A white flag with horizontal blue bands close to the top and bottom, and a blue star of David in the middle   It hasn’t been been an “if” for a long time and the “when” now appears imminent.  The dilemma for the United States remains, When Israel launches its long-anticipated tactical strike at Iranian nuclear facilities, what will America do? 

Despite being beset with economic upheaval and by endless threats  from its other Muslim neighbors, it’s nevertheless a foregone conclusion that Israel will soon replicate the September 6th, 2007 attack on Syria’s al-Kibar nuclear weapons site which effectively ended the Assad  regime’s pretensions of dominating the Mideast. 

There is one significant difference between the al-Kibar strike by Israel’s IAF and the expected operation to eradicate Iran’s nuke capabilities, namely, al-Kibar preceded the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama. 

The latest news out of Washington is that the unilateralism-averse Obama administration has been pressuring the U.N. Security Council and the two permanent members who have opposed tougher sanctions, China and Russia, to support American initiatives intended to forestall a unilateral attack by Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

Fat chance, as is the chance Israel will heed Obama’s importunings not to take out a growing and virtually-certain danger before it becomes an accomplished fact and much of the tiny Jewish state is decimated.   

The latest news out of Tel Aviv is that Israel is developing ICBM capabilities and launched a test missile just two days after Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu again warned of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program.  Those ominous developments   followed reports Netanyahu has been working to firm up his cabinet’s endorsement of a first strike. 

Israel is preparing for war.    

   Given international and IAEA awareness of Iranian progress in both missile technology and nuclear capabilities, Iran’s persistent declarations of wiping Israel off the face of the map, and their most recent vow to inflict “heavy damages to the US as well as to the Zionist regime” in the event of a pre-emptive strike, that pre-emption is a certainty.  The only uncertainty is how the United States should react.   

Our best reaction should be minimal.  Another might be less than minimal. 

We have already armed Israel to the teeth and it is the only nuclear power in the region.  On the other hand, President Obama has shown repeatedly that he favors the Islamic world and doesn’t hold Israel in the same high regard George W. Bush did and there is no longer any surety in Tel Aviv that America is a dependable ally. 

Israel has few viable options at this juncture other than to continue its reliance on an unreliable “friend” and risk widespread devastation or take action in its sole best interests.  America’s options are more complex, involving strategic concerns and our national defenses which would be tested to the limits since, if Israel follows through with its obvious war plans, we will be blamed no matter what we do or don’t do. 

   From the American perspective, the best choice is a declaration of neutrality, then batten down our own hatches and hope for the best.  Let them fight it out and leave us alone.