No tragedy is self-contained: self and circumstance tango in unbelievable ways to produce that end.
We condemn Iran for its religious politics. Then we disbelieve it when it uses that same faith to condemn and distance itself from WMD. The fact that in the face of Saddam's gas attack, it did not respond quid pro quo gives her no credit at all. So, now, it finds itself in the eye of the storm.
By some accounts, our and our friends' armadas are colliding with each other in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. We have practically a military and economic siege on Iran. We are violating international laws and conventions at so many levels that we do not even want to discuss it. We did not like the democracy of Hitler, Hamas, or Iran suggesting one-sided cooption. But we have been doing exactly that in the UN Security Council and in the Congress. All the yes men vote for most unlikely propositions without a murmur.
However, that is not enough for the Prince of American Politics: Bibi Netanyahu. He has been spoiled. He has been promised a lollipop. He has done his chore and waited for his turn. Now, he will not be denied. Throwing temper tantrum in public is second nature to Bibi. And why should he not do so? The dysfunctional, harried, enabler parent may just give him the candy as he has done so repeatedly in the past. Just push the right buttons many times is all it will take!
Has the parent not tightened the screws on Iran, screws nobody knew even existed? Is the Holy Land now not bristling with the parent provided hazard protection and hazard projection devices? All of this is for what?
Instead of solving Palestine, we are about to pummel Iran on a worse ground than we used to attack Iraq. We claimed Iraq had WMD. Now, we are arguing Iran may get WMD. We will not allow Iran purification of uranium to 20% level in the face of 150 WMDs in direct possession of Bibi some under the hulls of German submarines off the coast of Iran. Further, it does not matter that we have deposited 300 tons of nuclear waste materials in the vicinity of Iran by way of bombs and shells leaving empty the caverns of Nevada designated for storing such materials. We buy time and provide money for Bibi to set up more apartments and assist with immigration to fill them. We condemn the ultra-conservatives Hamas and Hezbollah, but we consort with the ultra conservative Bibi, wear kippah, stick prayer notes in the Wailing Wall and cite the Bible for the status quo.
We have been very bad parents and set very poor precedence. Our child is wayward. What can we do? Perhaps family counseling, rehab clinic, cutting off, and even calling on God may not be ruled out.
We should not forget that Bibi's "messianic, megalomaniac" image among his offbeat friends is on the line should he not get the much ballyhooed lollipop. No wonder he continues to harangue the parent. It may be a strange outcome: both men may be forced out of office by this denial, one for overreach, the other for the denial!
By not thumping Iran, Israel will lose the foreign bogeyman pretext. Further, it will endorse Iran's claim of non-possession of and non-quest for WMD. Iran's David having squared off against Bibi's Goliath and carrying a Champion's banner is an unpalatable prospect. Essentially, it would be the first diplomatic defeat for Israel even though it has engineered a major con job starting with denying the legitimacy of Ahmedinejad's presidential election and dehumanizing Iran. Then it would have to turn to urgent internal issue of Palestinian-Israeli cohabitation. At this stage, Israel's true military stature and deep seated belligerency to regional entities as well as the excessive western reaction to Iran may become the subjects of focus. It could be the first step in rebuilding the backbone of the POTUS by cracking open ever so slightly the hold of Bibi's lobby. Last but not least, it may prove Ahmedinejad right when he said Israel could not continue her inorganic and unjustified ways the way it has, just as South Africa, USSR and China could not. Of course, among many other parallel ploys, this very statement was twisted to justify why Iran needed to be confronted, even turned to glass, and put in place. Wow!
Dr. Shafi A. Khaled is a freelance writer. He teaches and does research in Business & Economics.