Things are once again reaching a critical point where Israeli policy vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear program runs across the United States policy of pushing all things Iran to beyond the election in November. This little clash of opinions has always begun with Prime Minister Netanyahu commenting during a press conference, speech or other quotable public appearance where he is peppered with questions from the press and he tells those listening that the Iranian nuclear situation is approaching a dangerous level or that Israel is considering what steps may be necessary regarding the Iranian nuclear program or other similar concern. This has been followed within a week to ten days by a State Department higher-up or a senior Pentagon civilian and on two occasions real heavyweights were dispatched, once it was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey and the other it was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Now that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned on Wednesday that Jerusalem is “committed to doing everything it can in order to stop Iran from going nuclear.” And he added that he is “fully aware of the difficulties and complexities involved in preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.” He referred to Israel facing “difficult and fateful decisions” weighing methods to stop Iran's controversial uranium enrichment program. Defense Minister Barak purported that “having to deal with the challenge” of facing Iran possessing nuclear bombs “would be many times more complex, dangerous and costly, both in terms of human life and in terms of resources, than a preemptive strike. But a look at the facts leads us not only to avoid reconsidering our calculations, but to move on our intended path with greater confidence. The Iranians are determined to continue deceiving the entire world, in order to achieve nuclear weapons. Whoever wants proof just needs to look at the talks over the last few months, including the most recent talks in Moscow.” As he continued, Ehud Barak referred to “a unique challenge” that Iran poses to Israel. He was speaking to the graduates of the IDF National Security College.
I have figured that there is a complete department within President Obama’s Administration which is assigned to monitoring all things Israel for any divergence from the desired path. This speech by the Israeli Defense Minister likely has set their hair on fire and they are currently running through the office areas within the White House screaming maniacally that “The end is nigh!” Well, they likely at the least sent a terse memo requesting likely two high level officials be dispatched immediately to set Israel straight and force them back in and toeing the line. I wonder who will be dispatched for the well-deserved reprimand that the Israeli leadership most definitively deserves for not heeding the warning laid down during a previous counseling that approval by President Obama was required before Israel would be permitted to deviate from American officially stated policies concerning Iran, well, at least until after the election in November. On the other side, what happens if President Obama simply cuts Israel loose? Can they be trusted with their own policies and defense without such sagely leadership? Perhaps we may see, but I doubt such will be allowed. It appears the mantra on foreign policies, especially concerning the necessarily evil choice between undesirable catastrophic alternatives posed by the Iranian pursuit of nuclear capabilities, is something like, “It’s the election, all the election, just the election, and only the election at all costs.” Perhaps the United States would move the election up to September; saving the American people the sound, fury, and distastefulness of two months of campaigning and possibly allow the threatened people in the world to addressing Iran before they turn nuclear. Hey, that sounds like a win-win all around.
Beyond the Cusp