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Did Netanyahu Just Destroy Israel's Credibility?

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Yesterday, Israel's prime minister reaffirmed his willingness to unilaterally attack Iran if it did not shutter its nuclear program but some new reporting indicates that both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak had asked the Israeli military to prepare for such a strike in 2010 and were turned down.

One reason they were rebuffed: the military said it couldn't pull it off.

That was two years ago. Since then, Iran has hardened its nuclear facilities and moved more of its enrichment underground, so the task hasn't gotten any easier.

I was previously of the mind that Israel would ultimately strike Iran (if the U.S. did not beat them to it). That now appears to be an incorrect assumption. Netanyahu's blustery entry into U.S. politics was apparently a signal not that Israel was about to attack, but that Israel was not capable of doing so alone.

Of course, the revelation of what was debated in Israel in 2010 could itself be a form of misinformation (or simply incorrect). If Tehran thinks Israel is incapable of striking, they may not see a potential attack coming. Nonetheless, if it is true that Netanyahu knew for two years that his country did not possess the ability to strike Iran while issuing a stream of threats to the contrary, it's yet another reminder of how irresponsible politicians are with their nation's credibility.

(AP Photo)