Apparently, the US and Israel are talking about what would trigger a bombing campaign to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons, and the US is hoping to allay Israel’s fear that America will do nothing.
The problem is that Israel isn’t stupid, and they’ve seen America fail to act too, too many times. And, THAT isn’t going to make Israel feel comfortable.
The question that Israel will need to ask itself is whether the US understands the threat, and whether the US is prepared to do something about it. However, if I was advising the Israeli government, I’d tell them that the US does NOT understand the threat and that the US is NOT prepared to do something about that threat.
If there was a different president in office, would that change? I’d say not really. When George Bush was in office, we knew about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and essentially did nothing. No, we did worse than nothing. We denied Israel the right to do something itself.
The point is that the US cannot be trusted, and that’s a shame.
2012 will be the only time that Iraqi airspace will be wide open for Israeli aircraft to fly over Iraq on their way to Iran. Towards the end of the year, their air defenses will be operational.
What do YOU think Israel will do before 2012 is over?
Here’s an excerpt from an article in The Daily Beast:
U.S., Israel Discuss Triggers for Bombing Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructure
Eli Lake, Dec 28, 2011 4:45 AM EST
The Obama administration is trying to assure Israel privately that it would strike Iran militarily if Tehran’s nuclear program crosses certain “red lines”—while attempting to dissuade the Israelis from acting unilaterally. Eli Lake reports exclusively.
When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opined earlier this month that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could “consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret,” the Israelis went ballistic behind the scenes. Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, lodged a formal diplomatic protest known as a demarche. And the White House was thrust into action, reassuring the Israelis that the administration had its own “red lines” that would trigger military action against Iran, and that there is no need for Jerusalem to act unilaterally.
Panetta’s seemingly innocent remarks on Dec. 2 triggered the latest drama in the tinder-box relationship that the Obama administration is trying to navigate with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. With Republicans lining up to court Jewish donors and voters in America in 2012, Obama faces a tricky election-year task of ensuring Iran doesn’t acquire a nuclear bomb on his watch while keeping the Israelis from launching a preemptive strike that could inflame an already teetering Middle East.
The stakes are immensely high, and the distrust that Israelis feel toward the president remains a complicating factor. Those sentiments were laid bare in a speech Netanyahu’s minister of strategic affairs, Moshe Ya’alon, gave on Christmas Eve in Jerusalem, in which he used Panetta’s remarks to cast doubt on the U.S.’s willingness to launch its own military strike.
Ya’alon told the Anglo-Likud, an organization within Netanyahu’s Likud party that caters to native English speakers, that the Western strategy to stop Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons must include four elements, with the last resort being a military strike.
“The fourth element of this combined strategy is the credible military strike,” Ya’alon said, according to a recording of the speech provided to The Daily Beast. “There is no credible military action when we hear leaders from the West, saying, ‘this is not a real option,’ saying, ‘the price of military action is too high.’”
Obama and Netanyahu
The lack of trust between the Israeli and American leaders on Iran has been a sub-rosa tension in the relationship since 2009. Three U.S. military officials confirm to The Daily Beast that analysts attached to the Office of the Secretary of Defense are often revising estimates trying to predict what events in Iran would trigger Prime Minister Netanyahu to authorize a military attack on the country’s nuclear infrastructure. Despite repeated requests going back to 2009, Netanyahu’s government has not agreed to ask the United States for permission or give significant advanced warning of any pending strike.