Obama entering Oval Office yesterday photo by Pete Souza
This is frightening. The editor of Sheldon Adelson's Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, has a frontpage piece in that newspaper pushing an attack on Iran "with or without the Americans":
"Difficult, Daring, Doable. Yes, we can strike Iran. And yes, we can succeed."
Noam Sheizaf writes:
Regev, a member of Binyamin Netanyahu’s inner circle between his two terms as Prime Minister, attacks those speaking against the war, and concludes that “Yes, it’s possible to attack – and to succeed.” Israel Hayom, launched in 2007 by international casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is known for its deep commitment to supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu.
If that's not worrisome enough, Aluf Benn at Haaretz says Netanyahu is preparing Israelis for an attack on Iran, and that Obama will be in on it:
[In a Knesset speech Wednesday] Netanyahu presented three examples in which his predecessors broke the American directive and made crucial decisions regarding the future of Israel: the declaration of independence in 1948, starting the Six Day War in 1967 and the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981....
Netanyahu is hinting that in his Washington visit, he received Obama's tacit approval for an Israeli attack against Iran – under the guise of opposition. Obama will speak out against it but act for it, just as the past U.S. administrations speak against the settlements in the territories but allow their expansion. And in this manner Netanyahu summarized the visit: "I presented before my hosts the examples that I just noted before you, and I believe that the first objective that I presented – to fortify the recognition of Israel's right to defend itself – I think that objective has been achieved."
This morning, the editor-in-chief of the Israel Hayom newspaper, Amos Regev, published on his front page an enthusiastic op-ed in support of a war against Iran. Regev writes what Netanyahu cannot say in his speeches: that we cannot rely on Obama – who wasn't even a mechanic in the armored corps - but only on ourselves. "Difficult, daring, but possible," Regev promised. We need not be alarmed by the Iranian response: the arrow would take down the Shahab missiles, and Hezbollah and Hamas would hesitate about entering a war. The damage would be reminiscent of the Iraqi scuds in the 1991 Gulf War - unpleasant, but definitely not too bad. The analysts are weak, but the soldiers and the residents of the Home Front have motivation. So onward, to battle!
To use Netanyahu's "duck allegory", what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war, and not just a "bluff" or a diversion tactic. Until his trip to Washington, Netanyahu and his supporters in the media refrained from such explicit wording and made do with hints. But since he's been back, Netanyahu has issued an emergency call-up for himself and the Israeli public.
Bruce Wolman, who pointed me to the Haaretz, speculates that the attack might serve Obama, politically:
Has Obama convinced himself that an Israeli attack on the Iranian sites would be the pragmatic policy decision, and maybe solve his 2012 political problems at the same time?"