by Barry Rubin
Of all the questions readers ask, there's no question about which are the two most frequent. First, is
The first two questions are pretty easy to answer, the third less so.
Only when the sanctions have been seen to be ineffective at stopping
One is that
The disadvantage is that this would give the regime more time to disperse the facilities. And that introduces the other problem. An Israeli cabinet meeting would be held to determine whether an attack could be carried out, whether the political and security costs would be acceptable, and whether an attack would succeed in setting back the Iranian program by a big margin.
It is the last point, however, that is critical: Would an attack achieve considerable success in putting back
What if the bombs miss and hit civilians? (Yes,
In short, is it worth launching an attack that only inflames the situation further, costs lots of diplomatic capital, and doesn't do any good?
This is a question that can only be raised and decided in a cabinet meeting at the proper time. There is no determined choice already made and that is as it should be.
The second question relates to Obama and
One of them is that bashing
The other point is that they have seen that bashing
If in fact the Palestinians and Arabs were eager to make a deal and energetic about supporting other
Moreover, no matter how much noise the administration makes about being engaged on the Israel-Palestinian front, it knows that not much is going to happen. Its envoy, Senator Mitchell, will run around and make plans but the top brass in
The hostility to
The idea that David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel constitute some anti-Israel cabal is misleading, too. If there were a serious peace process, they'd certainly push
These two factors form the basic framework for understanding the
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.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.