Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is correct in preparing Israel for war, and Americans should wake up and talk about the Iranian threat, USA Today said in an editorial Tuesday.
The national newspaper praised Israel for the sharp for-and-against debate on whether to stage a pre-emptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities before it achieves capability of producing a nuclear weapon.
This is, at least, how a democracy on the cusp of war is supposed to function,” the editorial stated.
It was critical of Americans, particularly the Republican party, and asked, "But what of the United States, where the consequences would be grave and public discussion of the sort gripping Israel is almost absent? The United States so far seems incapable of conducting the kind of debate Israel is having.”
USA Today noted the theory that the timing of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plans for war just before the November presidential elections gives him maximum leverage. “President Obama, fearing the loss of Jewish votes in a close election, will feel compelled either to back an Israeli attack or to deter the Israelis by making new, more specific commitments to a U.S. attack later,” the editorial stated.
Recognizing that the theory probably is correct, the newspaper asserted that the choice between “hot and cold wars is exactly what needs to be discussed” in the United States.
“Even if a nuclear Iran didn't attack Israel directly, it would pose an ever widening threat as its arsenal grew,” the editorial continued, explaining the hawkish view. “A regional arms race would likely follow. The risk of a bomb falling into terrorist hands would grow, and Iran could support terrorism with impunity.”
Those against an attack point out, “Iran could only destroy Israel (and kill many Muslims in the process) at the price of destroying itself. Iran would surely retaliate against an attack, perhaps by sinking warships in the Persian Gulf, setting off a full-scale war… Spiking oil prices would threaten the global economy.”
The editorial called for a “vigorous debate” in the United States – “before the bombs fly.”