News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 15, 2013: President Obama is going to Israel next week.
So he has already started talking up Iran again.
What he should be doing is using this trip to level with both Israel and America. As I write, President Obama just gave an interview to Israel TV in which he continues to talk in code and with gaping vagueness about Iran.
The problem begins with the question: Does he understand either Israel or Iran?
Put another way, what do Israel and Iran want?. That is actually two questions for both. Not their dreams, but what do they want realistically?. I’d say what Israel wants is for the Arab problem to “disappear.” For Iran, they would like to dominate the entire Middle East and be in their region what America is still maybe in much of the world.
That brings us to an equally basic question: who are “they” in Israel and Iran?
Easy answer! It is those who have power. But how stable is their power and will our actions weaken or strengthen those in power? God this is getting complicated! Too complicated for Obama!
Let’s get back to what they want. This time, what they realistically want! I’d say realistically, Israel wants to maintain the status quo in the Middle East while Iran doesn’t. Meaning Israel does not want to lose any power and Iran wants more power.
If you accept this logic, offering Iran less power isn’t going to work. If what is not going to work it seems equally problematic to provide Israel a Status Quo Middle East forever.
In other words, if Iran gives into the pressure and basically gives up its nuclear problem or if it does not, there are going to be changes in the power structure in the Middle East based on nothing more complicated than the very existence of Israel and Iran.
To which I think Israel – those with the power – would answer YES that is the problem if Iran gets nuclear weapons their goal will be to destroy Israel. A painful unacceptable result if true! The problem for Iran is that they can’t destroy Israel without being destroyed themselves.
That if one is destroyed by the use of nuclear weapons so will the other!
To which Israel answers that is no answer since they believe Iran is willing to commit nuclear suicide – its leaders that is – for the “greater purpose” of destroying Israel.
This would be a very different problem if there were no nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The equation would be much simpler. If Iran gets nuclear weapons it will destroy Israel if it chooses without being destroyed itself. Iran must be stopped.
That would leave no options but to stop Iran and assume they want to make nuclear weapons. But that is far from the precise reality. So for starters, President Obama should and must tell Israel and all of us – does he believe Iran will commit nuclear suicide?
That is all important in the President of the United States deciding – what he will and will not risk for the Unite States in the Middle East and under what circumstances? So far he is really saying nothing at all to Israel, Iran or most of all, America.
Once again, in preparation for his trip to Israel just today he told Israel TV what the Wall Street Journal calls an exclusive interview: “while he still prefers diplomacy over force, a nuclear Iran is a ‘red line’ and all options remain on the table to stop it.”
Obama continues in this interview: “So when I’m consulting with Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] as I have over the last several years on this issue, my message to him will be the same as before: ‘If we can resolve it diplomatically that is a more lasting solution. But if not, I continue to keep all options on the table.”
We need to know, Israel needs to know, Iran needs to know – WHAT are those options!
Those OPTIONS need to be vigorously discussed NOW! NO not precise military or non-military plans, but the general character of the options!
If nobody knows what the options are that leaves open the possibility Obama himself does not know, but it sounds good to say so. More likely he does know but won’t tell us. That is a problem for everyone!
Everyone assumes THE option is that Obama will order the bombing of Iran to destroy its nuclear facilities. But we need to know what that really means? How much bombing? Days, weeks, months, indefinitely? What are the pre-estimates of casualties; what might be the number of civilians killed if any; what might be the result in Israel and to Israelis and throughout the Middle East?
We need to know what Obama thinks!
Instead he says nothing of any value about this issue. Does Obama believe he can destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities and we all will live happily ever after and Iran will wave the surrender flag?
Iran is the biggest most military armed country along with Israel in the entire Middle East. Does Obama factor in the history of and the image of the U.S. in Iran; how the U.S. toppled the elected government of Iran in the 1950s and installed a U.S. lackey, the Shah of Iran, who savaged his country in service to the U.S.
Is President Obama willing to send massive numbers of American soldiers into the Middle East if chaos spreads throughout the region after massive U.S. bombing of Iran? If he does, what will that accomplish and how many American dead does he project? What will be the cost of a U.S. “invasion” of the Middle East, if that is even possible, be?. Will Obama be willing to expand the bombing program if Iran responds belligerently. Would he bomb non-nuclear facilities such as various military installations, or infrastructure?
All of this and more may be the best course of action if Iran refuses to end its nuclear program but we need, Israel needs, Iran needs, the world needs DETAILS. And President Obama needs to make that case to all of us NOW; not after he takes such action.
During this trip to Israel, the Israeli government and most of all the Israeli people, need to know what President Barack Obama really means. Israel along with Iran will bear the impact first of all from decisions Obama will make about the Iran program.
Which brings us to Obama’s other pivotal failure. He has shown absolutely no leadership in regards to the Middle East. None! And this trip to Israel will prove it yet again. This is another Obama publicity trip – spending tens of millions of our dollars to load up Air Force One with special friends and I bet lots of extra planes to hold all those he has invited.
Obama will make more vague statements from the moment he lands to the moment he leaves. And guaranteed he will not offer any plan at all to solve this problem. Will he offer to sit down with Israeli and Iranian leaders together and tell both of them this false status quo makes no sense? Will he publicly propose a nuclear free Middle East? NO!
Will Obama tell Iran he will literally order the destruction of much of Iran if they do not stop their nuclear program? NO! Will Obama offer normal relations with Iran if they abandon their nuclear program? NO! Will Obama promise to join Israel if they decide to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities? NO! But he tells us he knows what he is doing!
So why is Obama making this expensive trip if he has nothing new to say to anyone?
Hey did you hear the one about Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize? That is an old joke!
About The Writer: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.