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Sunday, September 08, 2013

In America we trust?

Is this really how we want a decision made on Iran's nuclear program? Dan Margalit has it right.

As soon as the sheer dimensions of the chemical massacre became clear, the citizens of the enlightened nations were angry and outraged, and even terrified. But, when instead of responding, the world's only superpower avoided making decisions and pretended that it was not clear whether what happened had actually happened, and when Europe gladly jumped on the indecision bandwagon, the right moment to strike quickly slipped through Obama's fingers. Now it looks like it may be too late. Not just for Obama, but for more than a thousand victims of a deadly attack on a dark day in Damascus.
How was Obama pushed into a corner like this? Subliminally, he signaled that he was not entirely at peace with launching a military attack on Syria. He then lost the support of one European nation after another, while ignoring the most disconcerting historical phenomenon: the gradual Islamization of the European continent. If he had taken action on time, British Prime Minister David Cameron would have been on board, even without the support of the British Parliament. 

Especially considering that members of the House of Representatives, familiar with their indifferent or decadent voters, are asking why, if Obama doesn't legally need the approval of Capitol Hill, he is placing the burden of the decision on them. If he needs them, then they don't want the responsibility.

It turns out that Israel is the only loyal supporter the U.S. president has left. Israel is also liable to pay a heavy price if Obama decides to honor his own commitment and refuse to erase the red lines he himself drew. But supporting the American president doesn't relieve Jerusalem of its duty to think long and hard about whether Israel can really trust its superpower ally.
There is a psychological and diplomatic link between U.S. policy toward Assad and the American vow to prevent the nuclearization of Iran. This latest complication has forced Obama to bet everything he has -- diplomatically, militarily and morally.


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