Obama will be visiting with the head of the state of Israel next week. He will not visit long. He will be touring the region.
He raised the issue of Iran yesterday. He said that Iran is a year away from having a nuclear weapon. He did not say what the evidence is for this.
He reaffirmed his commitment to diplomacy. He did not say what the USA and Iran are doing diplomatically.
He said that the press is wrong about the bad relations between him and Prime Minister Netanyahu. The press has been saying this for years.
He spoke of a window of opportunity for Iran to come to an agreement. It was not clear what this agreement might be, or who will enforce it.
He did not say what, exactly, he is prepared to do if Iran does not come to this undescribed agreement.
So, he might as well have said nothing.
A year from now, who is going to remind him of his estimate that, in a year from now, Iran will have a nuclear weapon?
This is kick the Iranian can. The question is: Will it become “launch the jets” instead of “kick the can”? The other question is: Who will make this call?
The saber-rattling against Iran has gone on for years. Nothing has been resolved.
The public still does not know what the heads of state are going to do about Iran. Yet the heads of state feel compelled to talk about a window of opportunity. But who is going to close this window? In what way? When?
If this is a game of chicken, the stakes are very high. American voters are paying little attention to any of this. If heads of state want diplomacy to work, they should shut up. Diplomats are not helped by saber-rattling.
If Iran ever gets a nuclear weapon, the question arises: What can it do with it? One weapon does not make a nuclear military power. You have to be able to drop it on someone. The mere possession of a bomb does not mean much unless someone in authority is prepared to use it. Nuclear retaliation from the Israeli Air Force would be swift.
Having one nuclear weapon is more about bragging rights than posing a military threat. “Hey, we’re in the club. You could not keep us out. So there! Nyah, nyah, nyah.” It is one more government project with no positive payoff and a lot of risk.
How much risk? No one seems to know.