Has Mitt Romney given Israel a blank check for war?
So it seemed from the declaration in Jerusalem by his adviser Dan Senor, who all but flashed Israel a green light for war, signaling the Israelis that, if you go, Mitt's got your back:
"If Israel has to take action on its own in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision."
"No option would be excluded. Gov. Romney recognizes Israel's right to defend itself and that it is right for America to stand with it."
What does "stand with" Israel, if she launches a surprise attack on Iran, mean? Does it mean the United States will guide Israeli planes to their targets and provide bases on their return? Does it mean U.S. air cover while Israeli planes strike Iran?
This would make America complicit in a pre-emptive strike and a co-belligerent in the war to follow.
What Senor said comes close to being a U.S. war guarantee for Israel, while leaving the decision as to when the war begins to them.
This country has never done that before.
And what does Senor mean by Israel's need to act "to stop Iran from developing (the) capability" to acquire nuclear weapons?
The collective decision of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies in 2007 -- that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon -- reportedly reaffirmed in 2011 -- has never been rescinded. Nor has the White House produced any hard evidence Iran is building a bomb.
Moreover, Iran's known nuclear facilities are under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Does the government know something the American people are not being told?
Undeniably, Iran, by enriching uranium to 3.5 percent, then up to 20 percent, has a greater "capability" than five years ago of building a nuclear weapon. But Japan, South Korea and Brazil also have that capability -- and none has decided to build a nuclear weapon.
Gov. Romney did not go as far as Senor, but he, too, seems to be saying that not only is Iran's possession of a nuclear weapon a casus belli for the United States, even an Iran that is capable of building such a weapon is intolerable.
"The regime in Iran is five years closer to developing nuclear weapons capability," said Romney. "Preventing that outcome must be our highest national security priority."
Preventing what outcome is "our highest national security priority"?
Stopping Iran from building a bomb? Or stopping Iran from being able to build a bomb years from now?