(Image via Reuters) In order to get political results, one needs leverage. In order to gain political leverage, it helps to make the objective a constituency issue. If Israel has any intention of bombing Iran, as has been speculated ad nauseum, whether on its own or with the help of the United States, it would surely be better to do it with the backup of the U.S. Here’s why:
As a super power, the US has far more arms at its disposal. It could take out the buried installations in Natanz, where Iran has begun installation of advanced centrifuges, by using a combination of sophisticated bunker busting bombs from the air, while navy ships would take out any and all radar installations.
Second, Israel could focus on and implement its high-tech weaponry that as Eli Lake wrote about for The Daily Beast recently and would, “jam, blind, and deafen Tehran''s defenses in the case of a pre-emptive aerial strike.” At the same time Israel could focus on protecting its homeland from attacks sure to come from Hamas in Gaza aimed at southern Israel and Hezbollah in the north with over 40,000 rockets on the Lebanon border. It would also need to control any violent outbreak in Judea and Samaria (West Bank territories.)
Third, were Israel to do it alone and like Osiraq some 30-years ago the world would condemn Israel on the international stage. Only this time, the outcry would be louder as the potential for a wider conflict would be a probable outcome. Were Israel to be attacked as a result of the bombing, the US in turn would get pulled into a war, as opposed to voluntarily committing to it upfront. As a result there would be greater opposition to it, due to its hand being forced.
Finally, by working in conjunction, the alliance would send an important message to European allies and the world that Iran is not only a threat to Israel but a nuclear armed Iran is a danger to all.
Now in order for Israel to gain the cooperation of the U.S., it needs to make its case to the American people. But why would average Americans show their support? Israel is not the 51st state. What’s in it for them?
In fact, Iran does threaten the US. Iran’s plot to attack Saudi and Israeli targets on American soil clearly exposes Iran’s ever-growing threat to America and its allies. The plot was aimed at bombing a Washington, D.C. restaurant where the Saudi ambassador frequented, potentially killing numerous customers and bystanders. Iran also was plotting to bomb the Israeli embassy in Washington and Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina.
Furthermore, Iran has targeted American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan by providing weapons, financing and training to Iraqi insurgents and the Taliban. Iranian-produced improvised explosive devices have been directly responsible for the deaths of American soldiers in both conflicts. Moreover, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said in July, “Iran is very directly supporting extremist Shia groups which are killing our troops.”
Facts like these need to be presented to the American people to show that Iran is not only a threat to Israel. Iran is not only a Middle East issue. But before Iran has the capability to set off a dirty bomb or launch an ICBM, it needs to be stopped. Iran is a danger, not only to Israel, but also the homeland of The United States.
Hence, Iran becomes an American constituency issue.
Only then will the American people show their support and in turn can leverage be applied - in an election year - and the U.S. Congress and President Obama will find it incumbent to act.
Abe Novick is a writer and communications consultant and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.