Obama Backtracks on Pledge to Consider Military Option Against Iran

Ed Lasky
Periodically, Barack Obama tries to bolster his foreign policy and national security credentials by making statements along the lines of "all options are on the table" regarding Iran's nuclear efforts. This implies that one of those options would include military actions to disable its nuclear weapons research programs (such as surgical strikes similar to the successful Israeli attack on the Syrian/North Korean plant last year). 

This as a strategy  actually makes diplomacy more viable since the Iranians would have to contemplate the consequences following the failure of diplomacy.   However, Barack Obama explicitly rejected this military option in a discussion with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof last year.  

Barack Obama
in his own words:
    
If there was a way of disabling a nuclear facility without any collateral damage, then that would certainly be an option we'd want to take into account. You know, I don't think that's a particularly controversial statement. But the - but those options don't exist.   


Those military options don't exist?    

Barack Obama refuses to even consider such a strike because some collateral damage MAY occur. This is a recipe for all nuclear proliferators going forward. Cynically, move all your nuclear sites near civilian areas (hospitals, schools) so President Obama can reject any action meant to disable these plants.   Barack Obama would rather Iran have a nuclear arsenal to threaten its neighbors (and Europe, and America due to its ballistic missile programs) than risk collateral damage within Iran.    

Iran has already promised to wreak destruction upon America and Israel (which it has been doing for years through its own terrorists-The Iran Revolutionary Guards-and by terror proxies). Iran has called for the destruction of Israel. Even the so-called moderate Hashemi Rafsanjani has advocated the use of nuclear weapons
against Israel  and its current President , Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has openly boasted of his plans to "wipe Israel off the map". (Let's recall, by the way, that Barack Obama has dismissed Iran as a "tiny nation" and not a threat only to contradict himself the next day in front of a different audience). 

Here is the calculus that Barack Obama seems to be engaging in: I would rather not risk the death or injury of some Iranians for the sake of millions of Jews, Christians and Muslims who live (and would die) in Israel. Israel would be only the first victim; other nations would be targeted as well.   Obama's stance against military options because of  the risk of collateral damage is ironic in the face of Barack Obama's  plans to terminate the very high-tech programs that have been designed
to minimize such collateral damage.

He willingly seems to be putting himself in a box: gut the programs designed to minimize collateral damage and then declare military options are off the table because we cannot avoid collateral damage. A President with an empty quiver will not be an effective negotiator.  
 
Memo to President  Obama: a Commander-in-Chief sometimes must make tough decisions. He may have to accept collateral damage to prevent greater harm and destruction .   Do you think that someone in the mainstream media might ever point out this inconsistency?

Periodically, Barack Obama tries to bolster his foreign policy and national security credentials by making statements along the lines of "all options are on the table" regarding Iran's nuclear efforts. This implies that one of those options would include military actions to disable its nuclear weapons research programs (such as surgical strikes similar to the successful Israeli attack on the Syrian/North Korean plant last year). 

This as a strategy  actually makes diplomacy more viable since the Iranians would have to contemplate the consequences following the failure of diplomacy.   However, Barack Obama explicitly rejected this military option in a discussion with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof last year.  

Barack Obama
in his own words:
    
If there was a way of disabling a nuclear facility without any collateral damage, then that would certainly be an option we'd want to take into account. You know, I don't think that's a particularly controversial statement. But the - but those options don't exist.   


Those military options don't exist?    

Barack Obama refuses to even consider such a strike because some collateral damage MAY occur. This is a recipe for all nuclear proliferators going forward. Cynically, move all your nuclear sites near civilian areas (hospitals, schools) so President Obama can reject any action meant to disable these plants.   Barack Obama would rather Iran have a nuclear arsenal to threaten its neighbors (and Europe, and America due to its ballistic missile programs) than risk collateral damage within Iran.    

Iran has already promised to wreak destruction upon America and Israel (which it has been doing for years through its own terrorists-The Iran Revolutionary Guards-and by terror proxies). Iran has called for the destruction of Israel. Even the so-called moderate Hashemi Rafsanjani has advocated the use of nuclear weapons
against Israel  and its current President , Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has openly boasted of his plans to "wipe Israel off the map". (Let's recall, by the way, that Barack Obama has dismissed Iran as a "tiny nation" and not a threat only to contradict himself the next day in front of a different audience). 

Here is the calculus that Barack Obama seems to be engaging in: I would rather not risk the death or injury of some Iranians for the sake of millions of Jews, Christians and Muslims who live (and would die) in Israel. Israel would be only the first victim; other nations would be targeted as well.   Obama's stance against military options because of  the risk of collateral damage is ironic in the face of Barack Obama's  plans to terminate the very high-tech programs that have been designed
to minimize such collateral damage.

He willingly seems to be putting himself in a box: gut the programs designed to minimize collateral damage and then declare military options are off the table because we cannot avoid collateral damage. A President with an empty quiver will not be an effective negotiator.  
 
Memo to President  Obama: a Commander-in-Chief sometimes must make tough decisions. He may have to accept collateral damage to prevent greater harm and destruction .   Do you think that someone in the mainstream media might ever point out this inconsistency?