Monday, March 05, 2012

Barry Rubin: The Real Meaning of Obama’s New Policy: War is Inevitable

By Barry Rubin

Does President Barack Obama now love Israel? Is he lying to help his reelection bid? Precisely what is the meaning of this or that sentence in his AIPAC speech?

All of this debate misses the point. What is needed here is not a partisan view or one which focusses on Obama himself but rather a strategic analysis.

Here it is:

Whether he realizes it or not, Obama changed history with his AIPAC speech. What he did is to make a war between Israel and Iran almost inevitable, let’s say more than 90 percent probable, most likely some time in late 2013, 2014, or 2015.

What a lot of people are going to miss is not that Israel now thinks Obama is reliable but that it knows he has now locked publicly into a major commitment. If Israel ever were to attack an Iran on the verge of getting nuclear weapons, how is Obama going to bash Israel for doing so? In effect, then, Israel has traded patience for freedom of action.
Obama laid out a very clear chain of events. If and when Iran obtains a nuclear weapon then the U.S. government will support an attack by Israel on Iranian nuclear facilities. It might even join in with such an attack.

This is a commitment that cannot be retracted.
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Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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