NY Times hits Romney for supporting a 'bellicose' Israel

There are war clouds aplenty throughout the Middle East.  Al Qaeda is setting up shop in Iraq.  A civil war in Syria is spilling over into Lebanon and Turkey. Iran, while racing to develop nukes, threatens to wipe Israel off the map.

But as far as the New York Times is concerned in its coverage of the presidential campaign, the most pressing danger in that region is none of the above.  What worries the Times instead is Mitt Romney's full support of a "bellicose" Israel.  Any clear-eyed observer might come to the opposite conclusion -- that it's Iran's bellicose attitude against the Jewish state that threatens the peace of the region.  But the Times, with its unceasing Israel-bashing, sees it the other way around.

In an Oct. 9 article by Trip Gabriel and David Sanger, the Times gets its dander up about Romney's assertion in his major foreign policy address that, in contrast to President Obama, he will never allow any daylight between the U.S. and Israel.

Horror of horrors at the Times, which sees such an American posture as dragging the U.S. into a regional war.  And how does the Times reach this conclusion? Well, the two reporters cite "some Middle East experts" (a thinly disguised euphemism for the two authors and the Times) who have described a close strategic alignment between Washington and Jerusalem "as having the potential to lead the United States into war, given the bellicose statements the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has made about Iran."

But hold on for a minute.  If Bibi Netanyahu is "bellicose" in his pronouncements about Iran, so is President Obama.  Not a day passes but that the White House boasts that Netanyahu and Obama are completely in sync when it comes to confronting the Iranian nuclear threat.  Both leaders have embraced a strategy of relying on military action if sanctions fail to bend the mullahs in Tehran.  On the strategic level, there seemingly is no daylight between them.

The only divergence is a tactical one - at exactly what stage of Iran's nuclear development would it be necessary to switch to a military option.

But If Bibi is "bellicose," so is Obama.  And, naturally, so is Romney.  All three have put the military option on the table.   A fine point missed by the Times in its haste to blacken Netanyahu.  When it comes to specifics, Romney would activate the military option if and when Iran reached a "capacity" to develop nukes, while Obama would jump in a bit later when Iran comes close to perfecting a nuclear weapon.

Also, if "bellicose" fits Bibi and his "red line" for a potential military showdown with Tehran, such an approach also happened to work quite well for President Kennedy during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when at the peak of the Cold War, Washington imposed a quarantine on Cuba, threatening military action if the Soviets dared to continue missile shipments to Fidel Castro.  It worked.  Khrushchev pulled out of Cuba and the U.S. withdrew missiles stationed in Turkey.