There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama Administration has just undertaken in its war with Muammar Gaddafi. How it will all end is just one of them.
Particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Gaddafi Precedent will be used in the not-too-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel.
Here's how such a seemingly impossible scenario might eventuate:
It begins with the Palestinian Authority seeking a UN Security Council resolution that would recognize its unilateral declaration of statehood. Three top female officials in the Obama administration reprise roles they played in the Council's recent action on Libya: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, a vehement critic of Israel, urges that the United States support (or at least not veto) the Palestinians' gambit. She is supported by the senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, Samantha Power, who in the past argued for landing a "mammoth force" of American troops to protect the Palestinians from Israel. Ditto Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose unalloyed sympathy for the Palestinian cause dates back at least to her days as First Lady.
This resolution enjoys the support of the other four veto-wielding Security Council members - Russia, China, Britain and France - as well as the all of the other non-permanent members except India, which joins the United States in abstaining. As a result, it is adopted with overwhelming support from what is known as the "international community."
With a stroke of the UN's collective pen, substantial numbers of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli citizens find themselves on the wrong side of internationally recognized borders. The Palestinian Authority (PA) insists on its longstanding position: The sovereign territory of Palestine must be rid of all Jews.
The Israeli government refuses to evacuate the oft-condemned "settlements" now on Palestinian land, or to remove the IDF personnel, checkpoints and facilities rightly seen as vital to protecting their inhabitants and, for that matter, the Jewish State itself.
Hamas and Fatah bury the hatchet (temporarily), forging a united front and promising democratic elections in the new Palestine. There, as in Gaza (and probably elsewhere in the wake of the so-called "Arab awakening"), the winner will likely be the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Palestinian franchise is Hamas).
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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