Since 2008, Barack Obama’s position on Iran has vacillated somewhat, but on the whole remained one of benevolence. During his presidential campaign, he expressed his openness to diplomacy with the nation’s leaders via his willingness to hold talks without requiring them to meet any conditions or demands from the U.S. Then, even before becoming president, he decided the talks would only happen if doing so “advances the interests of the U.S.” And months after being sworn into office, while on his “American Apology Tour” in the Middle East, he assured Iranian leaders that he had no intention of standing between them and nuclear weapons. He even said, “No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons.”
In addition to these things, Obama has been cold toward Israel at times and openly indignant toward them at others, especially regarding their intentions to stop Iran from getting its hands on a nuclear weapon. For example, within the last month Israel has been warned not to attack Iran without our approval and told that if they do, “the US would not defend Israel” should there be a reprisal.
Yet after all this, Iranian President Ahmadinejad would be foolish to sleep with his door unlocked. For Obama said the same things about the Middle East as a whole during this Apology Tour, and where is Moammar Gaddafi now? Perhaps you’ll remember that the same Obama who told Middle Eastern leaders the U.S. lacks the moral authority to police the world in 2009, then defended policing the world (by sending troops to Libya) in 2011 and saying: “To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are.”
And the latest news is that U.S. aircraft carriers have taken positions from which they could bomb any target any location in Iran. At last count, “US naval forces in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea have over 320 Tomahawk missiles” at the ready. And another carrier group, which is on its way now, will raise the number of Tomahawk missiles to approximately 430.
While I don’t want to say the sky is falling if it’s not, I also don’t want to ignore the fact that beneath the gentle sound of Obama’s pacifistic speeches and his 1960s-style antiwar approach to diplomacy, there lurks a man who wants a second term in office. And to get such a term, he comes across as someone who’d just about anything to get a few red state voters to go his way in November. And what would motivate red-state moms and dads more than the knowledge that their sons and daughters were in Iran, carrying out “our [responsibility] to our fellow human beings”?
I hope I’m wrong. But as I think about the policy shift that took place to justify Libya, I can’t help but wonder if a war with Iran might be part of the perfection storm Obama’s counting on to get reelected.