Israel, Obama and Iran

On his recent unannounced trip to Israel, CIA Director Leon Panetta apparently told the new Israeli government that it must not attack Iran in order to stop the Iranian nuclear program. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration seems resigned to a nuclear armed Iran. The thought that Iran will behave itself if the Israelis stand down is beyond ridiculous. It endangers every man and woman in the Western World.

President Obama’s December deadline for talks with Iran aimed at stopping its nuclear program cannot possibly work. It is diplomacy without the threat of any credible consequence. Much like with North Korea, it’s “Stop or I’ll say ‘stop’ again!” Third world dictators are notorious for not stopping rogue behavior without the threat of military force. So far, nothing that the Iranian’s have done seems to indicate that they are succumbing to international diplomatic pressure.

Based upon Washington’s total unwillingness to act to stop Iran, the danger to Israel is great. Linking the settling of the Palestinian problem to the termination of the Iranian nuclear program is naive (and, quite frankly, Jimmy Carter like). If Iran is able to deploy a nuclear weapon, it will use it to destroy the Jewish State. Maybe not by direct action by the Iranian military, but by having one of its surrogates do their dirty work. In either event, the outcome to the Israelis is unacceptable.

Unlike during the Cold War, the notion of mutually assured destruction will not work against religious zealots. The mullahs believe that the outcome is preordained so, therefore, they have nothing to lose by launching the first strike. I saw Benjamin Netanyahu speak many years ago and he made this point back then. Back in the days of the USSR, the ruling class had a vested interest in preserving the status quo for themselves and their families. Hence, the notion of MADD worked to keep the Soviets in check. For the Islamists, the killing of the infidels is the end game in and of itself. As such, the threat of an all out retaliation is useless.

Considering President Obama’s lack of commitment to the security of Israel, it is odd that so many American Jews voted for him in the 2008 election. When you contrast the current administration’s sentiments towards Israel with that of its predecessor, every American who believes that a free and strong Israel is critical to our own national security should be giving thanks to George W. Bush.

Fortunately, Prime Minister Netanyahu has reserved for Israel the right to act independently of the United States in regard to Israeli security. In the not very distant future, Mr. Netanyahu will have to decide for himself and his people whether to allow a nuclear armed Iran. I am hopefully that he will come to the conclusion that such a situation is unacceptable and that Israel must act to defend herself. The consequence will be severe, but they will be less than that of a nuclear detonation in the middle of Tel Aviv.

We must remember that Iran has no incentive to stop its aberrant behavior. They are the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. The successful termination of the Iranian nuclear should be one of the major objectives of the Global War on Terror. The Iranian regime is inseparable from many of the world’s major terrorist organizations. Therefore, the Obama Administration has a vested interest in acting to stop the Mullahs. Let’s hope that they will. If not, the Israelis are our last, best hope!

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