Obama, Israel and the Mullahs

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President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be meeting in Washington, D.C. on Monday March 5th. This meeting is likely to be their most critical one to date. The Iranian nuclear problem, and the need for a definitive response, are expected to dominate their discussions. Israel believes that time is quickly running out for non-military means such as economic sanctions to stop Iran from being able to build a nuclear bomb at will. The Obama administration is saying “not so fast” and to give sanctions more of a chance to work.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to publicly express a hard line against Iran during the meeting, according to a senior Israeli official quoted by Haaretz. Netanyahu will reportedly press for American support for firm action beyond the vague declaration that all options remain on the table. He wants Obama to state unequivocally that the United States is preparing for a military operation in the event that Iran crosses certain “red lines,” according to this Israeli official. Obama is unlikely to go anywhere close to making such a public declaration or to openly back Israel if it decides to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The United States and Israel do agree on two basic points. They agree that Iran is intent on achieving a nuclear arms capability and is moving full-steam ahead with its nuclear program. They also agree that there will come a point when it will probably be too late to stop Iran from achieving its objective.

Inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have confirmed that there is a sound basis for these concerns in their latest report. They concluded that Iran is pushing ahead with its nuclear program while stonewalling the agency’s efforts to investigate allegations that Iran’s scientists had conducted extensive research on how to build a nuclear warhead. When IAEA inspectors visited Iran recently, Iranian officials refused to allow them to visit a key research facility where some of the alleged experiments were said to have occurred.

However, while sharing concerns about Iran’s advancement towards becoming a nuclear power, the United States and Israel disagree on the urgency of the problem and the timing of any military action to counter it. They differ on the precise point when it will become too late to stop Iran from producing a nuclear bomb and whether Iran can be successfully contained even if it is not stopped in time. “We believe that there is time and space to allow for a diplomatic resolution,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said last month.

No meeting will paper over these differences as long as Obama, who has yet to visit Israel as president while managing to find time to visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, fails to fully appreciate the threat that Israel is confronting. He fails to understand Israel’s acute sense of vulnerability against hostile forces determined to destroy the Jewish state by any means possible and Israel’s fierce determination to protect itself at any cost. Nor does he seem to understand that the direct threat a nuclear armed Iran would pose to Israel today will become a direct threat to the United States in the not too distant future if the jihadist megalomaniacs now ruling Iran or their like-minded successors remain in charge.

In short, Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran to be an existential threat. No wonder, considering the Iranian leaders’ repeated calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state, Iran’s proximity to Israel, and the ease with which Iran’s surrogates in the Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist organizations can be used to help carry out its plans for Israel’s destruction.

On the other hand, while the Obama administration views a nuclear-armed Iran as a very serious threat to regional peace and security, it does not view a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat to the United States itself or to the free world generally. It believes that even a successful military strike would only delay Iran’s nuclear program for a few years and would almost certainly set off a firestorm of violence in the Middle East and elsewhere with dangerously unpredictable consequences for America’s strategic interests. That is why President Obama and his top officials have been urging Israel not to take precipitous unilateral military action.

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  • Adina Kutnicki

    I have NO doubt that Israel will act, and will act alone-Obama be damned..
    Being in the direct eye of the storm helps give one perspective.

    • Alex

      And that perspective for Israel is the answer "Never Again" to any and all existential threats, which Iran makes in actions and rhetoric on a daily basis.

  • tom4you

    Instead of trying to knock out the nukes, how about killing all the Mulla's and Revolutionary Guards and let the Iranian army and people come to power. Perhaps they will gladly rid themselves of the bomb….

  • Flowerknife_us

    Israel could set more than the Nuclear program back. Strikes against soft targets like Fuel, electricity and communications would have far greater impact. When Iran finds it needs to divert it's limited defences only opens the door for other programs.

    Besides, Just who is there to stop the Israelis from flying right over Syria and Iraq on their way to Iran. Other than Obama that is?

    • Alex

      The Israelis can do it with massive rocket strikes and precise targeting.

    • Captain America

      Russia has upgraded their radar station in Syria. It can cover from the Mediterranean to Iran. Any Israeli activity will be reported to Iran, unless the Israelis take it out, & provoking Vlad the Impaler Putin. I think the Israelis ought to take the late, great Gen Curtis E LeMay's advice & nuke 'em til they glow. A nuke is better than a bunker busting conventional bomb, given the fact that the sites will be irradiated for 200 yrs. It can use conventional smart bombs & cruise missiles to take out their air defenses, command & control sites, & other military sites. They couild also target iranian leaders homes, & thre revolutionary guards (Qods forces).

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Obama is sandbaging Israel on taking action against Iran and it is because he supports them in their
    attempt to destroy the Jews, Obama is and anti-Semite Marxist/Islamist tool. What excuse will Obama
    make in the event of a nuclear attack on Tel Aviv, "sorry I was on vacation"………Talking with Obama
    is a waste of time unless it is for Netanyahu to unload on the slug by giving him a piece of his mind.
    Destroying the Iranian nuclear facilities without destroying all of the Mullahs would not end the problem.

    • Alex

      Exactly and well stated.

  • elihu

    Israel beware: Obama is not your friend; he is not even on your side…

    "Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem;
    May they prosper who love you."
    (Psalm 122.6.)

  • Larry

    I think my expectations will be right in the range of what will happen.

    Obama will dirk the Israelis and kow tow to the ayatollahs as per usual.

  • hashim

    Israel is bluffing the US into fighting its war against Iran, just as it did against Iraq. If the US falls again into this trap, then it deserves to be the laughing stock of the others.. no superpower fights someone else's war.

    • Captain America

      Neville Chamberlain Obama will never do it. It would upset muslims and God knows that he goes out of his way to placate them. Obama is willing to sacrifice Israel's Jews & all of the Christians who live like third class citizens in muslim lands. I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees in some cockroach infested muslim pesthole still in the 7th century. I declare a FATWA on all muslim terrorists. I call for a Jihad against islamic infidels The battle is between civilization & human rights vs. islamic intolerance & ignorance. I choose freedom over islamic slavery any day. Death to islamic kaffirs, unless they convert to a more peaceful religion.

  • Dispozadaburka

    Obama will visit Israel when he has pushed the borders back to 1967 borders.
    Then he will build an American Embassy in Jerusalem,
    conquering Jerusalem diplomatically,
    in the name of Islam.
    Muslim Day of Prayer in September 2009 was actually an act of "surrender" to Islam.