It is difficult for Israelis to understand Obama’s policy towards Iran because of failure to appreciate that confronting Iran confronting Israel is an Israel national priority. There is no such reciprocal threat between Iran and the US (leaving the “bait and switch” trap Iran set Bush in Iraq). Since the US defeat in Iraq and the looming defeat in Afghanistan America’s policy towards the region has been to cut its losses and leave. This explains the apparent confusion by both the Bush and Obama administrations confronting the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Despite the fact that a nuclear Iran will almost certainly trigger a nuclear arms race in the most volatile area of the world, the US military was determined to NOT enter yet another half-hearted war likely to follow the path of those already fast-tracked to failure.
So if the US is not willing to assert power for fear of failure, what policy option remains but to retreat, hopefully with some degree of dignity. Which demands crisis control en route to the exit. Protests in Tahrir, force Mubarak out and support the Brotherhood who promise a stable government. Two misjudgments and two fannings of the fires of regional instability. Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, Syria: serial misjudgments and disastrous policy failures embroiling rather than easing the US out of the region.
As for Iran and the bomb: Bush’s last decision regarding Ahmadinejad was to leave the problem to Obama. And Obama has repeatedly since entering office made concessions to Iran only to have them rub egg in his face and spurn his “generosity.” And now his grandiose claims regarding the “interim” agreement denied by Iran, and confirmed by the US. What does this all mean?
In the past an engaged US presence in the region needed Israel to project US power. Jordan dealing with Black September while Israeli armor threatened Syrian forces massing in support of the Palestinians being one example. Today, a US in retreat needs a different alliance, and that new “ally” is Iran, a balance of power between Sunni and Shia in the region.
Except Russia is already the patron of Iran?
Well, let’s just mark that off as just one more failure of Intelligence, and intelligence in America’s last hurrah as superpower.
As for Israel, well, yes… With Egypt negotiating arms deals with Russia; with the Saudis brokering that deal and engaged actively also with Russia: After forty years absence as regional power Russia returns!
Israel might just be able to provide Russia that which she provided the US previously, a stabilizing force to help control the instability of the Islamist Winter.