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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Scary: Obama really doesn't get what Iran is about

Anne Bayefsky compares President Obama's UN General Assembly address with President Ahmadinejad's and concludes that Obama doesn't understand what's at stake.
When Obama took center stage at the U.N., it got off to a bad start and only got worse. The president arrived late and, as leader of the host nation, delivered his speech one slot after its originally scheduled time. He then spent just a few short sentences on the most lethal threat to peace and security today: the acquisition of the world’s most dangerous weapon by the leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran. In those few minutes, Obama chose not to speak the plain truth — that Iran seeks nuclear weapons — or to commit his government to stopping them, period. He said instead that Iran had not yet demonstrated peaceful intent and asked Ahmadinejad to “confirm” this intent. Obama’s primary message was that “the door remains open to diplomacy should Iran choose to walk through it.”

Ahmadinejad has heard this plea from the Obama administration so many times before that he has clearly stopped counting. Ahmadinejad understands perfectly well that confronting Iran is out of sync with the “new era of engagement” that is the trademark of Obama’s foreign policy. “Engagement” looks like this: The president of the United States keeps talking about “extended hands” and “open doors,” and the president of Iran keeps building nuclear weapons. As recently as September 19, even Secretary Hillary Clinton told Christiane Amanpour, “We’ve said to the Iranians all along…we still remain open to diplomacy. But it’s been very clear that the Iranians don’t want to engage with us.”

Ahmadinejad, therefore, took the opportunity provided by the U.N. to slam the door once more in President Obama’s face. While he lectured about the “lust for capital and domination” and “the egotist and the greedy,” the American U.N. delegation sat stoically in their seats. They had instructions to tough it out until Ahmadinejad really got offensive — though what would count as sufficiently offensive was never publicly announced.


In fact, President Obama played to his U.N. audience just as the president of Iran did. Obama made the centerpiece of his speech an overt squeeze on the state of Israel. Before a U.N. audience infamously hostile to Israel, he demanded that Prime Minister Netanyahu renew the moratorium on building “settlements.” He made no such specific demands of the Palestinian side. Instead, he painted a picture of moral equivalence between the terrorists that seek Israel’s annihilation and Israel’s reasonable skepticism of a negotiating partner that still refuses to accept a Jewish state, referring to “rejectionists on both sides” that “will try to disrupt the process with bitter words and with bombs.”

Ahmadinejad got the message. Israel is vulnerable with President Obama in office, and Iran has no serious reason to believe that hate and terror will be on the losing end any time soon.
Read the whole thing.


At 3:32 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

President Obama seems to think if more revanants are built, its the end of the world.

There's no such sense of urgency attached to Iran's pursuit of a nuclear bomb that could kill millions.

He really doesn't get it.

What could go wrong indeed


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