February 27, 2012 | Quote
Will Israel Act as the West’s Protector?
I asked Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has worked strenuously to develop and advocate for sanctions, where he thought we now stood and whether Israel should doubt Obama’s resolve. He e-mailed me, “If I was an Israeli, I’d be deeply afraid. You have a U.S. intelligence community which believes that [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei bases his decision making with respect to an Iranian atomic weapon on a risk-reward calculus, that he has not decided to build this weapon, that sanctions will deter him, and that their sources are so good inside Iran that we know what makes this man tick and will be able to detect when he gives the green light to weaponize.”
He continued, arguing we were asking an awful lot of Israel: “So, despite a history of incorrect predictions of atomic weapons programs — the Soviet Union, China, India, Pakistan, Iraq, et al. — we are asking the Israelis to trust us. We will get it right this time. And, if we don’t, well not to worry we are sure that the regime is too rational to risk its demise just to bring about yours.” As for sanctions, he argued that after three years it does not appear that we do “want to use economic and political warfare to really do what is necessary to bring down this regime in case we miss an opportunity to get the decades-old elusive deal which is always just a concession or two away. We only seriously began a few months ago to implement the crippling sanctions that were promised a few years ago and now we are rushing to crush their oil sector, freeze them out of the international financial system and plunge them into an economic crisis to that they will relent.” He leaves open the possibility that “the old Islamist revolutionary who has spent a lifetime committed to destroying Israel, and probably thinks a world without America is achievable, will cry uncle in the face of stagflation and a threat to his oil wealth.” But he suggests now “it’s time to face reality that no deal is possible with this regime, that sanctions designed to persuade Khamenei to relent were always a delusion, and that we now need to commit the full weight of the United States, economic warfare, political warfare, and yes, military too if necessary, to the end of this regime.”