Obama v Iran

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Is Iran Rooting For Obama
Is Iran gunning for a victory by presidential candidate Barack Obama?

Depends on whom you ask.  But, yeah. It is.

Despite the official line that it wonít make any difference who wins the U.S. presidency (after all, they say, America is totally under the thumb of "Zionists"), Iranians are watching the U.S. elections closely and rooting for a victory by the Illinois senator, who has said he's willing to agree to unconditional talks with Iran.

"I should say, he is a phenomenon, based on what he has said so far," Sadegh Kharazzi, a former Iranian diplomat squarely in the reformist camp now out of power, said. "Unless he is drawn into traditional Democratic Party ways, his election as a president will be welcomed in Iran."

Wrote the conservative daily Hamshahri on May 7:

Obama has adopted the friendliest strategies regarding Iran, because he believes that America should change its policy in dealing with Tehran, while other candidates have more hostile policies.

A "New" Relationship

Obama offers a policy of dialogue and accommodation to Iran.  He has opposed listing Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization and proposed a grand bargain with Syria's rulers.  He is even prepared to ignore two UN Security Council resolutions that require Iran to stop its uranium-enrichment program as a precondition for talks at the highest level.  He has campaigned for a formal congressional move to prevent Bush from taking any military action against Tehran.

In an important symbolic move designed to signal an end of the special relationship between Israel and America, Obama has become the first major presidential candidate in 25 years not to commit himself to transferring the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Last but not least, Obama has promised to withdraw from Iraq in his first year in office -- meeting a key demand of all radical Islamist forces, Sunni and Shiite.

The message is clear: Obama wants a new relationship with radical forces in the Islamic world while distancing America from its traditional regional allies.  In other words, he proposes to reverse policies that have taken shape over more than six decades under 12 successive American presidents.
Obama, The Spinning Dervish
Old Spin:

In a Democratic presidential debate last summer, Obama was asked if he'd meet the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea without precondition and during his first year in office.

"I would," Obama said.

Since then he has frequently reiterated his belief that no preconditions should be set.

"When you say preconditions, what you're really saying is, 'I'm not going to talk to you until you agree to do exactly what I want you to do,'" Obama said.  "Well, that's not how negotiations take place."

New Spin:

Obama objected on CNN this week to "this obsession with Ahmadinejad" and explained guardedly: "I would be willing to meet with Iranian leaders if we had done sufficient preparations for that meeting.

"Whether Ahmadinejad is the right person to meet with right now, we don't even know how much power he is going to have a year from now," Obama added.  "He is not the most powerful person in Iran."

He said he would expect "to meet with those people who can actually make decisions" in Iran on its nuclear program, its aid to terrorists and destabilization in Iraq.

He did not explain how he would get around Iran's president to other people of influence.
Obama Channels Chamberlain
Barry Rubin, writing for the Global Research in Information Center website, comments on this statement by Obama:

"Iran, they spend one one-hundredth of what we spend on the military.  I mean if Iran tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance.  And, we should use that position of strength that we have to be bold enough to go ahead and listen.  That doesn't mean we agree with them on everything.  That doesn't, we might not compromise with them on any issues.  But, at least we should find out, are there areas of potential common interest and we can reduce some of the tension that have caused us so many problems around the world."

One cannot pretend away the implications of this paragraph.  Let's list them:

1.  Obama doesn't understand that Iran follows strategies designed to circumvent that problem of unequal power, including terrorism, guerrilla war, deniable attacks, long wars of attrition, the use of surrogates, and so on.

2.  The only way Obama sees the U. S. of using its "position of strength" is to listen to their grievances, as if we are not familiar with them.  In short, the only thing you can do when you are stronger is to get weaker.  Presumably the same applies when you are the weaker party.

3.  Why is Obama so totally unaware that dialogue has been tried?  A decade with the PLO, longer with Hezbollah by other Lebanese, four straight years of European engagement with Tehran over the nuclear issue, multiple U.S. delegations to talk with the Syrians, and so on.  Was nothing learned from this experience?

4.  And what happens afterward, if Obama's dialogue doesn't work?  What cards would he have left?  What readiness to try another course?  Perhaps by then the Iranians will have nuclear weapons and other gains negating that "position of strength" so fecklessly frittered away.

