...THE OBAMA administration's stubborn refusal to acknowledge the obvious fact that a nuclear armed Iran constitutes a far greater danger to US interests than an Israeli military strike to deny Iran nuclear capabilities is in line with the administration's consistent refusal to treat Israel as an ally. Its unserious handling of Iran is of a piece with its gentle policies towards Hamas and Hezbollah, its refusal to call Fatah on its bad faith, its blindness to the threat emanating from Islamist movements in Turkey and North Africa, and its consistent pressure on Israel to appease its enemies. The administration's apparent antipathy for Israel has played a significant role in causing it to underestimate the threat that all these forces pose not only to Israel but to the US and to international security in general.
And Israel is not the US's only Middle Eastern ally that has suffered from its strategic myopia. Iran's pro- American Green Movement was betrayed by Obama's decision to side with the regime against the Green Movement in 2009. Iraq's pro-American political forces will be harmed if not destroyed in the aftermath of the administration's planned withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.
Then there are the Sunnis. Under Obama, the US betrayed its most important Arab ally when it called for then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to resign in response to the anti-regime demonstrations in Cairo. America is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. It supports the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated, Turkish organized Syrian opposition to Assad's regime. It upholds Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist, anti-Semitic and anti-Western regime as the US's greatest regional ally.
With its dismal track record, it is far from clear that Israel is well-served by pressuring the Obama administration to take action against Iran. On Sunday, British military commentator Con Coughlin noted in theSunday Telegraph that in recent years, the "only measures that have had any demonstrable effect on slowing Iran's nuclear progress have been undertaken by Israel, via a skillful combination of targeted assassinations and cyber-warfare."
So Israel's low-key, tactical operations against Iran have been effective while all of Obama's high-profile strategic operations have empowered Israel's enemies.
True, Obama has not yet taken any operational steps to attack Iran's nuclear installations. But the dire implications of his track records cannot be ignored.
At least until the US presidential elections next year, Israel's best bet may be to simply step up its covert efforts to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.
The goal of these efforts should be to slow down Iran's nuclear progress sufficiently to prevent it from developing a nuclear arsenal or moving its nuclear project to hardened locations until after the US presidential elections. In the meantime, Israel should continue to develop its independent capacity to attack Iran. It should also take military action to weaken Iran's terror proxies in order to limit their capacity to wage war against Israel in the aftermath of an eventual, post-presidential election Israeli or US strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Obviously, it would be a mistake to assume that Obama will lose his reelection bid. But even if he wins, as a lame duck, second term president, he will have less power to harm Israel than he will as a first term president poised for reelection.