During a speech to leading ultra-Zionists in Israel, Mitt Romney said that, if he is elected President next November, he will support an Israeli ‘unilateral’ attack against Iran. His words, as reported in Haaretz, were unmistakable: “We recognize Israel's right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with you”. Though Romney was careful not to commit the US to a first strike against Iran, the message was clear.
As I have repeatedly argued at this blog in the past, there is no way that Israel can ‘unilaterally’ attack Iran. Israel can only launch an attack against Iran with the complete support of the US. There can, therefore, be no such thing as an Israeli ‘unilateral attack’ on Iran. While Israel might launch the first strikes against Iran to make it seem that Israel has attacked ‘unilaterally’, the reality is that any attack against Iran by Israel will be coordinated and closely planned with the US and in conjunction with a US follow-up attack during which period Israel will launch ‘pre-emptive’ attacks against Hezbollah in Lebanon and against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
With this speech, Romney has effectively committed the US, and possibly their allies, to a war against Iran on behalf of Israel.
Just to balance the situation from Obama’s side, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Sunday has told reporters that the administration ‘would respect Israel’s ability to make decisions about its security’ leaving it open for Israel to decide when it wants to start the war. Obama and Romney’s desire not to directly commit the US to war this side of the election is all that is now preventing an attack against Iran.
As yet, there are no massive demonstrations against such a war; a war that has the potential to be far more devastating for the entire region than Iraq ever was.