That is what the early part of the coming week will be - over indulgence in Jewish Israeli Politics by American Politicians.
Republicans hardly know any restraints on any matter these days. Just like each Republican nominee and politician want to outwit the other guy when it comes to Tax Cuts, same is the case in advocating a belligerent tone towards Iran. Fealty towards Israel and pandering for Jewish votes, all are reaching new heights in these days of Obama haters.
There is nothing to undermine the security concerns of Israeli as Iran continues to pursue the nuclear program. The danger of Iranian nukes, if not directly but mainly through proxy players like Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas; is real and at the same it will for sure make the whole of Middle East a dangerous place as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey all these countries try to contemplate their reciprocal responses. So President Obama is right to assert that Iranian nukes is a global threat which needs a serious response. But to become bellicose early on means to undermine any possibility of diplomacy creating appropriate grounds; especially when he has categorically made it clear that:
- he effectively guarantees security of Israel and
- he does not believe in living with Iranian nukes unlike Indian and Pakistani.
But at the same time, he is warning again and again that this is not a 'video game' and loose talk is no good here.
It must be irritating for President Obama to see his domestic political opponents using this national security issue as a domestic football. Israeli PM and its political class do not show much of maturity either when they are garnering such a 'cheap and in the end not well thought through' publicity from GOP side. Today it is profitably in short term for these Israeli Politicians that Conservative American Politicians are pursuing the reckless course of attack on Iran without any thought. But if Israel gets emboldened by that and undertakes the attack on Iran and if the whole situation blows away; American Public may not remain so supportive of Israel considering possible ramifications.
To start with, Israeli Air Force is unlikely to be in a position to carry out one shot air raids and will need to undertake possibly multi-days campaign. That would give Iran an opportunity to respond while Iraq raising the hell for violation of its air space. Oil prices will go up dramatically and Russia with newly elected Putin would see this as opportunity to 'milk the world' for higher oil revenue. China may not come American ways in UN and for sure would start blaming USA in failing to control Israel as the world faces another recession. Meanwhile, if American military involvement becomes necessary and body bags start to come home while American debt continues for yet another war; American Public is bound to have not so benevolent opinion about Israel. The World and American Public Opinion can change on a dime; giving yet another lease of life to Iranian Mullahs. What looked like a lucrative free ride offered by American Conservative Warmongers, it would turn into a longer term liability for Israel if its closet allay turns away. That is why it is important for Netanyahu to trade carefully here and not to push President Obama over the cliff.
Reading the now famous President Obama interview to Goldberg of Atlantic; it is reassuring that President is trying to thread the needle here and quite possibly he is getting the 'balance right' here. Fundamentally, he has learnt the right lessons from Bush Iraq blunder:
- need to get world opinion on your side when America indeed enters a war where she is not directly attacked; and
- never to assume limitless capacity of American Public to shoulder yet another war.
President Obama is overall very 'alert' and sharp in understanding the whole situation. My favorite point in this regard is how a sitting head of the state showed an absolutely acute understanding of the situation and bowled over one of the smartest minds on the subject, that of Mr. Goldberg:
- when Goldberg asked what room Iranians have to back down publicly from their nuke posture without showing as if they are bowing to American Pressures? President responded by quoting recent speeches of Mullahs. Goldberg 'slipped the track' and naviely asked whether President believed sincerity of Mullahs. On that President 'thundered' that it is besides the point whether he believes Mullahs or not as we are on the topic whether Iranians have the 'necessary room' to turn around or not; without showing as if they are folding their tent due to American pressure.
What all that reveals is a sharp mind at work. May be I am overly impressed by President Obama here, but I think this politician / head of the state is 'getting it right' and basically resisting these war drums just to score some politics. Of course, he is aware that bombing Iran will help him carry Florida and the entire Jewish vote in America. And who knows, in the end he may land up doing all that. But before that making every effort to get the world opinion on America's side and avoiding this to become simply an Israeli issue; that is important.