March 6, 2012
“Iran’s nuclear program continues to march forward,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the crowd of thousands Monday night. “My friends, Israel has waited and waited for the international community to resolve this issue. We’ve waited for diplomacy to work. We’ve waited for sanctions to work. None of us can afford to wait much longer. As prime minister of Israel, I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”
It’s beginning to feel a lot like 2003 in the capital. Nine years ago this month, there was a similar feeling of inevitability — that despite President George W. Bush’s frequent insistence that “war is my last choice,” war in Iraq was coming. Now Israel is moving toward a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program, and American leaders are coming before AIPAC this week to give their blessings.
“The president has said he doesn’t bluff and neither can we in Congress,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a pro-Israel hawk serving his final year in the Senate. “The Iranian regime must hear a message from us and we must state it loud and clear: Either you peacefully negotiate an end to your illicit nuclear activities or they will be ended for you by military attack.”
The lights went up and thousands of conference attendees leapt to their feet.