The famed Israeli revisionist historian Benny Morris has penned a piece in the New York Times today basically stating that war with Iran is inevitable. Either Israel or America (more likely Israel) will bomb them, he predicts, in the Bush lame duck period between November 2, 2008 and January 20, 2009.
Israel, believing that Iran is building a bomb, is under intense pressure to launch an attack before Bush leaves office. This is a shame. The channels of diplomacy have not been given a chance to work. This timeframe is too short. Israel must hold off until real and serious negotiations can take place, likely after an Obama administration takes office. Provoking a broader war in the region that will certainly draw in the U.S. while America is still under the thumb of an despised and unpopular lame duck (who will support the attacks) may seriously backfire with the American people.
Will Israel be able to count on U.S support? Probably. But just how much is the question. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got plenty of troubles of our own, and Americans have no appetite for expanding our war in the Middle East. Bombing Iran will mean, truly, the beginning of full blown regional war.
Let’s not go there just because Bush is leaving office. If, as Morris states, the Iranian’s are really one to four years away from the point of no return, then we still have time to talk. On this front, it’s time for Bush and Olmert to get on the ball.