Hassan Rouhani, the new Iranian president who recently began a pen pal relationship with President Obama and who has been hailed in some quarters as some kind of moderate, dodged a question about whether the Holocaust ever occurred.
In an appearance this morning on NBC’s Today Show, Rouhani was asked by correspondent Ann Curry whether he agreed with a statement by his predecessor, Mahmoud Amadinejad, that the Holocaust was “a myth.”
I’m not a historian – I’m a politician. What is important for us is that the countries of the region and the people grow close to each other and that they are able to prevent aggression and injustice.
Let’s go to the videotape.
Obama is engaged in a very dangerous game with Iran, trying to build a relationship, reach a deal, and avoid striking the country’s nuclear weapons program.
An Iranian nuclear weapon must be avoided at all costs. It will eventually be detonated in either New York or Tel Aviv, and it will prompt a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
I am very pessimistic that any kind diplomacy can solve this problem. But to the extent we try it, we must go in with the knowledge that Iran’s leaders are not moderates, as the New York Times called Rouhani today, and are not to be trusted. We Americans are always fooled by new tyrants and autocrats, thinking them somehow of a Western-style mindset at first until little by little we realize, as Pete Townsend wrote: “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”
I have little confidence that Obama, who just entrusted the Russians and the Syrians to remove Syria’s chemical weapons cache, will take a hard headed approach to the Iranians. Obama thinks Assad can be trusted, he thinks the Taliban can be trusted, and no doubt he will be charmed by this wily Persian.
Obama will do anything he can to avoid a military confrontation so he can focus on creating universal child care or whatever. In the case of Iran, there is no question of our national security interest. But the will and common sense of our leader is deeply in doubt.