Frank Gaffney

Much the same can be said of the Obama administration's appeasement of Iran. Yes, it has reluctantly imposed - usually at the insistence of the Congress - sanctions on various aspects of the regime and its supporting industrial, commercial and security edifices. But in virtually every other regard, Team Obama has bought time for the mullahs to complete their nuclear weapons program and efforts to render it essentially invulnerable to attack through relocation of enrichment operations to hardened underground factories.

President Obama and his civilian and military subordinates have done just about everything short of a preemptive strike on the Jewish State to prevent the Israelis from trying to neutralize a looming existential threat to their nation. They are said to have employed both carrots and sticks - for example, promises of help with doing the deed after the election (trust us!) and evidently compromises of Israeli operational plans for recovering strike aircraft in Azerbaijan, which had the desired effect of foreclosing that option.

In the face of mounting evidence that Israel feels compelled to act alone and within the next two months, the Obama administration has become even more aggressive. In London last week, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, went so far as to declare his opposition to such an attack, saying, "I don't want to be complicit if they choose to do it."

While the exact meaning of that statement is unclear, an indication of what the general - and his boss, the Commander-in-Chief - have in mind might have been the subject of a report in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. It claims that U.S. diplomats have gone to third-parties to communicate to Iran that the United States will not support an Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear program provided the mullahs "steer clear of strategic American assets in the Persian Gulf." One can almost hear Neville Chamberlain pledging no objection to the Chechs losing the Sudetenland to the Nazis as long as Hitler agreed to leave the French and Brits alone. While the White House spokesman says the report is "false," it sure sounds right.

But what if Israel does attack Iran and Iran does retaliate - not only against U.S. "assets" in the Persian Gulf, but elsewhere including in this country? Can the possibility be ruled out that this President - simpatico as he clearly is with the Iranian regime and hostile as he clearly is towards Israel - responds by finding ways to punish the Jewish State that go beyond a refusal to sustain its military capabilities, as Nixon did in 1973? Could he even use the pretext of attacks by Iran or its proxies here to invoke the sweeping emergency powers he has granted himself and his subordinates in a series of executive orders to disrupt an election that might otherwise unseat him?

We cannot know the answers to such questions at the moment. We can only imagine, though, if this is how President Obama behaves on the eve of a national election in which Jewish votes may be critical to his bid for a second term, imagine how he will treat Israel if he has "more flexibility" post-November.

Frank Gaffney

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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