Has Obama Given Up On Iran?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is back in Israel after meeting with President Obama. The Jerusalem Post reports that the sense is growing that Obama has given up on preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power:

There are growing indications that the US has come to terms with a nuclear-armed Teheran, two analysts told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

“The Americans are in a state of mind according to which Iran has already gone nuclear,” said Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan’s Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Kedar, who served in Military Intelligence for 25 years, said US President Barack Obama was “at peace” with the idea of a nuclear Iran. …

Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, also believes there are a growing number of “hints” suggesting that Washington has come to terms with a nuclear Iran.

For what it’s worth, Netanyahu himself expressed a more optimistic view. But perhaps his true feelings were better expressed by an aide who said that “the focus by the media on the concept of solving the Israel-Palestinian issue through a two-state solution”–Obama’s focus, too–“is childish and stupid.”

Iran, meanwhile, tested a new missile today that is reportedly capable of hitting Southeastern Europe, Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East.

For what it’s worth, my sense is that Obama isn’t much concerned about Iran, is more or less sympathetic to Iran’s view that if Israel can have nuclear weapons, it can too, wouldn’t particularly mind if Iran carried out Ahmadinejad’s oft-repeated threat to “wipe Israel off the map,” and has no intention of doing anything controversial in the Middle East that could derail his domestic agenda.

PAUL adds: I agree with all of this except for the proposition that Obama wouldn’t particularly mind if Iran wiped Israel off the map. I think he would. But I do believe that Obama is more hostile to Israel than to Iran.

This may seem counter-intuitive. If you asked Obama which nation — Israel or Iran — is more evil and more dangerous to our interests and to the world’s, I’m confident that Obama would name Iran on all counts, and would do so sincerely. But the more important point is that Iran occupies no meaningful place in Obama’s left-wing consciousness; Israel does. (By the way, I think the same analysis applies to Venezuela and Great Britain).

If you were to ask a person with major “father” issues who is more evil, his father or Jeffrey Dahmer, the person would name Dahmer. Yet Dahmer doesn’t enter the person’s consciousness or animate his behavior; the father does.

But having major father issues isn’t the same thing as favoring, or being indifferent too, patricide.

JOHN responds: Was my observation unfair to Obama? Perhaps so. I don’t mean to suggest that he would want Israel, or any other country, wiped out, or that he wouldn’t feel bad about the deaths of many thousands of people, from whatever cause. I just don’t get the sense that Israel’s survival is one of his priorities. That’s probably a better way to put it.


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