Candidate Barack Obama promised transparent and accountable government. In retrospect that pledge was an empty one as in reality he has hidden behind government secrecy even more than his predecessor. Nowhere is secrecy less acceptable than in the government machinations that could lead to war. If more Americans had been aware of the cooked intelligence and politicized analysis that led to Iraq, a conflict that has killed tens of thousands and done much to wreck the US economy might have been avoided.
In that light, the news that the Obama Administration has secretly supplied Israel with 55 GBU-28 so-called “bunker buster” bombs is just one more indication that the White House is managing a largely clandestine foreign policy that is both irrational and counterproductive and could well lead to a new war. Israel has wanted to have the bombs, which are only useful in attacking targets that are deep underground or heavily fortified, to make credible its threat to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program. The United States thereby becomes an enabler of an Israeli attack, if it should come, and an accomplice in an act of war. The United States’ official position on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, reflecting the consensus of the entire intelligence community as spelled out in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, is that there is no evidence that Iran’s nuclear program has a weapons component, even though there are concerns that Tehran might intend to move in that direction. Israel, meanwhile, has an estimated 200 nuclear weapons and possesses a national leadership that is every bit as kleptocratic as the Iranians.
So the Obama Administration is effectively providing the wherewithal to permit an Israeli preemptive attack on Iran, an act of war which would quickly involve the United States, particularly given the background bleat of Hillary Clinton’s frequent assertion that “all options are on the table” when it comes to dealing with the Mullahs. Nor would Congress and the mainstream media hesitate to jump in if “brave little Israel” were to lead the way. The US would probably already be at war but for the considerable pushback within the government itself regarding starting yet another major conflict in Asia. The Pentagon, CIA, and the State Department are known to be opposed to any attack on Iran, recognizing that it would be a much tougher nut than Iraq leading to a conflict that would likely have catastrophic economic and political consequences.
The fact that the weapons intended to start a war were given to Tel Aviv secretly reveals the White House’s duplicity – if they were really required for Israel’s legitimate defense there would have been no subterfuge and would have been included in routine weapons transfers. Obama, who reasonably enough despises Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but is fearful to adopting any hard line against Tel Aviv with elections looming, has done everything he can to appease the Likud-led government, heedless of the US interests in the region.