I like Glenn Reynolds, but I think that he’s wrong here about why the President is mucking about with Israel right now:
I think Obama expects Israel to strike Iran, and wants to put distance between the United States and Israel in advance of that happening. (Perhaps he even thinks that treating Israel rudely will provoke such a response, saving him the trouble of doing anything about Iran himself, and avoiding the risk that things might go wrong if he does). On the most optimistic level, maybe this whole thing is a sham, and the U.S. is really helping Israel strike Iran, with this as distraction.
For three reasons:
- He’s a Democrat, and Democrats are not very good at foreign policy.
- He’s a Democrat, and Democrats are not very good at foreign policy*.
- Even if he wanted to do this, his staff are all Democrats, and Democrats are not very good at foreign policy**.
Come right down to it, if the President was planning to implicitly or explicitly let Israel take care of our Iran problem we’d already know, because somebody in his administration would have leaked a warning to the Iranians via the New York Times. Which is probably more ‘sedition’ than ‘treason’ – not much of a distinction, admittedly – but still something that any Democratic President has to take into account when trying to formulate a foreign policy at odds with the neocom wing of the Democratic party.
*To paraphrase a classic: “I know that, technically, that’s only one [reason], but it was such a big one I thought I’d mention it twice.”
**Or three times.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.