Saturday, June 07, 2008

Too much even for Bush?

On the surface, it would appear so. Reuters reports in U.S. rejects Mofaz comments on 'unavoidable' Iran strike Ha'aretz 06/07/08 on a public threat by Israeli Deputy Premier Shaul Mofaz made to attack Iran:

Earlier Friday, the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper quoted Mofaz as saying "if Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective."

"Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable," the former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff who later served as defense minister told the newspaper.

It was the most explicit threat yet against Iran from a member of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government ...

Mofaz also said in the interview that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, "would disappear before Israel does."
The article goes on to point out that Mofaz is a rival in the Kadima Party to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who may soon be forced from office in a corruption scandal.

The official White House response to the news was to stress that the US is committed to pursuing diplomatic solutions to the nuclear issue with Iran.

This is why it's reckless for American officials to make such sweeping, unconditional declarations of support for Israel as what has become standard practice. We don't have a mutual defense treaty with Israel. And Mofaz was talking about an illegal "preventive" war. It's not just a matter of the US getting pulled into a military conflict because Israel does something unnecessary and crazy. We're already in a conflict in Iraq. For Israel to attack Iran on its own would put American troops in Iraq in immediate jeopardy, because there's a high likelihood that Iran would retaliate against US troops there. Given the closeness of our de facto alliance with Israel, it's certainly not too much for the US to ask that Israel not put American troops in Iraq in unnecessary jeopardy.

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