On a recent trip to Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid down the law: America must threaten the Iranians with war if Tehran insists on pursuing its nuclear energy program. We are supposed to take seriously Netanyahu’s threats to strike Iran himself, in spite of the fact that Israel has neither the means nor the political resolve to do so. However, this is not the way Israel operates: their preferred method is to let Uncle Sam do their dirty work, as in Iraq, while they save their resources for aggression closer to home. The Israel-is-about-to-attack-Iran meme gives the Americans cover to take action in the name of preventing a supposedly greater catastrophe. With Israel playing the part of the unhinged pit-bull, Obama’s assigned role is that of the statesman, who is going to give the Iranians one “last chance,” as he put it.
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