Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Obama: "Not A Serious Threat"

That is pretty much what Barack Obama said in Oregon yesterday. Hugh Hewitt took note of the Jennifer Rubin report in Commentary Magazine:

This remarkable bit of footage from Barack Obama’s appearance in Oregon last night is now floating around on YouTube. It might be useful as an undergraduate course exam: how many errors can you spot? Obama apparently believes that Iran and other rogues states (he lists Iran, Cuba and Venezuela) “don’t pose a serious threat to the U.S.” Iran, specifically, he tells us spends so little on defense relative to us that if Iran “tried to pose a serious threat to us they wouldn’t . . . they wouldn’t stand a chance.”

So, taken literally, he seems not much concerned about Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, its sponsorship of terrorist organizations, its commitment to eradicate Israel, its current actions in supplying weapons that have killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq, and its role in eroding Lebanon’s sovereignty through its client Hezbollah.

And then there is is unbridled faith in diplomacy, unaffected by the lessons of history. Was it presidential visits with the Soviet Union that brought down the Berlin Wall? Or was it the 40 year history of bipartisan military deterrence, the willingness of Ronald Reagan to walk away from Reykjavik summit, the resulting bankruptcy of the Soviet Empire, the support of dissidents and freedom fighters in the war against tyranny, and the willingness to identify Communism as a center of evil in the late 20th century?

You can understand why every attempt by John McCain to discuss global threats is labeled “fear-mongering” by Obama. In his world this is all a fantasy and we are not at risk. All perfectly logical . . . if you divorce yourself from reality.

This is naivete on a level we have not seen before. Actually, that is not true. Thomas has seen it before because he lived through the Jimmy Carter years, so he has and I have not. But I do recall my history and he is on par to surpass Jimmy Carter in that realm. Carter, we will recall, believed in detente and diplomacy more than utilizing force when it was called for. When the Iranians seized our embassy in 1979, the Ayatollah was scared that we would rain bombs down on him and his country. When the bombs did not come, it emboldened them, and embarrassed us when Carter practically groveled to get our people back.

Senator Obama obviously does not understand that appeasement never works. It never has, and it never will. Never in the history of the world has one nation or state been able to appease an aggressor. It is clear that Iran and Venezuela are aggressive towards us. Hugo Chavez regularly makes bombastic speeches regarding his neighbors in Columbia, and the fact that we have troops there helping Columbia fend off his insanity. Iran, on the other hand, is sending bombs into Iraq that kill US soldiers. They also send munitions and other weapons into Iraq as well as fighters; those either trained by Iranian forces, or Iranian forces themselves. And their quiet march to nuclear weapons only complicates the matter further.

This is not "fear-mongering." This is the bold, unvarnished truth. We live in a dangerous world, with despicable people who want to do us harm. If we do not have a president that recognizes and understands that, we are headed for serious trouble. It is clear to us, as it has been from the start, that Barack Obama lives in a world not stitched together by reality, but more like one sewn together with faerie dust in fantasy.


UPDATE: Senator McCain has fired back at Senator Obama for his remarks. (Hat-Tip to K-Lo @ NRO's The Corner)

Before I begin my prepared remarks, I want to respond briefly to a comment Senator Obama made yesterday about the threat posed to the United States by the Government of Iran. Senator Obama claimed that the threat Iran poses to our security is “tiny” compared to the threat once posed by the former Soviet Union. Obviously, Iran isn’t a superpower and doesn’t possess the military power the Soviet Union had. But that does not mean that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant. On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers. They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. And their President, who has called Israel a “stinking corpse,” has repeatedly made clear his government’s commitment to Israel’s destruction. Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed. They might not be a superpower, but the threat the Government of Iran poses is anything but ‘tiny”.

Senator Obama has declared, and repeatedly reaffirmed his intention to meet the President of Iran without any preconditions, likening it to meetings between former American Presidents and the leaders of the Soviet Union. Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama’s inexperience and reckless judgment. Those are very serious deficiencies for an American president to possess. An ill conceived meeting between the President of the United States and the President of Iran, and the massive world media coverage it would attract, would increase the prestige of an implacable foe of the United States, and reinforce his confidence that Iran’s dedication to acquiring nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists and destroying the State of Israel had succeeded in winning concessions from the most powerful nation on earth. And he is unlikely to abandon the dangerous ambitions that will have given him a prominent role on the world stage.

This is not to suggest that the United States should not communicate with Iran our concerns about their behavior. Those communications have already occurred at an appropriate level, which the Iranians recently suspended. But a summit meeting with the President of the United States, which is what Senator Obama proposes, is the most prestigious card we have to play in international diplomacy. It is not a card to be played lightly. Summit meetings must be much more than personal get-acquainted sessions. They must be designed to advance American interests. An unconditional summit meeting with the next American president would confer both international legitimacy on the Iranian president and could strengthen him domestically when he is unpopular among the Iranian people. It is likely such a meeting would not only fail to persuade him to abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions; its support of terrorists and commitment to Israel’s extinction, it could very well convince him that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next President ought to understand such basic realities of international relations.


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