Relations between Israel and the US, according to some observers, are deteriorating rapidly as the US talks with the Iranians over Iran’s nuclear program seem to be gaining ground.
Netanyahu has been trying to convince the world that the new president of Iran’s fresh and non-confronting approach to the West over sanctions and Iran’s nuclear program are just about buying time which Iran is using to build a nuclear bomb that Netanyahu says will be launched at Israel just as soon as it’s ready.
Netanyahu maintains that he will strike Iran unilaterally if he felt that Iran was getting close to building a bomb. This has put the US on edge and a little worried that Netanyahu may lose patience and go ahead with a unilateral strike against Iran.
I have for years argued that any such strike by Israel against Iran could not possibly be wholly ‘unilateral’ and that there must be some level of connivance with the US before such a strike could be carried out. However, Israel may feel they are able to risk launching an initial unilateral attack against Iran in the hope that, after launching such an attack, the US would feel obligated – no matter how begrudgingly – to immediately come to Israel’s aid. It is now getting to the point where Israel may feel that, if they leave it any longer, the divide between them and the US may be so wide that such help from the US may not be forthcoming.
Obama has, despite his coolness to Netanyahu of late, said that he has ‘Israel’s back’. Short of actually announcing that the US will not come to Israel’s aid if Israel attacks Iran unilaterally, the US would, I believe, nonetheless go into bat for the Israelis after the Israelis launched the initial strike. Certainly, the US already has its military in place in the Persian Gulf for just such an operation.
It should be made clear though, that once a strike is launched, there will be no turning back. It will not simply be a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities; it will be in pursuit of nothing less than regime change. And that will be achieved without invasion and by use strategic bombing until Iran capitulates.
Netanyahu is becoming desperate. He believes that it is his destiny to create the Greater Israel he has always dreamed of – and war against Iran is the only way he will ever be able to achieve that.