As part of the lead up to his meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House, President Obama granted an interview with The Atlantic in which he signalled more forcefully than ever his willingness to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons program with military force.
The question with Obama is always, would he really do it? His comments suggest he would. But not the comments everyone is pointing to.
Here’s the bravado remark that the media is quoting. He is actually saying the same thing he’s always said – Iranian nukes are “unacceptable” – just spicing it up with some machismo.
I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff.” He went on, “I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.
But what struck me from the interview is that the old 1980s nuclear-freeze era peacenik in Obama is what may save us from the Mullahbomb.
From the Atlantic:
The president was most animated when talking about the chaotic arms race he fears would break out if Iran acquired a nuclear weapon . . .
It will not be tolerable to a number of states in that region for Iran to have a nuclear weapon and them not to have a nuclear weapon. Iran is known to sponsor terrorist organizations, so the threat of proliferation becomes that much more severe.” He went on to say, “The dangers of an Iran getting nuclear weapons that then leads to a free-for-all in the Middle East is something that I think would be very dangerous for the world.”
“Our argument is going to be that it is important for us to see if we can solve this thing permanently, as opposed to temporarily,” he said, “and the only way historically that a country has ultimately decided not to get nuclear weapons without constant military intervention has been when they themselves take [nuclear weapons] off the table. That’s what happened in Libya, that’s what happened in South Africa.”
Obama is a man of strong, even rigid ideologies. He thinks the rich are out to screw the poor. He thinks the earth is soon going to melt every ice cube in the Arctic.
And he thinks he can rid the world of nuclear weapons. He’s even considering slashing our arsenal to a few hundred of them.
A nuclear weaponized Iran is the end of his dream.
I think he’s serious about attacking Iran. I hope he is, because sanctions are unlikely to lead to the Iran coughing up its nukes and agreeing to a verifiable, intrusive inspections regime. Their dream is too close, and the Iranians undoubtedly view their nukes as Allah’s ultimate insurance policy.
The Iranians have their dream, and Barack Obama has his. But Obama has bunker buster bombs.