By Shoula Romano Horing
While Israel fears a new Holocaust from a nuclear armed Iran, President Barack Obama seems to only be worried about a preemptive attack on Iran or the talk of war raising oil prices and thereby harming the US economy and his re-election campaign.
Despite his reassurances at the AIPAC conference that he “won’t hesitate to use force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he is in fact bluffing to woo Jewish voters and stop an Israeli unilateral attack on Iran. Less than two days after his AIPAC campaign speech, he already backtracked from his commitment. When asked what he meant by his comments that “we have Israel’s back,” the president answered that “it was not a military doctrine that we were laying out for any particular military action.”
Israel should realize by now that Obama will never attack Iran or support an Israeli attack before the elections because a war in the oil-rich region would send gasoline prices even higher than they are now, exacerbating the economic situation and hurting his chance for reelection. The price of gasoline has been rising daily in the past month, averaging $3.79 a gallon. Since 1976, there has been a correlation between rising oil prices and falling presidential approval ratings in the US. Jimmy Carter lost the presidency when gas averaged $3.37 per gallon when adjusted to the current value of the dollar.
Although Obama has been taking credit for the “crippling” sanctions against Iran and asking the Israelis to wait a few months to allow them to take effect, he has in fact tried to weaken the sanctions. In December 2011, the Kirk-Menendez amendment passed by a rare 100-0 vote in the Senate directed the Administration to take punitive measures against foreign entities that do business with Iran. However, the Administration tried to pressure top ranking Democrats, thankfully to no avail, to delay the implementation of the sanctions by a few months, arguing that the amendment could raise oil prices and hurt the US economy.
Israel alone in this fight?
Moreover, Obama failed to begin enforcement of the sanctions on February 29 as the law intended. The nightmare scenario for the president would be the revelation, in the midst of economic recovery, would be an Iranian nuclear breakthrough in the next eight months, forcing him to either act or back down and then be judged by the voters. The only scenario under which Obama will attack Iran is if he believes he has a chance of losing the election because the economy deteriorates, unemployment rises and the chosen Republican presidential candidate is gaining in popularity.
If re-elected, President Obama, in his second term, will not attack Iran even as a last resort. Not needing Jewish votes or reelection and true to his ideology of appeasement, he will re-adopt his “containment policy” of useless diplomacy, eventually leading to a nuclear Iran. By then, the Middle East will be an explosive powder keg, waiting for the Iranian trigger.
Israel‘s only deterrence option to stop Iran from attacking would be the threat of retaliation through total annihilation using the Jewish state’s nuclear weapons arsenal. Watching Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech, it seems clear that he realized after talking to Obama that Israel is alone in this fight.
Israel’s only remaining hope is that Obama will lose the election and be replaced by the Republicans. The only time when the extremist Iranian leadership decided to suspend its nuclear program was 2003, after the US invaded Iraq, because Tehran truly believed a Republican president‘s warnings that it will be attacked next.