In my last post I asked the rhetorical question whether the world as we know it was about to end, specifically in reference to the potential repercussions of Iran activating its Bushehr nuclear facility on Saturday. Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton had earlier warned that the action would create a sort of point-of-no-return for Israel in terms of military intervention. Would Israel do something, or just sit by and let it happen?
Well, it happened, and is happening (the process is expected to take at least two weeks to complete), and the IAF remains on the ground.
Is that a surprise? No, not really. Was it a forgone conclusion? Not necessarily. But seeing no significant action on the part of Israel still leaves us wondering not only why not, but more importantly what comes next. To be sure, Israel issued a strongly worded statement, but even that came through a lower echelon spokesman (below cabinet level, anyway), as if to make the point that they know it’s not the end of the world.
Also, like a playground bully who didn’t actually beat anybody up but got his way anyway, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad upped the volume a little on his
whining warnings to the world that he’s going to beat everybody up.
But we are still ultimately left watching, and waiting, and when it comes right down to it, guessing. Even as established a publication as Atlantic Monthly ends up saying basically that.
The one thing that I saw on Saturday that offered a substantially different outlook was a report in DEBKAfile indicating that the nature and extent of Israel’s response (or lack thereof) may have been dictated by an earlier back room deal between Russia and the US over a UN vote on sanctions.
Or then also another version from DEBKAfile today reports that Obama had made a deal with Netanyahu tying US support of upcoming direct talks with the Palestinians to Israel holding back on Iran. A deal which Obama has since reneged on, so says the report.
So does the plot thicken? Are all of the world’s leaders just watching each other to see what the other guy’s next move is? Why do I have the unpleasant feeling that all we have here is the blind leading the blind?