Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to the joint session of Congress is controversial, and it may undermine the bipartisan support his nation enjoys here in the States.
Considering the obvious risks, what is Netanyahu’s end-goal and how will his actions lead him there? Given his willingness to damage U.S.-Israeli relations, even to the point of leaking sensitive information about the nuclear negotiations with Iran, it appears that he prefers military action to any alternative.
What isn’t clear is how his actions today will lead to military action tomorrow. It seem obvious that Netanyahu has made the calculation that the Obama Administration is more interested in a deal with Iran than in military confrontation, so he’s trying to work around the President to get what he wants.
While Netanyahu could convince Congress to impose more sanctions on Iran, scuttling negotiations and putting us closer to a war footing, it seems unlikely that the executive office would take the next step and authorize strikes while Obama still holds office. At best, this puts the possibility of a military “solution” two years or so away.
One has to assume, then, that Netanyahu is operating under the belief that a potential President Clinton or President Walker will be more willing to go along with the idea of strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites.
Given the strategic uncertainty of success that seems to be a seriously dubious belief. Add to this, the American public’s reticence about engaging in yet another military action in the region and one must question Bibi’s confidence that a future president will be more amenable to his plans that the one currently holding office.
With most citizens chiefly concerned with income inequality and jobs , who is advising Netanyahu on America’s willingness to launch another war? With figures such as Bill Kristol lionizing Netanyahu and raising expectations on the reaction to his speech to stratospheric heights, we can assume that the PM is banking on the neocon viewpoint of reshaping the world through sheer will as a lynchpin of his strategy.
In my estimation, in won’t be possible to move the American public from it’s position today into one that would support airstrikes on Iran with all the subsequent blowback that would entail. The rationale would be highly reminiscent of the push to enter into war with Iraq. A President Clinton or Walker stating that a strong military response to Iran is needed would be met with derision.
Ironically it seems that Netanyahu’s perorations have not only damaged him in the short term but have made his ultimate end goal, strikes against Iran’s nuclear strikes, that much more difficult to obtain as well. The American public won’t be more willing to engage in a war they don’t want because Netanyahu made it necessary.