Biden Walks Into Netanyahu’s Trap

It is insane that the U.S. is rushing to support a bad client that blew up someone else’s consulate.

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The Washington Post reports that Israel didn’t give the U.S. advance warning about the strike on the Iranian consulate last week that killed seven people, including a high-ranking IRGC general:

Senior Pentagon officials were frustrated that Israel did not notify the United States before conducting a strike on an Iranian site in Syria this month, an escalation that they assess increases risks to American forces in the Middle East, U.S. officials said.

When a client is trying to trap its patron into fighting a war against a regional rival, it isn’t going to give the patron a heads-up about the provocative action it plans to take. Senior military officials may feel frustrated, but it seems that their superiors aren’t paying any attention. The president reaffirmed that the U.S. commitment to Israel is “ironclad” and according to the readout of their recent call the Secretary of Defense told his Israeli counterpart that he “could count on full U.S. support to defend Israel against Iranian attacks,” so the administration is rewarding Netanyahu for his rogue, illegal action.

The U.S. shouldn’t lift a finger to support Israel if Iran retaliates, as I explain in my column this week. The Israeli strike in Damascus was a gross violation of international law and a flagrant act of aggression. If another government launched an attack like this on a U.S. or allied diplomatic facility, practically everyone in Washington would be demanding harsh reprisals. If Iran had attacked an Israeli embassy or consulate this way, American politicians would be lining up to denounce the attack as terrorism.

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If Iran responds in kind, it will be reacting to an attack on their diplomatic facility. Iran will be the one defending itself in this case. The U.S. shouldn’t be helping to defend the government that launched the original attack. The U.S. certainly shouldn’t be putting its forces in harm’s way when it has no formal obligation to come to Israel’s aid. If a non-ally picks a fight with another country, that is their mistake and they can deal with the consequences.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

* Daniel Larison is a contributing editor for and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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