Obama, Like Carter, Will Not Act Against Iran

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CBS News reported that during the Democratic primaries Barack Obama promised to meet the leaders of Iran “without preconditions.”  Within days of his election, the State Department began drafting a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intending to pave the way for face-to-face talks. Then, less than a week after taking office, Obama told al-Arabiya’s satellite network, “If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.” The president dispatched former Defense Secretary William Perry to engage a high-level Iranian delegation led by a senior Ahmadinejad adviser.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, responded to Obama’s pleading by stating that the “U.S. President said that we were waiting for the day when people would take to the streets. At the same time they write letters saying that they want to have ties and that they respect the Islamic Republic. Which are we to believe?”

While the Iranian leaders, be it Khomeini, Ahmadinejad, or Khamenei seek to intimidate their enemies, weak American presidents like Carter and Obama find answers in appeasement.  Carter shied away from military confrontation, and only after months of pondering a possible military operation and, what resulted in fruitless State Department back-channel negotiations with the Iranians, did Carter give the “go ahead” in April of 1980 for action to be taken.  The decision came five months after the American hostages were taken, the U.S. embassy invaded, and America humiliated and proved to be a disaster for America, signaling to America’s Islamic enemies that the U.S. was a “paper tiger.”

President Obama, much like President Carter, has refrained from taking action against Iran.  He stayed on the sidelines when more than a million Iranians marched in the streets of Tehran in protest over the stolen elections by Ahmadinejad, in the summer of 2009.  These days he is relying on talks to settle the nuclear issue with the Iranians, when it is clear to everyone that Iran has no intention of stopping its race towards a nuclear bomb. Moreover Obama is doing everything to stop Israel from taking military action while such action is still possible.

Various Obama administration officials have let it be known, in what has become a mantra, that bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would only delay Iran’s program by only 1-3 years.  Ret. Gen. Jack Keane, former vice chief of staff of the United States Army, response to that is, “My judgment tells me that if we did something as devastating as we could do, taking down their major sites, which also means their engineers and scientists, I think the setback would be greater than five years. I don’t like to read too much into people’s motivations, but at times when we don’t want to do something, we build a case in terms of our interpretation that it is too hard or it isn’t worth the payoff.”

According to Keane, a retired four-star general, the Obama administration, with all its talk about preventing Iran from getting a bomb, isn’t willing to attack militarily. “I don’t believe this administration has any intention, ever, of attacking Iran.”  He continued, “I don’t believe it, the Israelis don’t believe it, and the Iranians don’t believe it.”

Obama much like Jimmy Carter is proving to the Iranians and to the Islamic world in general, that America is on the decline, and lacks the will to fight for its global security interests. The Obama administration has already invoked containment of a nuclear Iran as a default option for the U.S. Before this happens, the administration should carefully weigh the costs, and risks of such a policy.  In the meantime, the talks with Iran are used by Obama to excuse his military inaction.

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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.