BOB SCHIEFFER: “Red lines, Israel and Iran. Would either of you —Would either of you be willing to declare that an attack on Israel is an attack on the United States, which of course is the same promise that we give to our close allies like Japan?
And if you made such a declaration, would not that deter Iran? It’s certainly deterred the Soviet Union for a long, long time when we made that — when we made that promise to our allies.
Good question…a request to clarify what has been a very intimate but imprecise relationship–challenging an American president –or future president–to make a stark commitment to Israel on his own accord, without seeking the consent of the Senate or Congress. Which, who knows, one chaotic night at three in the morning, he might be called upon to do.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, Israel is a true friend. It is our greatest ally in the region. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel.
I’ve made that clear throughout my presidency. And —
Just a minute, he didn’t really answer…but the moderator was there:
MR. SCHIEFFER: So you’re saying we’ve already made that declaration?
Good Question, but dodged again:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I will stand with Israel if they are attacked.
Unasked question: What does “stand by” mean, Mr. President? Cheer from the sidelines? Send emergency arms, dispatch rockets to shoot down incoming missiles, as was done in past crises by the U.S?
But Obama went on.
OBAMA: And this is the reason why, working with Israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history. In fact, this week we’ll be carrying out the largest military exercise with Israel in history, this very week.
Unasked Question: Does that mean, Mr. President, that American armed forces would become directly involved if Israel were attacked?…if say, its perimeter defenses were overwhelmed? If the Arabs or Iranians were marching on Tel Aviv?
If not, what is the point of carrying out the “largest military exercises in history” with Israel? Exercising for what?”
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment