Here is Ira Glunts, a former IDF soldier, challenging Obama adviser and "soft neocon" Dennis Ross at Colgate University last week or so about Israel attacking Iran. "At 53:10 Ross says something like is
going to do what Israel is going to do regardless of what the US says," Glunts reports.
I listened to the exchange. Glunts asks a question, from the lower left part of the screen. He is disturbed that Obama said in a statement in Iowa that his job is to repair the situation involving Iran "before Israel feels that its back is against the wall." Isn't Obama taking his cue from the Israelis? Doesn't the U.S. have the power to stop the Israelis? Glunts quizzes Ross.
Ross, who works at the Israel lobby group the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, responds in his mellifluous fashion that if we were in Israel, we too would feel an existential threat from Iran going nuclear. And they're going to act before the bombs fall on their heads. And the U.S. has a "profound" interest in preventing Iran from going nuclear. Both because this would threaten Israel, and because it would "transform" the Middle East, make it all nuclear.
"In those circumstances, Israel is going to do what it feels it has to do regardless of what we or anybody else has to say," Ross says. And Obama is just recognizing that reality, and the reality that diplomacy has failed because it lacks urgency.
I don't know. Feels tail-dog-waggy to me. The U.S. is still a super-power. And its chief interest is to make sure no one uses a nuclear bomb on neighbors. Wasn't it on that basis that we just destroyed Iraqi society? And they dint even have one. It sure feels like Ross is being Israel's lawyer here. Why is their version of reality always the one we must subscribe to here–Israel, a state that routinely elects generals as prime ministers and has invaded its neighbors like we go to the candy store, and occupied Palestine for 40 years. Can't the U.S. start jawboning on this one now? What about nonproliferation? What about leading Israel away from the path of worship of the golden Merkava tank, toward respect for its neighbors? What about deterrence, which Bill Maher, John Mearsheimer, and Fareed Zakaria all believe in?