My response all along, of course, has been - don't resort to military action. We don't have the ability, or even the requisite power, to save Syria, or to get Iran to back away from its nuclear program to the extent that Mr. Netanyahu wants us to.
Which brings me to David Ignatius' interesting WaPo essay today, "Can diplomacy succeed with Iran and Syria?" He's very concerned about how high tensions have been ratcheted up - and especially by the fact that the Saudis have alerted some military and officials to cancel their summer leaves. He provides kind of a status check on the current crises with Iran and Syria, and then ends with a very interesting conclusion:
The Obama administration has opted to work with international coalitions to confront Syria and Iran. This still seems like the most sensible policy. But if these multilateral efforts are failing, it will fall to the United States to devise an alternative strategy. If the United States wants to get to “yes” in these negotiations, it will have to bargain more independently and aggressively.
Is he suggesting in that last sentence that the US distance itself from Netanyahu's zero-sum stance regarding Iran's nuclear program?
I hope so. But if he is, I wish he'd said so a lot more explicitly.
And, by the way, for a different sort of take on the Syria crisis - and why Russia and China are hanging tough alongside Assad - have a look at Michael Ignatieff's essay in the New York Review of Books blog.