In his dealings with Iran, President Barack Obama has occasionally given lip service to the idea that the use of military force remains “on the table.” Of course, no one, least of all the Iranian Mullahs, believed that for a second. But just in case they–or any of our allies–might have harbored even a flicker of doubt about the issue, Mr. Obama recently removed it, as Jonathan Tobin at Commentary reports:
At this point, there is virtually no one in Israel or the United States who thinks it is remotely possible that the Obama administration would ever, under virtually any circumstances, use force against Iran. Though President Obama and his foreign policy team have always claimed that “all options,” including force, are always on the table in the event that Iran refuses to back down and seeks to produce a nuclear weapon, that is a threat that few took seriously.
Even if one is willing to be convinced by nothing more than words, virtually all of Mr. Obama’s actions, particularly in that part of the world, speak eloquently otherwise. His much vaunted, then denied, “red line” for the use of chemical weapons in Syria badly harmed our credibility. If that wasn’t bad enough, Mr. Obama recently made the absurd contention that chlorine gas isn’t a weapon because chlorine has non-weaponized uses. Obamite worshipers point to Mr. Obama’s occasional use of special forces, and his use of drones as evidence of his muscular, manly anti-terror policies, but rational analysis reveals those occasional and expensive methods are used primarily to avoid taking prisoners that would need to be housed at Gitmo, and who might provide intelligence that would require more involved military action, or greater embarrassment when it was inevitably ignored. Tobin continues:
But President Obama has never been quite as explicit about this before as he was in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 in which he reportedly said there is no military option to stop Iran. If Obama wanted to telegraph Iran that it could be as tough as it likes in the talks over the final text of the nuclear deal being negotiated this month this statement certainly did the job. Though they had little worry about Obama’s toughness or resolve, the ayatollahs will be pleased to note that the president no longer even bothers to pretend he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to stop Iran’s nuclear ambition.
‘A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it will not eliminate it [emphasis mine].
As the June 30 deadline for a grand deal with the Iranians approaches, Mr. Obama is even more desperate than ever to sign something, anything. So desperate that he has abandoned even the rhetoric of a military option.
Oh, but attacking Iran would result in war! They’d unleash terrorists against us and our allies! People could get hurt!
They’re not doing that now? If allowed to use the full might of our armed forces, we could all but obliterate Iran’s military abilities in short order, and could do the same with their ability to manufacture nuclear weapons. At the least, we could set them back for years. Sufficiently damaging their ability to wage war of all kinds could make regime change possible, particularly if we actually helped to make it possible. Of course they’d unleash terrorists, but that’s nothing they’re not doing now, and nothing they don’t have planned on a larger scale in the near future. The Israelis, for example, are expecting another war with Hezbollah this summer. Why? Because Hezbollah–a fully owned and run subsidiary of Iranian International Terror, Inc.–has stockpiled thousands of Iranian-supplied rockets and other munitions in southern Lebanon, hiding them among civilians.
The only question is whether Iran will have nuclear weapons when they decided to escalate. If Barack Obama has his way, they will. I wonder if there will be a military solution then, or might that tarnish Mr. Obama’s legacy more than nuclear detonations on Israeli or American soil?