I reject the argument this columnist makes that because Republicans are so pro-Israel they cannot generate support for an attack on Iran without raising objections they are doing it for Israel. Most Americans are in favor of military strikes on Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. And most Americans themselves are supportive of Israel and also understand that Iran threatens us as well. And it is not likely the Obama administration will act militarily. This hypersensitivity by some that we musn't be perceived as engaging in any Mideast policy that might benefit Israel even if it benefits ourselves, is absurd. How anti-Semites will regard our actions should be of no consequence.
Republicans and Israel: Too much love can kill youRepublicans are saying they’ll attack Iran for Israel’s sake – this might not only prove to be ‘bad for the Jews’ in the long run, but could also come back to haunt the Republicans themselves.
By Chemi Shalev, HAARETZ
In the first Gulf War in 1991 and once again in the war against Iraq in 2003, Israel was asked by the U.S. administration to maintain a “low profile,” in order to avoid the perception that America was fighting with Israel, or on its behalf. Both George Bushes, senior and junior, considered it prudent to relegate Israel to the sidelines – even when it was under direct attack, as was the case in 1991 – in order to help establish international coalitions and to maintain public support for the war, especially in the Muslim world. In both cases, Israel complied.
saddam hussein invaded Kuwait. The Kuwaitis begged us to save them. One would have to have been a rabid anti-Semite to be convinced that the gulf war was fought on behalf of Israel. America should not base its foreign policy on how anti-Semites are going to perceive what motivates our actions. Meanwhile we have actually fought multiple wars on behalf of muslims. We are never told that we have to hide the fact that we are doing so. But we have to avoid even the mere perception that any American military involvement may benefit Israel.
Of course, such precautions won’t be relevant if a Republican-led U.S. administration should ever contemplate attacking Iran in order to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. After all, the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination – with the glaring exception of the neo-isolationist Ron Paul – are on record as saying that if America attacks Iran, it will be, first and foremost, in order to “save Israel,” as Texas Governor Rick Perry framed it. Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer can already add a brief appendix to their highly-controversial 2007 book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” that will contain a transcript of last week’s CNN Republican foreign policy debate, followed by the letters QED – “which was to be demonstrated.”
Again, why is it acceptable for America to have bombed Serbia on behalf of muslims but we must not allow the world’s anti-Semites to perceive we are fighting for Israel? Screw walt and mearsheimer and their ilk. I don’t care what they will say about an attack on Iran. How come they have no objection to the multiple wars we have fought over the last 20 years for muslims and muslim nations?
But a Republican president – unlike Obama – would be handicapped from the outset by the inverted “Nixon to China” principle, which makes it harder for right-wing presidents to mobilize public opinion to go to war ,
President Bush had no trouble mustering support for going to war.
And while Saudi Arabia and the Gulf oil countries would be sure to lend Washington discreet tactical as well as financial support under any and all circumstances, the volatile Arab “street”, once maligned as insignificant but now the critical element in determining the future of many Arab regimes, would easily fall prey to anti-Isra eli incitement, as would left-leaning public opinion throughout Muslim World and Western Europe. This would be true in any case, of course, but doubly so if a Republican president was at the helm.
Having the most anti-Israel president has not lessened anti-Israel incitement around the world, in fact they have been emboldened in the belief that America doesn’t have Israel’s back. The world’s rabid islamic and leftist anti-semites believe anyone not actually calling for the obliteration of Israel as being a “Zionist”. Therefore to these deranged people, Obama is no less a Zionist agent than Bush.
I’m glad that the GOP candidates are unapologetically openly supportive of Israel. To those that object, the problem lies with them and their lack of moral clarity and their collaboration with evil. Why should the GOP candidates hide the fact that they are taking the correct moral stance while the anti-Semites boldly express their support for hamas, hezbollah etc.? Why should people who represent what is right be timid about expressing themselves. Why let anti-Semites frame the debate? There is nothing wrong with being motivated to preempt Iran for the reason of wanting to save Israel even if there wasn't a direct threat to us. We have thousands of soldiers stationed in Japan, South Korea, Germany etc. to protect those nations, but somehow the very notion that we might do anything to protect Israel is something regarded as sinister. Anyone who would be ok with us standing aside and allowing Israel to be nuked are the ones who are morally deficient, to say the least. We are not the ones who should be embarrassed at wanting to protect Israel from a nuclear holocaust.
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