April 2, 2009
A Tale of Two Leaders
Meeting with the leader of Iran "without precondition" was one of President Obama’s most dissected early campaign statements. Obama has of course backed away from that stance, but his actions toward Iran as president indicate that “he believes that we should speak nicely to our enemies, and carry no stick,” as William Kristol recently described it, writing in The Weekly Standard.
Indeed, Obama’s Iranian New Year’s message to “the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” which concludes with a poem, brought the predictable Iranian response that if the U.S. stops accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons and supporting terrorism they would be happy to talk to us. The president might just as well have sent Achmadinejad a fruit cake to observe the New Year. Obama’s first option in foreign affairs is to appease our enemies, but he is playing a dangerous game with Iran.
There are not a lot of straight talkers in the political world, but there is one that Obama should be listening to on the Iranian nuclear issue - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an interview highlighted on Tuesday in The Atlantic, Netanyahu calls preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons one of the two great challenges, the other being the economy, facing Barack Obama, and describes the Iranian nuclear challenge as a “hinge of history:”
Why is this a hinge of history? First, Iran’s militant proxies would be able to fire rockets and engage in other terror activities while enjoying a nuclear umbrella... Second, this development would embolden Islamic militants far and wide... Third, they would be able to pose a real and credible threat to the supply of oil, to the overwhelming part of the world’s oil supply... Fourth, they may threaten to use these weapons or to give them to terrorist proxies of their own... Finally, you’d create a great sea change in the balance of power in our area—nearly all the Arab regimes are dead-set opposed to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons...Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
It is hard to argue with Netanyahu's assessment that the economy and Iran's nuclear program are the two great challenges facing the United States and President Obama. Unfortunately, while Israel is ostensibly looking to Obama to stop Iran, President Obama himself is one of the great challenges facing the United States. He is implementing an agenda that is focused on everything but economic growth and curtailing the Iranian nuclear program. Benjamin Netanyahu's view of the initial approach Iran will take in pursuing it's stated goal of destroying Israel is a chilling parallel to the approach Obama seems to be taking toward the United States economy:
The first-stage Iranian goal, in the understanding of Netanyahu and his advisers, is to frighten Israel’s most talented citizens into leaving their country. “The idea is to keep attacking the Israelis on a daily basis, to weaken the willingness of the Jewish people to hold on to their homeland,” Moshe Ya’alon said. “The idea is to make a place that is supposed to be a safe haven for Jews unattractive for them. They are waging a war of attrition.
Barack Obama right now is also waging a relentless daily war of attrition, on our economy; with class war, redistribution, reckless spending, fear mongering, intimidation and nationalization for openers. Obama's tactics threaten to snowball from a war of attrition on business and success to a war of decimation on the entire foundation of our nation's economy. In the case of Iran, with its puppet terrorist groups surrounding Israel, the same relentless war of attrition is being waged, and the acquisition of a nuclear weapon threatens the very foundation of Israel's existence. As was pointed out on Wednesday's American Thinker, "Israel just does not have any other choice" but to stop Iran's nuclear program one way or the other.
In the same manner, the United States does not have any other choice but to stop Barack Obama's radical agenda if we are to survive as the nation of our founders that generations of Americans have sacrificed and died for.
Israel is most fortunate to have a leader of Benjamin Netanyahu's strength and resolve at this critical time in their history. The United States awaits a leader of similar strength and resolve to face down the challenge that Barack Obama poses at this critical time in our history.