5.  What possible issues can the United States find to compromise with Iran?  Let's say: give them Lebanon (oh, we already did that); ignore their sponsorship of terrorism; give them Iraq; give them Israel; withdraw U.S. forces from the region, accept their having nuclear arms.  What?

6.  Why should the United States be able to reduce tensions through negotiations when Iran wants tensions?  There is an important hint here: if the United States makes concessions, it might buy off tensions.  Since Iran and the others know about Obama's all-carrots-no-sticks worldview, they will make him pay a lot to get the illusion of peace and quiet.

7.  There is no hint, not the slightest, of his understanding the option of using power to intimidate or defeat Iran, or as a way to muster allies.  If Obama had the most minimal comprehension of these issues, he would fake it with some blah-blah about how America would combine toughness with flexibility, deterrence with compromise, steadfastness in order to gain more from the other side in negotiations.  A critical element in peace-keeping, peace-making, and negotiations is to act tough and be strong in order to have leverage.  Even in responding to criticisms, Obama has only talked about whether negotiations are conditional or unconditional and at what level they should be conducted.  He is oblivious to the fact that the chief executive does things other than negotiations.

If this is Obama's strategy while Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons what would he do in dealing with a Tehran owning them?

Make no mistake, Obama is channeling Neville Chamberlain -- precisely because what he says shows his parallel thinking.  Many people may get a chill listening to Obama but it certainly isn't a Churchill.

Apologists, sympathizers, and wishful-thinkers keep endowing this would-be emperor with beautiful suits of clothes.  He doesn't have any.
Similar Goals
One of Iranís top foreign policy goals is a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

One of Obamaís top foreign policy goals is a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Why should Iran or other rogue states alter their behavior if Obama gives them what they want, without preconditions?
Baksheesh -- Arabic For Bribe
Obama said on Sunday, January 11th, that he will take a new approach toward Iran that will emphasize respect for the Iranian people and spell out what the United States expects of its leaders.

"We are going to have to take a new approach.  And I've outlined my belief that engagement is the place to start," he said.

"We are in preparations for that.  We anticipate that we're going to have to move swiftly in that area," Obama said.

Obama has said he was prepared to offer Iran economic incentives to stop its nuclear program but he also has said tougher sanctions could be imposed if it refused.

Obama's "new approach" is nothing more than a plan to pay baksheesh to Ahmadenejhad, who will grin, take the money and continue to build his nukes.

Does any rational person really believe that Ahmadenejhad will end his quest -- for any reason?
Obama Resigned To Nuclear Iran
The Jerusalem Post is reporting that former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton expressed concern Sunday that Washington was coming to terms with a nuclear Iran.

"I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that's why there's this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack in Iran," Bolton told Army Radio.

The former envoy claimed that this pressure was the focus of last week's meetings in Washington between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau, and US officials, including Barack Obama.

Bolton said that the Obama administration had embraced the view, prevalent in Europe, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the key to the resolution of all other conflicts throughout the Middle East, including the Iranian conflict.

He added that the rift in US-Israel relations stemmed from a fundamental difference in the understanding of the Middle East, and Israel's role in the Middle East, and is not really about east Jerusalem at all.

Bolton said that the treatment Netanyahu received during his visit "should tell the people of Israel how difficult it's going to be dealing with Washington for the next couple of years."

Continue reading here . . .
Obama Adviser Valerie Jarrett: "Iran Will Back Down"

There.  Don't You Feel Better Now?  (01:45)
If this woman really believes that, "Iran Will Back Down," she is clearly delusional or lying her tuchus off.

And her reference to the disarmament treaty with the Russians is bizarre.  The new deal, which Obama hopes to wrap up with the Kremlin by December, creates a far more level playing field for the Russians, whose strategic conventional weapons capability is greatly outclassed by that of the Americans, and whose deteriorating nuclear weapons stockpile is aging and in decline.  The whole agreement makes no sense, and is little more than a vanity exercise for Barack Obama who has ludicrously pledged to carve out a nuclear-free world.
Bowing To Tehran
Ben Stein says there are words for national leaders who attempt to appease their enemies while at the same time shaming and humiliating their friends.  One of the kindest of the words is "naive."

This comes to mind because of Obama's recent overtures to the terrorist state of Iran, while shaming Israel.

