Picture the scene once described to me by a four-star general. It is not the proverbial 3 a.m. but 11 p.m. in the White House (7 a.m. in Israel). The phone rings.Between now and November is certainly the safest time for Israel to attack because Obama will be very hesitant to do anything that appears to be anti-Israel, and certainly interfering with an Israeli Air Force raid would give that impression.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Mr. President, we have reliable intelligence that the Israeli Air Force is in the air and within an hour of striking suspected nuclear facilities in Iran.
POTUS: Damn. What should I do?
CJCS: Mr. President, I want to recommend that you provide the Israelis with all necessary support to limit the effectiveness of Iranian retaliation.
POTUS: But those [expletives deleted] never ran this past me. They went behind my back, [bad word].
CJCS: Yes, sir.
POTUS: Why the hell should I lift a finger to help them?
CJCS: Because if the Iranians close the Strait of Hormuz, we will see oil above $200 a barrel.
POTUS [after a pause]: Just a moment. [Whispers] How am I doing in Florida?
David Axelrod [also whispering]: Your numbers suck.
POTUS: OK, General, line up those bunker busters.
Plus, time is running out if Israel is going to be able to significantly damage the Iranian effort. Before long their facilities may be so far underground they'll be pretty much immune from the big bunker buster bombs.