Timestamp: Sunday morning

I haven’t written a lot about the situation in the Middle East but I’ve far from ignored it. It is certainly dynamic, hence the timestamp. October 7th didn’t occur in a vacuum but it was a game changer. This weekend’s Iranian attack on Israel will prove to be another inflection point, but there was one heck of an overture. With all that in mind I’d like to propose the outline of a path forward from an American perspective.

America has long aided Israel and continues to. The admitted reason is the defense of a fellow, albeit flawed, democracy. (Hey, I lived in America under Donald Trump so we resembled that remark in recent history.) The unstated reason is the huge impact (on both parties) of the financial donations of the American Jewish diaspora.

My concern in the immediate aftermath of October 7th is that the current Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu would use this tragedy as an opportunity to commit genocide upon the Palestinians in Gaza. At least to a significant degree that has proven to be true. If it weren’t for the Western efforts led, by Joe Biden, it would be worse and largely unchecked. That said we cannot leave the citizens of Israel unprotected against attacks from either hostile states or their proxies. (Have no doubt that the rebel groups are largely proxy organizations.)

Since the Netanyahu led Israeli government is misusing it, we need to cut off all offensive weapons aid. However, we need to, if anything, strengthen our defensive weapons aid. The events of this weekend (thus far) have if nothing else illustrated the importance of the so-called Iron Dome. I also applaud the allied efforts to supplement it against what was, among other things, obviously an attempt to defeat it by overwhelming it.

I am not a military man but I fully appreciate the difficulty in determining what weapon system is offensive and which is defensive. Many systems have both capabilities. This is another case where we can’t let the good be the enemy of the perfect and be willing to settle on only a perfect solution.

A wild card few seem to be willing to talk about is Iran’s military capabilities. Trump killed the albeit imperfect Iran Nuclear Accord. That was a huge mistake! It left Iran totally unconstrained in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The reality is that we simply do not know how far along that path they have progressed in the interim. Achieving a nuclear device is one thing; delivering it to a target is another challenge. However, when the range issue is small, as it is in this region, the challenge is also lesser.

Trump’s Middle East policy didn’t benefit anyone on “our side”. The Boy Blunder (Jared Kushner) made a lot of inroads in the region which are now funding his investment entity. The Iranians were able to restart their nuclear program sans constraints or monitors. The average Israeli citizen, Gazan resident or citizen of any Western nation (including America) became less safe and secure in the process.

You can be pro-democracy and pro-Israel without being pro-Netanyahu or pro-genocide; and that’s exactly where I stand.

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