This country has always been a loyal supporter of its allies and throughout our history, for better or worse, American military might has been necessary to protect is friends and it is one way this country is exceptional. Americans are generally a peace-loving people who only engaged in military conflict as a last resort to defend the country’s national interests or to defend our allies from an aggressor. After over ten years of war in the Middle East, the population is weary of the loss of life and expense wasted in two unnecessary conflicts that are still draining valuable assets at a time when the economy can ill-afford the expense to maintain a permanent state of war. It is unfortunate, but this country may be enticed into engaging in another Middle-East conflict if our ally Israel decides to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and there are Republican war-mongers who are promoting war with Iran whether Israel acts or not.
Last month, in a classified war simulation to assess the repercussions of an attack on Iran by Israel, military leaders warned that America could be drawn into a wider regional conflict with dire consequences. The two-week war game played out a scenario where America is pulled into the conflict after Israel bombs Iran and is forced to retaliate after Iranian missiles struck vessels in the Persian Gulf. Israel says they do not need American approval to launch a strike against Iran, but Iranians will likely assume that the United States and Israel were partners in any strike and would in turn attack American military forces in the Persian Gulf that would be seen as an act of war and prompt American forces to retaliate. It is true that Israel does not need America’s permission to strike Iran, but in the same token, America does not owe it to Israel to defend them for a pre-emptive strike regardless their reasons.
There is an assumption by some Israeli leaders that a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities might encourage Iranians to rally around their rulers, but Benjamin Netanyahu apparently believes a strike might embolden Iranian’s to overthrow the theocratic regime. Some key officials believe that striking Iranian facilities will not lead to an all-out war and that Iranian leaders may cover up an attack to prevent an even bigger conflict and at worst, launch a few rockets at Tel Aviv rather than declare war on Israel. In fact, the Israeli assumption is the opposite of the American military’s scenario of a wider regional conflict that requires Americans to enter the war. Some Israeli security officials believe Iran will not attack American ships or bases in the Middle East because Iran’s rulers comprehend the severity of an American retaliation may bring down their regime. The point is that Israel’s leadership believes an attack on Iran will not be a disaster like American military leaders assume, and that a strike may be worth the risk.
It may be necessary to take action to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal, but there is no reason to hasten into war without allowing sanctions and diplomacy to work. Republican presidential hopefuls Willard Romney and Rick Santorum believe America’s first responsibility is to defend Israel, and Romney in particular is panting to be president to start a substantial war in the region. Romney has taken the George W. Bush lessons on Iraq and plans to repeat the errors Bush made in invading Iraq. Romney’s foreign policy team is the same Bush war-mongers who pushed for the war in Iraq and there is a good reason; oil.
It is no coincidence that the Republicans pushing for war with Iran are also the same folks who do the bidding of the oil industry in Congress. The talk of an impending military strike has fueled speculation that is partly to blame for rising oil prices throughout the world, and a “substantial” war will enrich the military-industrial complex that stands to profit from another Middle East conflict. Israel, for its part, will profit from more U.S. military aid for its defense besides the $3 billion they received in 2011. However, what do Americans get in return for giving Israel money for their defense, and why, if we’re broke as Republicans claim, can we afford to engage in another war and support Israel’s military when Republicans intend on making Draconian cuts to Medicare, food stamps, and assistance for those who need help? Republicans have never given a reasonable answer to that question except that “America stands with Israel.”
It is without question that America will always defend Israel, but they need to help defend themselves by mending relations with Arab countries that detest them because of their treatment of Palestinians. If they feel they do not owe it to Palestinians, then they owe it to America to ease tensions with their Arab neighbors for the unequivocal military and moral support this country so generously provides with no hope or expectation of recompense. Here at home, Republicans must stop accusing President Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus,” especially after he has increased military aid to Israel every year and tolerated being spoken to like a petulant child last year by Israel’s Prime Minister. The Israeli government must understand that they have very few friends in the world and just because their staunchest ally possesses the most powerful military in the history of the world, they cannot expect this country to suffer the consequences of and support a pre-emptive strike on Iran without prior notification.
There is little doubt a nuclear Iran is a danger to the region and in some respects the entire world, but before launching a pre-emptive strike that will most certainly cause Iran to retaliate against American forces in the Middle East, Israelis owe it to their protector to inform them well in advance of launching an attack if for no other reason than allowing our forces ample time to defend themselves. It might be inevitable that Iran’s nuclear program will have to be destroyed to preserve peace in the Middle East, and President Obama has shown his resolve to use the full weight and power of the U.S. military to defend America’s interests and our allies, but since the American taxpayer is footing the bill, Israel must allow sanctions and diplomacy to take their course.
The Iranian rulers understand an assault by America will be more severe than they could ever imagine, and despite their bluster, they, like Israel, are aware that America will always stand by its allies. With that in mind, Israel’s leaders and Republicans should give sanctions time because according to Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), “The sanctions are working – many countries and companies have stepped up in recognition of the real threat that Iran poses to its neighbors and the global community and are terminating business relations with Iran. For the first time we are seeing a real impact on the Iranian economy.” America’s economy is being impacted by high oil prices that are the result of talk of an attack on Iran, and since this country is subsidizing Israel’s defense, they owe it to their ally to use restraint and show a modicum of gratitude for our generosity. Americans understand that being allies is a two-way street and it is time for Israel to start giving something back to America; even if it’s only a fair warning of an attack on Iran.