According to the Jerusalem Post report on Wednesday’s televised debate, the two Democratic presidential candidates are now committed not only to use U.S. military in retaliation against a possible Iranian nuclear attack on Israel but are also ready to extend the U.S. nuclear umbrella to Israel and the entire Middle East:

Democratic presidential candidates on Wednesday night threatened a tough response against Iran should the Islamic Republic attack Israel.

“An attack on Israel would trigger massive retaliation from the United States,” said New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who proposed that the US create a security umbrella for Israel and other allies in the region to protect them from a nuclear Iran. “So would an attack on those countries that are willing to go under the security umbrella and forswear their own nuclear ambitions,” she added.

The New York senator pointed to Saudi Arabia and the UAE as states that had concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We’ve got to deter other countries from feeling they have to acquire nuclear weapons,” she said.

Clinton was responding to a question at a presidential debate here with her competitor for the Democratic nomination, Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

They were both asked by ABC moderator George Stephanopoulos: “Should it be US policy now to treat on Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack against the United States?”

Obama answered that “it is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, one whose security we consider paramount.” He said that would be an act of aggression that he would consider “unacceptable,” and that “the United States would take appropriate action.”

The Illinois senator stressed that he would “take no option off the table” when it comes to preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapons program.

This is a major commitment on the part of the U.S., the kind that it had provided to Western Europe, Japan and South Korea during the Cold War. The issue hasn’t been discussed in Congress. But guess who came up with the idea which is now going to become part of the CW?