Is there any doubt that the Bush Administration approved this assault? Is there any doubt that it could not have taken place without the Bush Administration's approval?
If so, is it in the interest of humanity that we Americans engage in the charade that the Israeli government is an autonomous actor in this matter?
All these observations are true in general, but we have plenty of specific evidence in this case.
In August, <em>Haaretz</em> <a href="http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1010938.html ">reported</a> that the U.S. had "rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel's ability to attack Iran's nuclear facilities."
In early September, <em>Haaretz</em> <a href="click here that the request had included GBU-28 "bunker-buster" bombs.
In mid-September, the U.S. agreed instead to sell Israel 1000 GBU-39 "bunker buster" bombs which Israeli military experts said "could provide a powerful new weapon" in Gaza, <em>AP</em> <a href="http://www.wtop.com/?nid=105&sid=1478550 ">reported</a>.
These bombs have been used to bomb tunnels in Gaza in the current offensive, the <em>Jerusalem Post</em> <a href="click here Israel claims that its goal in bombing tunnels is to stop the smuggling of weapons, but tunnels are also used to bring in goods, so blowing up tunnels has the effect of reinforcing the blockade on Gaza.
So: when Israel requested weapons that the U.S. expected would be used for bombing Iran, the U.S. said no, and added explicitly that it did not want to see an Israeli attack on Iran. And there was no Israeli attack on Iran.
Instead, the U.S. provided bombs that it had every reason to believe would be used for an attack on Gaza. And now there is an Israeli attack on Gaza, using those very bombs.
And therefore, there is no reason to doubt the active approval of the United States government for the current attack.
<em>Robert Naiman is Senior Policy Analyst at <a href="http://www.justforeignpolicy.org">Just Foreign Policy</a>.</em>