Global Security Headlines

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Obama Comment on Iran in Time Interview

Mr. Obama´s one year anniversary interview with Time Magazine made headlines worldwide with his comments on how he underestimated the difficulty of the so-called MidEast peace process. While dangerous to telegraph your intellectual vacuousness to your enemies, it is not news now. America´s enemies know very well they have a pacifist in the White House.

However, it is his comments on Iran that are more worthy of exploration:

Excerpt 1
 On Iran, one of our trickiest foreign policy challenges, we have held the international community together, both in our engagement strategy, but also now as we move into a dual-track approach. Which is, If they don't accept the open hand, we've got to make sure they understand there are consequences for breaking international rules. 

Iran is not tricky. Terror, Inc. is pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to blast Israeli and American cities. Is that tricky? The president needs to be forthright with the American people.

Iran slapped that extended hand, Mr. Obama and you have done nothing as a result. There is no consequence saying NO to the US while you are in the White House. The only "dual-track approach" (trying to sound so smart) is if  Iran breaks an arbitrary pre-determined deadline (like the last one at the end of 2009 of which you are silent and hope no one remembers) is to issue meaningless paper-based threats with no plan to back them up with military force - the only response totalitarian states respect. International rules? (Back to your lawyer training!)

The Iranian nuclear program and long-range missiles are geared for Tel Aviv and Washington. It is American rules Teheran breaks! Iran is a clear and present danger to the United States of America and you are clueless in face of the danger.

International rules are only valid if there is one nation or a group of nations who act to enforce them. However, that requires tough decisions and we already know how tough the MidEast is for you. Lawyers make lousy presidents and worse foreign policy practitioners. The Hobbesian international system is messier than a civil or criminal trial in a US courtroom. The sooner you learn that fact the better you will be.

Excerpt 2
 It's going to be tough, but I think the relationship we've developed with Russia will be very helpful. The outreach we've done to our traditional NATO allies will be very helpful. The work that we've done with China — including the work we've done with China to enforce sanctions against North Korea — will help us in dealing more effectively with Iran.

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