Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Israel today trying to reassure Israel that the  Obama administration was not naive about Iran’s intentions, and Washington would press for new, tougher sanctions against the Iranians if they don’t cooperate. On the other hand,  Defense Minister  Barak used a joint news conference with Gates to insist three times that Israel would not rule out any response—an implied warning that it would consider a pre-emptive strike to thwart Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table,” Barak said. “This is our policy. We mean it. We recommend to others to take the same position, but we cannot dictate it to anyone.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “reiterated the seriousness  which Israel views Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the need to utilize all available means to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability.

The public face of this meeting is a friendly talk between allies. But the background chatter is different. There has been unease in Israel over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments about a regional “defense umbrella”, should Iran acquire a nuclear weapon. From Israel’s point of view, Clinton’s comment as well as the President’s desire for “engagement” with Iran is dangerously naive.

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The theory of the defense umbrella hearkens back to the Cold War, back then it was called MAD,  Mutually Assured Destruction, it’s what kept the Cold War cold.

Both the US and Russia knew if one side was met with a crippling nuclear barrage, that side would still have enough weapons to retaliate and hurt the enemy just as severely. That’s what helped to keep the nukes in their holsters.

A “defense umbrella” will not work on Iran because President Ahmadinejad doesn’t care if Iran gets destroyed in a nuclear exchange. Ahmadinejad, has said that it is every good Muslim’s responsibility to he destroy Israel. Ahmadinejad sees politics as the “continuation of war by other means.” When asked by students to define “what’s the most beautiful for a Muslim on earth,” he answered very matter of fact: “To kill and be killed.” Ahmadinejad is convinced that he has been chosen by God to hasten the Mahdi’s (Muslim Messiah) return. The way to achieve this goal for the Iranian president is the occurrence of a nuclear Holocaust.

Israel’s patience is running out and will attack Iran’s nukes, with or without Obama’s approval. Not only will Israel be the primary target of any eventual Iranian bomb, but keep in mind that Iran has already fired upon Israel.  The rockets of Hezbollah and Hamas  (as well as other terrorist weaponry) are presents from their controller/ financiers in Iran. A nuclear attack on Israel from Iran may very well come via one of those terrorist operations. A nuclear attack on US troops in Iraq, or Afghanistan is also a possibility.

After the meeting today said, “If the engagement process is not successful, the United States is prepared to press for significant additional sanctions” He added that the U.S. would try to abandon the current policy of gradual international pressure, where layers of generally mild sanctions have been added each time Iran has flouted international demands.”We would try to get international support for a much tougher position,” Gates said.

What he doesn’t understand (nor does the POTUS and SOS) is by that time, there may very well be a few million dead Israelis and/or dead American’s. The “oops, we were wrong,” you may utter,  just won’t cut it.