Friday, June 20, 2008

The Audacity of Hopelessness

Israel may be concluding that America is not going to do anything about Iran's drive for nuclear weapons:

Earlier this month, Israel conducted training missions over the Mediterranean Sea and Greek territory, the New York Times reported on its Web site last night. The tests were conducted at the same distance required of Israeli jets to fly to Iran, and included helicopters in case any jets were downed and pilots had to be rescued, according to the Times.

The military training missions come as Israeli officials are speaking more openly about ending Iran's nuclear ambitions. Earlier this month, the Islamic Republic refused an offer from the five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council to build a peaceful nuclear energy facility in exchange for halting the enrichment of uranium in Natanz.

As I've noted before, our refusal to act does not mean that there will be no action--just that it will be less effective. Any attack that could also weaken the mullahs and destroy much of their retaliatory capability can only be done by America.

An Israeli strike could narrowly disrupt the nuclear missile threat to Israel, but that is not the end of the problem with Iran. A problem that we will then continue to face at perhaps a more intense level in the years following the Israeli strike.

Israel must defend itself, confident that our irrational hopes offer Israel no hope at all.