Obama, Like Carter, Will Not Act Against Iran

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President Barack Obama is hoping that the P5+1 talks with Iran can stave off Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb. But, those recently held in Moscow (June 18-19, 2012), with the participation of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and Iran, like previous talks in Istanbul (April 14, 2012) and Baghdad (May 23-24, 2012) have produced little beside “feel good” sentiments among the participants.  The Islamic Republic of Iran is poised to develop a nuclear bomb and the means to deliver it with long-range missiles that can hit the U.S. (short and medium range missiles that can hit Israel and Europe are already available to Iran ).  While the talks ensue, the centrifuges spin and give Iran the time they need to bring them to the point of no return.

The world powers, while seemingly standing by the demands for Iran to halt uranium enrichment before it reaches the 20% level needed to make an atomic bomb, have been unwilling to make their demand a reality with a determined threat of military action.  Russia and China will not permit the military option.  The real question, however, is why the U.S. and its Western allies have not either.

The reluctance of President Obama to consider military action against the Iranian regime is reminiscent of President Jimmy Carter’s inaction when faced with the revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran invading the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and taking 52 American diplomats hostage; an action which constituted an act of war against the U.S.  The invasion, on November 4, 1979, was executed with the blessings of the Ayatollah Khomeini – the then new leader of Iran.

Ahmed Khomeini, the Ayatollah’s son, charged with serving as a liaison between the regime and the “students” occupying the embassy would later reveal in his writings that his father expected “thunder and lightening” from Washington – a decisive military operation that would free the hostages and punish the Iranian regime’s terrorist action.   Instead, the Carter White House displayed weakness with its half-hearted statements, among which included a plea to release the hostages on “humanitarian grounds.”  President Carter showed no interest or intent in using military action.

Khomeini recognized Carter’s weakness and mocked his administration as acting “like a headless chicken.”  Moreover, Carter wrote a personal letter to Khomeini in longhand pleading with an appeal from “one believer to a man of God.” Khomeini’s reaction was “we shall cut off America’s hands.”

Obama’s June 4, 2009, Cairo speech, pleaded with the Muslim world and Iran in a similar manner. “In Ankara, I made clear that America is not, and never will be at war with Islam…Rather than remain trapped in the past, I’ve made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward.  The question now is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build. I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve.  There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect.”

Obama continued, “I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not.  No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons.  And that’s why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.  And any nation, including Iran, should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  That commitment is at the core of the treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I’m hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.”

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  • Jakareh

    Islam does not mean "peace". Islam means "submission". The day we have rulers who make Islam itself submit, it will be destroyed.

  • Paul B.

    Obama is a geopolitical naif, and that is dangerous. It was heartbreaking for him to completely ignore the Iranian patriots' golden moment of opportunity, when freedom was in sight and soldiers were abandoning their posts. He completely misjudged Egypt, and allowed the poisonous Muslim Brotherhood to take over the country with hardly a shot. He delayed a full month before going in to Libya, missing the chance to take down Ghadiffi easily, as even his ambassadors were abandoning ship.

    It's tragically ironic that the man who was hailed as a messiah bringing a new era of peace and cooperation has instead brought a surge of oppression, and in particular Islamic oppression, to the world. He prefers to scold allies rather than to confront enemies. As a result our foreign policy is confused, arbitrary and purposeless.

    The economy is important, and the election will probably turn on it, but we shouldn't forget the devastating effect obama has had on the interests of America and of freedom around the world. He promised to restore American prestige. Instead, we are globally disdained as weak and declining, economically, militarily and morally.

    What low estate we have chosen for ourselves. If we do not rectify this in November, it is all over for this nation. God help us.

  • 58TROJAN23

    I am by no means a fan of Carter, but he did try the rescue mission in April of '80. But, as whimps are want to do, when they ran into some trouble, he called it off. Certainly a weak "Commander in Chief."

