Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Amen, Mr. F!

I admired Thomas Friedman and enjoyed reading his work long before I even thought I might end up in Israel one day. Today, 25+ years later, after I have lived here for almost twenty years, I still read his analyses and comments, and often find myself agreeing with him. I also tend to agree with what he tells us this week. Like him, I think President Obama is a true friend of Israel (though I still have very fond memories of Bill Clinton), much more than his immediate predecessor, and much, much more than any of the Republican contenders for the presidency. I think Mr. Friedman is right when he writes the following:

Reports from the Aipac convention this week indicated that those advocating military action were getting the loudest cheers. I’d invite all those cheering to think about all the unintended and unanticipated consequences of the Iraq war or Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. That’s not a reason for paralysis. It’s a reason to heed Obama’s call to give diplomacy and biting sanctions a chance to work, while keeping the threat of force on the table.
If it comes to war, let it be because the ayatollahs were ready to sacrifice their whole economy to get a nuke and, therefore, America — the only country that can truly take down Iran’s nuclear program — had to act to protect the global system, not just Israel. I respect that this is a deadly serious issue for Israel — which has the right to act on its own — but President Obama has built a solid strategic and political case for letting America take the lead.

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