My parents tell me that when I was very little, toddling around, my father and his friends would gather to watch American football at the house during the Fall while their wives would go shopping. This meant that the men were the babysitters for the afternoon, and the toddlers learned to drink beer, eat chips, and acquired new vocabulary, like "Touchdown!"
I've been a football fan all my life as a result, and one of the nicer things about growing up in the Bay Area was going with my family to watch the Oakland Raiders slaughter, or get slaughtered, on the field weekly during The Season.
One concept I caught on to early in football fandom was "offsides." It's a tactic designed to fake your opponent into a mistake that you can capitalize on by getting him penalized. Two teams line up facing each other, with the team in possession of the ball getting ready for offensive maneuvers. The quarterback is calling a code which will signal the snap of the ball and the start of the play. The idea is to get the ball downfield in your team's possession, into the end zone, and score. The closer your team is to the end zone, the better position you're in for scoring.
"Offsides" is what happens while the count is going down. Usually one member of a team at the far end of the line will act as if the ball has gone into play by suddenly jerking, or lifting an arm off the ground, or moving in a fashion indicative of offensive or defensive behavior. He has to do this without the referee seeing him, or it's all over, because you can't deliberately fake the other team into movement. But if he gets away with this subtle movement, and the opposing team member charges across the line before the ball has been snapped, it's a penalty for that team. This is "offsides" and the penalty is that your team loses yardage and ends up in a poorer field position--making it easier for your opponent to score a touchdown.
There's a tremendous amount of willingness of the western world to hand off the ball to Israel these days. Not only does the West drag its feet regarding sanctions, but there is only lip service paid to anything remotely resembling military action, usually something vague like "all options are on the table," whatever that's supposed to mean. The general consensus seems to be, "Let the Israelis do it," while at the same time loudly warning us not to do anything rash.
Thanks for nothing, world.
Having taken out Iraqi and Syrian above-ground nuke facilities virtually next door, the world seems to think that rather than dirty its hands (and upset its trade balance), Israel should be only too happy to hit Iran's nuclear facilities and make the world safer for western interests. The argument seems to be that it's in Israel's best interest to do so, so why not subcontract the dirty work to us and not risk any blow-back from the Axis of Evil.
This is where the concept of "offsides" stops me cold.
If it's all so urgent and important that Iran be stopped from developing nuclear weapons, which they have openly stated that they intend to use against Israel, then why isn't the United Nations doing something? Isn't that the U.N. Mandate? Or why isn't NATO scrambling? Or any Coalition forces? If Iran's nukes are a threat to world peace, (and they definitely are--if Iran can get away with nuking Israel, no one is safe, folks) then why isn't the world collectively flexing its military muscle and telling Iran to stand down?
This collective pushing of Israel into military action smells like "offsides" to me. That's right -- let Israel take its best shot at taking out the almost impossible to hit, multi-site, underground reinforced nuke bunkers, and then when Iran retaliates with the nuclear device (or two, or three--that's all it would take for a country as small as ours)purchased from or donated by North Korea or the Russian mafia and delivered by its proxy Hezbollah, the world will crack its jaw yawning and utter, "oh, isn't that too bad, but Israel had it coming, after all, the Israelis started it."
I have this sense that we're being faked into moving against an opponent simply so he has the opportunity to penalize us and better his field position for the next play.
If Netanyahu were to ask me (and no, he won't) my suggestion would be that we sit tight. Don't move against Iran. Let them get their nuclear bomb (I personally agree with Bret Stevens--I think they've already purchased a couple from North Korea and have them on ice, so hitting their labs is a waste of time anyway), and then see what they do with it. I don't think even the ayatollahs have the stomach to start a nuclear war, all their bombast to the contrary. Go ahead--get your bomb and explain to your starving people that sanctions, gasoline rationing, food shortages and 300% inflation was worth it, and that's why we stole your votes, by the way.
Let them eat nukes.