    • EthanP

      Carter micromanaged the opp. Every branch of service had to be included. Give credit where due. Obama let the professionals due their job.

  • EthanP

    They may both be lilly livered. But unlike Carter, Obama is a Chicago Polititian. Do not underestimate what he might be capable of if he thinks he'll lose the election. He doesn't care a whit about Israel. But what might he do for a second term?

  • Flowerknife_us

    Obama wants a War he can get half heartily involved in where he need not involve Congress to start America shooting. Moral platitudes will abound with lofty rhetoric as he sets the stage for Americas biggest perceived loss in history.

    Sleeper cell attacks will give Obama the Demoncrats ultimate dream. Absolute Federal Control under the "need" for National Defense. All of a sudden we will need protection from all the ones they know came here and did nothing about.

    You know your pretty much F@*%#d when you need "Valid I.D." to buy a Bic Lighter but need nothing to Vote.

    So Illegal Aliens cannot buy Lighters?????

  • weroinnm

    Is Israel the next Arab Facebook Campaign? http://weroinnm.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/is-israe
    “Food For Thought”
    Semper Fi!

  • Jim_C

    This site can really be an alternate universe, sometimes. Sorry, but the neoconservative vision for foreign policy has not been vindicated; in fact, it's taken a pretty good beating over the years. We started to see "success" in Iraq once Bush stopped listening to that crowd and started talking to a more sober group.

    Those who want to beat the drum on Iran can enjoy the circle jerk. Cause that's all it is.

    I saw some promise in that neoconservative vision before 9/11. These were the guys predicting the upcoming conflict, and they should get credit for that. Rumsfeld would have been a great peacetime Sec of Defense. But he may go down, as Sen.McCain opined, as "history's worst."

    Ironically, since after 9/11 we decided to invade a country that had nothing to do with the attacks, Iran would have been a much better choice. Now, economy tanked, military stretched thin, advocating for military action against Iran might just be a litmus test for intelligence–specifically, the lack thereof.

    As for the comically specious comparison to Carter, Obama's clearly a hawk. He has in effect continued Bush's foreign policy. Sorry to disappoint! Get over it.

    • Flowerknife_us

      Bush went to war against the non-governmental Islamist.

      Obama is now putting them in political power. With far greater means of destruction that they have been PRAYING for-for decades.

      There was never that much in the way of fundamentals that differed between the Two. Except, of course, those who shilled for one or the other.

      • Jim_C

        For Bush to go to war against the non-governmental Islamist, he had to first depose one of the only secularists loathed by Islamists. It was a very strange way to set up shop, and it did indeed upset the balance of power in favor of the Islamists.

        So that is, truly, ironic. Also ironic is the fact that Rumsfeld had a great vision for the military of the future which would have been the perfect redress to Islamism–small, highly trained, highly mobile elite forces. Had they simply gone that route, our country would not be as bitterly divided today.

        • Flowerknife_us

          Bush really went to War against those who the Demoncrats wanted to support. The proof is in our headlines every day.

          The press never reported the contents of either Iraq's or Afcrapistans Constitutions. Until events forced the issue into the open. The Press was unwilling to point out that what we went to war against was just given legal sanction. And who is it that the majority of the Press supports in America?

          • Jim_C

            The press sure supported the invasion of Iraq, though, and thus, the first Bush administration's plans. I think obsession over "who the press supports" is one of the weakest ways of making a point. The press is STATUS QUO far more than anything else. It was Bush's actions–good and bad–that led to where we are today; it is merely convenient that Obama gets to be the target of your ire.

            The "demoncrats" wanted war against the Taliban–too bad you can't twist that into "support" for the Taliban.

  • Matt

    7 Administrations have been kicking the can down the road on Iran Carter in 1979, Reagan in 1983, Bush with Iranian involvement in Iraq. Regardless who the next President and Administration is the day of truth is coming and the can cannot be kicked down the road any longer. It is just no longer possible to use that policy of containment.