It might be too early to discuss — and Israel might not want to do so lest it reduce potential U.S. support for an attack — but it is important to understand that there’s good containment and bad containment. On that point I need say only two words: Chuck Hagel. He is U.S. secretary of defense. Want four more words? John Kerry, John Brennan. They are secretary of state and CIA chief. The problem of terrible ideas meets terrible incompetence.
Just as the issue is not that Obama hasn’t tried hard enough on the “peace process” — he tried, failed, and will fail if he tries again — the issue is not that Obama is “anti-Israel.” The latter problem is that his Arab and Islamist strategy is damaging toward Israel, as it is also to long-term U.S. interests, regional stability, Christians, women, moderates, and others.
Equally, the problem is not that the Obama administration hasn’t been trying to stop Iran’s nuclear program, but that its efforts won’t work and its approach is wasting time. So what comes next?
If the United States is going to end up focusing on containing Iran — stopping it from using nuclear weapons or giving them to terrorists — it better be done well. As for containing Iran strategically, the Egyptian and Syrian revolutions are largely doing that job.
At the end of the meeting, everyone will then state publicly that the talks show the continued strength of the U.S.-Israel alliance and that Obama is a great president and a wonderful friend of Israel. Then Obama will return to Washington to get back to the business of installing or helping anti-Israel Islamist governments in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey; making sure Israel is never too tough against Hamas in the Gaza Strip; and losing credibility with America’s anti-Islamist Arab and other friends.
As I’ve been saying for four years, most of America’s allies are unhappy. When Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was in Afghanistan, President Karzai spoke angrily of how he feels U.S. policy has shafted him and his country. Lots of other countries feel the same way.