All domestic policies will be for nothing if Israel starts a war with Iran.
The Economy is on everyone’s mind, but the economy’s not going to change overnight (so says Ryan, and I can agree on that point). The Environment is in serious danger of long-term damage that will make it materially more difficult for us as a species to prosper. Our Education system has many calling for a complete overhaul, but that will take years before our best and brightest children are able to make positive changes from such changes.
These are all long-term issues which are critical to building a bright future, and require serious thought in the mid-term.
These will be for nothing if Israel attacks Iran.
Israel’s sabre-rattling over the past decade has convinced Iran of the need for nuclear weapons to act as a deterrent in defending their sovereign self-interests. US-Israeli espionage has been wildly successful in tempering and mitigating this threat in the short-term, but Iran was never playing a “let’s get nukes fast” game. They saw what happened to the Hussein regime, and are smart enough to not fall into that trap.
So now, we have an Iran with full scale uranium enrichment facilities, built into a hardened bunker that only the United States has the technological capability to pose a feasible threat.
We have an Israel that has repeatedly demonstrated they are more than willing to prefer force to diplomacy.
The Israeli leadership has every intention of launching a unilateral military strike against the sovereign Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Israeli leadership full expects the United States to provide unconditional military support if it takes such actions. Such an attack would be the worst possible action to take against Iran. Iran is currently experiencing political turmoil inside its borders; attacking now would provide solidarity around the Ahmadinejad regime. Iran has already moved its nuclear production underground; attacking now would prove to Iran how necessary those plans truly were.
Domestically, we have a sitting president who has a checkered record of handling situations in the middle east, though many observers and commentators on the world scene tend to credit President Obama with having learned from his earlier mistakes, and think he’s doing much better now than at the beginning of his presidency. He is surrounded by advisers who argue against conflict, and supported by a base who also oppose those conflicts.
Mr. Romney’s foreign policy is guided by an archaic view of Russia as a credible military threat, who begs financial support from the most wealthy and powerful of the Israeli right-wing, and has hinted he agrees with the assessment of Iran as a religious threat. He is surrounded by supporters who call for direct support of Israel in such a conflict with Iran, and who do not see diplomacy as a viable option.
Israel intends to attack Iran. They intend to attack within the next six months. Mr. Romney has stated he will encourage that attack, and would likely commit US forces to such an engagement. President Obama’s rhetoric is less transparent, and does include support for Israel, but at least stops short of pushing for war with Iran and instead includes continued pushes for a diplomatic solution to the situation.
The three Es and Health Care are issues this nation will need to grapple with, and are serious issues. They are not the pressing issue that will come to a head in the next six months, defining the next decade of international conflict.
This election will be a referendum on US policy in Israel. Will that be a policy of war?
Update Monday, September 2nd:
It seems the Obama administration is increasingly vocal in opposing a unilateral Israeli strike. I’m very interested in what Senator Kerry has in his speech at the DNC, and in what Obama will say at the UN on the 25th.