Thursday, September 4, 2008

Obama on Iran: Why he, like McCain, is a potential foreign policy disaster

Senator Barack Obama made his appearance on the O'Reilly Factor, and by the reports [I didn't catch it] there were no fireworks.

Much of the media coverage has concentrated on Obama's first-time admission that the Surge in Iraq has actually worked, but to me that wasn't the real story of the interview.

Far more revealing were the Senator's comments on Iran:

Speaking on other national security matters, Obama said he would not take military action off the table in dealing with Iran, but diplomacy and sanctions can’t be overlooked.

The Islamic republic is a “major threat” and it would be “unacceptable” for the rogue nation to develop a nuclear weapon, he said.

“It is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon, it would be a game changer,” Obama said. “It’s sufficient to say I would not take military action off the table and that I will never hesitate to use our military force in order to protect the homeland and the United States’ interests.”

But Obama warned against the current U.S. administration lumping radical Islamic groups together.

“They have fueled a whole host of terrorist organizations,” Obama said of Iran, but “we have to have the ability to distinguish between groups. … They may not all be part and parcel of the same ideology.”

Driven by the need to appear strong against terrorism in the face of GOP attacks, Obama has now elucidated a foreign policy with respect to Iran that barely differs from that of the soon-to-be gone but not lamented Dubya:

1) Declaring unilaterally the right of the US to determine what weapons and technologies other countries should possess.

2) Declaring (and not for the first time) his willingness to use unilateral American force [with no mention of coalitions, alliances, or UN sanction] in pursuit of foreign policy goals.

This is both imperialistic and naive talk from the man who would be President.

The cases of India, Pakistan, and Israel prove pretty damn conclusively that the US does not have the ability to prevent sovereign nations from developing atomic weapons.

Nor is there great comfort in finding out that the candidate promising us change subscribes to the same unilateralist use of force that have driven us into most of our deepest military quagmires of the past century.

1 comment:

Duffy said...


You have been elected president in November. It's now January and you've been sworn in. Iran says they're going to develop nuclear weapons. What do you do?