Obama tells the Iranians not to call his bluff - but why shouldn't they?
President Obama sat down and spoke to a friendly journalist, Jeffrey Goldberg, to chat about Iran's nuclear program. He again repeated that it was "unacceptable" for Iran to have a nuclear bomb and that on Iran, "I don't bluff."
Actually, to paraphrase one of his campaign lines, "Yes He Does"!
For three years, Obama and his underlings -- including but not limited to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- have proclaimed deadline after deadline regarding the steps the Iranian regime must take regarding its nuclear program. All those deadlines were ignored by the mullahs with no consequences. In fact, the deadlines were not only futile, but damaging, since they revealed that the man in the Oval Office was a bad poker player and a paper tiger. After a while it must have become embarrassing even to the White House, so Obama and his people stopped talking about deadlines.
For example, President Obama had given at least his fourth deadline to Iran as of January 2010. As one commentator noted in "What happens when you don't meet Obama's Third Deadline" (boldface in original):
He just gives you a fourth.
December 31 was supposed to be a firm deadline, a date set by President Obama for Iran to respond to the President's continued outreach over stopping its nuclear program. But like those before, this deadline came and went without any action taken by Tehran and news sources reporting today that the Iranian regime has been given another month by the Obama administration. So much for the "very real deadline" Obama's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reemphasized a few days before Christmas.
Obama's fourth deadline on Iran in as many months hasn't been the only recent failure of his administration's misguided policy of engaging with Iran. In yet another sign that the Iranian mullahs have no interest in engagement, the Iranian parliament decided not to allow Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) entry into their country as an "emissary."
President Obama thinks allowing Iran another month to continue its quest for nuclear weapons and sending United States Senators as emissaries to rogue nations will yield results, but what have the results been so far? Iran has continued to test long range missiles, move closer to advanced stages of nuclear warheads, and hide illegal secret underground nuclear facilities from the world.
So will the regime call his bluff again, and should Israel trust the words of this president when his previous actions over the last three years have given them ample reasons not to trust their lives to him and his so-called unshakeable commitment to Israel's security? With Obama it is always wiser to watch what he does and not what he says. Does a man who does not even find his own nation "exceptional" have what it takes to make the necessary decisions to help protect not just an ally, but also his own country from the malevolence of an avowed enemy of both nations? Is he ready for the 3 A.M. phone call that might besmirch his reputation among the Europeans who gave him the Nobel Peace Prize and rile up hundreds of millions of Muslims for the sake of a few million Jews in a nation that he probably views as being colonialist and apartheid?
Israel has been telegraphing warnings that it feels it faces destruction as Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program. Sanctions have so far failed to dissuade the regime from curtailing its work. Obama fears that an Israeli attack might cause oil prices to spike and derail his presidential campaign. He has been trying to convince the skeptical Israelis that they can trust him -- that he has their back. Given the past three years of discord between Obama and Israel, that is unlikely to be the case. Obama has after all broken agreements with Israel that were signed by President Bush and ratified by Congress (regarding settlements) and has taken a range of other actions that have fulfilled the goal he announced early in his term to create "daylight" between Israel and America (among those actions was precipitating the removal of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt -- he was an ally of America who was thrown under the bus by Barack Obama).
Just recently, Obama missed another deadline -- this one created by Congress when they passed the Kirk-Menendez amendment to strengthen the sanctions regime on Iran -- when he refused to enforce the provisions of the legislation by imposing sanctions on firms transacting business through Iran's Central Bank -- a prime conduit used to fund terrorism and Iran's nuclear program. If Obama refuses to take even that far weaker measures, how can anyone believe him when it comes to actually using military force?
Why should the Israelis trust President Obama?