From The Daily Dish:
Obama At AIPAC
The bottom line:
Iran's leaders should know that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon .... Already, there is too much loose talk of war. Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend upon to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel's security, America's security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster; now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have built. Now is the time to heed that timeless advice from Teddy Roosevelt: speak softly, but carry a big stick.
I agree with Ackerman that Obama basically repeated his Goldberg assurance, reminded the Bomb-Iran-Now crowd of how substantively pro-Israel is administration has been, and refused to take the Israeli/Greater Israel lobby bait:
Israel wanted Obama to give Iran a red line not to cross. I would argue he did. “I made a commitment to the American people, and said that we would use all elements of American power to pressure Iran and prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” That isn’t what Netanyahu wants to hear. As Noah Pollak incisively tweeted — yes, yes, snicker to yourselves, but he’s right — the Israelis want Iran not to be able to produce a nuclear weapon. Obama did not liquidate the disagreement.
Basically, Obama has refused to have the Greater Israel Lobby move the red lines to rendering Iran incapable of producing a nuclear weapon, rather than deciding to make one or actually making one. And this will be where the Greater Israel lobby shifts its support to the Christianist GOP, already committed to the Netanyahu-Lieberman position on Iran and the settlements, and now financed by Greater Israel fanatics, like Sheldon Adelson. (Here's a response to the Atlantic interview in an Adelson newspaper in Israel.) So no surprise to hear Liz Cheney was on a panel with this kind of reception:
Among the speakers was Liz Cheney, a former State Department official and daughter of George W. Bush's vice president. There was widespread applause for her attacks on Barack Obama including when she said the president is more interested in "containing Israel" by discouraging it from attacking Iran than blocking Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb. There was also applause when she said there was no president who had done more to "undermine and delegitimise" Israel. There were loud cheers when she predicted that the next Aipac conference will be held under a new US president.
For the worldview of Cheney and Netanyahu to prevail, Obama must be defeated. That is clearly the agenda of the current Israeli government, and what the NYT delicately but accurately calls "Israel's backers" in the US.
My worry is that once the Likudniks begin to realize Obama may not be defeated by the GOP at home, the current Israeli government would launch a war without warning to create a crisis to humiliate the president, rally end-times evangelicals to vote, send oil prices soaring, and force the US president to coopt a war he does not want and does not yet believe is necessary. If that helps the GOP nominee, so much the better. Every GOP candidate is now committed to the most extreme positions of the Likudnik Israeli right - and are to the bellicose right of most Israelis.
I hope that the Israeli government is not that reckless or extreme. But ask yourself when thinking about Netanyahu: what would Cheney do? These individuals are radicals. They turned the US into a torturing nation and regarded that decision as a "no-brainer." A "wag-the-dog" scenario in which Netanyahu creates a war to wound and weaken a US president before an election is, sadly, not unthinkable. And he will have the GOP as his critical back-up.