American popular opinion currently favors Arizona's efforts to enforce its sovereign border with Mexico, but imagine what the polls would say if rockets were being fired into the US from, say, Tijuana. In fact, forget the polls for a moment, imagine what actions the US would justifiably take. Does a blockade to prevent stocks of rockets reaching Tijuana spring to mind? In fact, forget the blockade too. Does military action to eradicate the enemy make sense? I'm pretty sure that medals for "Couageous Restraint" would not be at the top of our To Do List. Who, reading these words, doubts that we would be entirely justified in acting forcefully to defend our borders and our people? And who doubts that we would be justified in explaining to our critics the infinite number of ways in which they could go pound sand.
This morning, Israeli forces fought and killed four Palistenian men in wet suits off the Gaza coast. The militant group, Al-Awash Martyr's Brigade has already said that the men were part of their marine unit, conducting a "training" mission. A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Force adds that at least 10 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel in recent weeks.
And what are we doing about it? According to John Bolton in today's New York Post, at the recent Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference, we joined in condemning Israel's nuclear program notwithstanding the fact that Israel is not a signatory to the treaty. Meanwhile, treaty signatory Iran suffered no such condemnation. Being an enemy of the US, under the Obama administration, can be troublesome, but being a friend can be downright lethal.
Our actions are having the result of alienating Israel, which is not a terribly smart thing to do. This is different from sending the bust of Churchill back to Great Britain, or handing the Queen an I-pod. That was dumb. This is dangerous. By abandoning our friends, we embolden our enemies. When Jimmy Carter tried this approach, the result was Americans held hostage in Iran, and Red Army marching into Afghanistan.
Today, Iran continues unmolested in its quest for nuclear weapons and has offered to escort another boat's effort to break the Israeli blockade. By adding to the isolation Israel finds itself in for its efforts to defend itself, the administration is making things more dangerous. In the immortal words of Captain Jack Sparrow, "Not good!"
In today's New York Times, Ross Douthat quotes Walter Russell Mead as saying that Israel may have to, "...pay virtually the full price for peace ... without getting full peace." Would those terms be acceptable to Americans?