a nuclear Iran after the fact. Maybe the elaborate antimissile systems the U.S. is racing to set up in the region—so that, according to the New York Times, "even if [Iran] developed a nuclear weapon and mounted it atop its growing fleet of missiles, it could be countered by antimissile systems"—is not about containment at all.

Or maybe the administration thinks containment is a viable option after all, or at least a better one than military strikes, which is why it's now spending its money on it.

Maybe the administration thinks that it can pursue an effective covert strategy against Iran while also telling the media that it is pursuing such a strategy. Maybe someone forgot to tell whoever is leaking the details of this strategy that "covert" is another word for "secret."

Or maybe the Obama administration is happy to brag about its covert accomplishments, even when the bragging betrays Israel's secrets as well.

Maybe the administration knows that diplomacy has run its course with a regime that has rejected one overture after another.

Or maybe the administration really thinks it can still tempt the mullahs with a grand bargain in which they give up their nukes in exchange for a U.S. embassy in Tehran (they loved the last one) along with spare parts for their airplanes.

Maybe President Obama is, as some senior Israeli decision makers claim, a sincere and fabulous friend of Israel.

Or maybe such statements are simply a matter of being polite about an administration that knows it has a problem with disenchanted Jewish voters and distrustful donors.

Maybe Mr. Obama has privately offered Israel realistic assurances that the U.S. is prepared to use force to stop Iran as soon as the election is behind him. Maybe the near-hysteria that has gripped the Israeli government is an ingenious head fake designed to make the Iranians think they can exploit the discord between the two Satans.

Or maybe the only head fake is the president's attempt to woo skeptical voters that he really has Israel's back.

Maybe, dear Western reader, you think the administration is right to stay Israel's hand—because you'd rather have the U.S. do the job cleanly, after exhausting whatever other options remain, rather than risk having Israel do the job messily. Maybe you have a fair and defensible point.

Or maybe you think that the mullahs nuclear ambitions are their own business and they'll leave us alone if only we leave them. Maybe you're Ron Paul.

Maybe, dear Israeli reader, you think it oughtn't be the responsibility of a small power to confront Iran alone, especially when Iran's threat goes well beyond Israel alone. Maybe you, too, have a fair and defensible point.

Or maybe you think that, whatever the merits of that argument, Israel will not find its security on the strength of its debating points. Maybe you think, too, that Israel puts its sovereignty and security at risk when it allows any other nation to seek a veto over its actions.

Maybe the risks of Israeli inaction—not least to its reputation and deterrent power—are greater than the risks of action, real as they surely are. Maybe it's true that those who dare, win. Maybe it's time to stop letting the Iranians do all the daring.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".


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Reader comments (47) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Ironic that Obama in office will continue to push Israel to the right [58 words]stanley bNov 10, 2012 17:36200466
Sadly, we know what President Obama will do, if re-elected. [30 words]Phil GreendOct 28, 2012 00:04200119
It May Get Worse [66 words]Barry BlackSep 24, 2012 14:25199073
2Irrelevant remarks [232 words]Charles LandesmanSep 10, 2012 16:43198493
1Good to remember [196 words]Al SheeberSep 7, 2012 01:16198422
1NO ONE HAS STATED THEIR TRUE FEELINGS REGARDING ISRAEL!!! [50 words]Ted KrautSep 6, 2012 16:33198413
The Exodus [86 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Abraham SantiagoSep 6, 2012 10:16198399
Re: The Exodus [120 words]AnonSep 9, 2012 02:11198399
Some thoughts on Prediction [120 words]Eli ModiinSep 9, 2012 15:37198399
1Maybe one day, in the very distant future [198 words]stanley bSep 9, 2012 18:39198399
2Israel, Obama and US Elections [342 words]AlexSep 5, 2012 18:28198376
Obama and Israel [187 words]PaulSep 9, 2012 11:52198376
where does the truth lie? [185 words]melSep 5, 2012 12:56198364
2I say that you are getting 'truth' from someone's Blog [976 words]saraSep 5, 2012 18:01198364
The Game of Who Do You Trust [186 words]Jules PostenSep 5, 2012 09:35198361
1Israel's oil and gas reserves change Obama's calculus vis-a-vis Israel [346 words]Martin H. KatchenSep 5, 2012 02:40198358
1Good points but still one-sided [892 words]saraSep 5, 2012 17:45198358
2Obama and Israel [68 words]PrashantSep 5, 2012 02:15198357
1Americans have a clear choice on election day ! [68 words]Phil GreendSep 4, 2012 23:54198351
1The November 2012 election [165 words]Lujack SkylarkSep 4, 2012 23:23198349
Obama Updated [56 words]Tom SkylarkApr 20, 2014 15:32198349
4Any Jew voting for Obama is ... a useful idiot. [124 words]NuritGSep 4, 2012 21:44198344
Obama vs Israel [62 words]samSep 4, 2012 21:39198343
Wish that was true... [76 words]saraSep 4, 2012 21:56198343
1americans [28 words]joshuaSep 5, 2012 14:39198343
1USA and Israel [24 words]RachelSep 4, 2012 19:37198338
Values for choosing a candidate [174 words]JudieSep 4, 2012 19:10198337
2HOW DISPIRITING! [444 words]john w mcginleySep 4, 2012 16:03198326
Orator? [43 words]Kepha HorSep 5, 2012 18:42198326
Between A Rock and a Hard Place [210 words]Barry BlackSep 4, 2012 15:02198323
2Quite a wild extrapolation, no? [249 words]saraSep 4, 2012 17:45198323
Satire? [92 words]Barry BlackSep 4, 2012 18:58198323
Sorry about that then [1071 words]saraSep 5, 2012 17:37198323
1Demise of America [101 words]Joan SeversonSep 4, 2012 14:50198322
Romney versus Obama [205 words]Nenette GrunbergSep 4, 2012 11:19198319
2The clarity vis a vis Doctrines and Policy [58 words]Michael Hanni MorcosSep 4, 2012 10:39198317
Difficult choice [114 words]C. FriedmanSep 4, 2012 09:46198316
1Difficult to fathom [91 words]saraSep 4, 2012 17:52198316
Why do I continue to be shocked? [531 words]DEBORAH THE JUDGESep 4, 2012 22:44198316
Freedom of Choice is Always Difficult - To Get It Right! [470 words]M. ToveySep 5, 2012 19:23198316
Romney-Obama [151 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
John SchwartzSep 4, 2012 09:36198314
7Obama has a balanced view: he hates Jews as much as he hates Israel [353 words]Dr. Ron PollandSep 4, 2012 23:56198314
2Really? [100 words]DEBORAH THE JUDGESep 5, 2012 11:01198314
1Obama and the Jews [167 words]Kepha HorSep 5, 2012 18:50198314
One consideration [73 words]DEBORAH THE JUDGESep 5, 2012 23:22198314
8Did Obama throw Israel under the bus? [152 words]G MarcusSep 4, 2012 09:05198313

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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