Well, what if getting Iran to drop its nukes is incidental and Israeli concessions fundamental? In other words, the prize of Obama's foreign-policy agenda isn't getting Iran to drop its nukes, but to force Israel to do what he thinks it must to make peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world.If so, it would explain why it appears that Obama is dragging his feet--and drawing criticism--on expressing support for the demonstrators in Iran. After all, not only would it take away his leverage, but the demonstrations could possibly lead to a more moderate regime and demonstrate that peace in the Arab world can be achieved by other means.
I don't think this would necessitate some dastardly anti-Israel scheme or bias. Rather, I think Obama has visions of bringing peace to the Middle East and settling the Israel-Palestinian issue. This is a vision that has visited every president for generations, and Obama has a more pro-Palestinian past than most. But wherever his sympathies may lie, it seems he has convinced himself as a matter of "realist" calculation that his only leverage in that struggle is Iran's nuclear program and the petrifying Medusa's head of Ahmandinejad. If the Iran card is taken out, or even substantially changes, what leverage does Obama have for his real goal? [emphasis added]
Let's take this a step further: Could Goldberg's idea also explain Obama's coolness to the whole idea of the US troops in Iraq? According to Obama's thinking, the road to democracy in the Middle East is not through a democratized Iraq--it is through Israel, so maintaining a US presence there will not attain the goal of peace in the Middle East.
Obama is not actually interested in peace in the Middle East. Obama's goal is a peaceful--quiet--Middle East. And the only thing that stands in the way of that is Israel.
And the long history of Muslim vs. Muslim violence.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad