What does it signify, for an American like Mitt Romney, unskilled in international politics and innocent of the complexities of the Middle East, to back the pressure now being exerted by Benjamin Netanyahu against the advice of the American president and against the advice of high-ranking intelligence and military officers in Israel? It means that Romney is not friend of Israel so much as he is a friend of Netanyahu. Or rather, for Romney, as for the billionaires he had in tow on his Israel trip, the personal is political. For them, Netanyahu is Israel.
The pattern of the past 10 years with Iran clearly shows that when one side escalates, the other side counter-escalates. Neither side has had a particularly elaborate or sophisticated strategy. It's been nothing more than a kindergarten-level tit-for-tat game. This is the takeaway from the Moscow talks.