In recent months and days, Obama has, once again, reached out a supplicating hand to The Islamic Republic of Iran, only to be met by mockery, sarcasm, and rebuff.  He has also agreed to only the most modest of sanctions against the Tehran regime to induce it to abandon its nuclear weapons program -- a program which Tehran's Ahmadinejad has said he will not abandon no matter what the rest of the world does.

These love notes go out to a nation that has brutally repressed its own people, is training our vicious Taliban enemies in Afghanistan, has long been aiding factions killing Americans in IraqÖthe same nation that killed 244 American Marines and other fighting men in the Beirut bombing of 1983 and seized the U.S. Embassy and kept our Foreign Service personnel hostage there for over 400 days.

These roses are going out to a nation which has shown absolutely zero interest in making peace with the United States.

At the same time, Obama has done all he could to humiliate Benjamin Netanyahu, Premier of Israel, because Israel wants to build 1600 apartments for its citizens in Jerusalem.  This is in Jerusalem, Israel's capital.  Not a settlement.  The capital of a sovereign state.

The humiliation included personal insults and slights to Mr. Netanyahu, who had flown to Washington to plead with Obama to understand why Israel is doing what it's doing.  Just by the way, I do not see Ahmadinejad flying to D.C. to speak to Obama at all.  In a nutshell, Barack Obama is more concerned about Jews building homes in Jerusalem than about Iran building a nuclear weapon.  This is almost unbelievable.

I guess the idea is that if the U.S. treats Israel badly, the Moslems and Arabs will like the U.S. better.  Why don't we tell that to the Russians, who were Israel's sworn foe and against whom the Moslems fought desperately in Afghanistan -- with our help.  Is Israel the reason Sunnis and Shiites kill each other in Iraq by drilling holes into each other with electric drills?  Does Obama really believe that making Israel give up building on a few acres in Jerusalem will change the mood of a terrorist state pledged to annihilate all of Israel -- and to do whatever it can to bring down "the Great SatanÖ"  The United States of America?

Western nations have tried bowing down to aggressive dictatorships before.  It was called appeasement in the 1930s and it led to World War II.  There is absolutely no sign it will work any better this time.  Dictators do not respect weakness.  Israel knows it.  Obama doesn't, but let's hope he will learn.
The Empty Suit Strategy
Bluegrass Pundit blog says that in order to appease the Russians, Obama has pulled the missile shield for Eastern Europe, signed a START II nuclear armament reduction agreement and pledged to not use nuclear weapons, even in defense against a chemical or biological attack.  In return, Obama wants help from Russia to contain Iran's nuclear weapons ambition.  Obama wants Russia to cooperate with the US and Western Europe by imposing stiff sanctions against Iran.  How is that working out?  Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog explains how President Obama's strategy is failing.

Obama's "reset" of relations with Russia does not appear to have translated into Russian support for strong sanctions against Iran.  According to the Washington Post, Russian President Medvedev has told Obama that there are limits to his country's support for sanctions.

What are those limits?  According to the Post, sanctions must not create economic hardship for Iran, foment financial chaos, or lead to regime change.  In other words, sanctions must not produce any result that might conceivably cause the Iranian regime to give up its quest for nuclear weapons.

But even Russian approval for watered-down sanctions would not mean the imposition of such sanctions.  China, which like Russia is a member of the Security Council, must also give its approval.  And China reportedly is even less enthusiastic about sanctions than Russia.

Even if Russia and China would cooperate fully, which they won't, no amount of sanctions will deter rogue nations like Iran from pursuing their nuclear weapons ambition.  We have nothing to offer them that is more valuable to them than a nuclear arsenal.  Once they have nuclear weapons and long range delivery systems, they can extract almost anything they want from their neighbors and the West by using threats, fear and nuclear brinkmanship.  The only thing that could possibly deter Iran from continuing down the road to developing nuclear weapons would be the certain knowledge of a devastating military attack if they don't desist.  Based on Obama's current strategic and foreign policy stance, there is little chance of this occurring.  The Iranians have no fear of an "empty suit" like Obama.
Who Is Playing Whom?
Paul Mirengoff says Obama's "reset" of relations with Russia does not appear to have translated into Russian support for strong sanctions against Iran.  According to the Washington Post, Russian President Medvedev has told Obama that there are limits to his country's support for sanctions.

What are those limits?  According to the Post, sanctions must not create economic hardship for Iran, foment financial chaos, or lead to regime change.  In other words, sanctions must not produce any result that might conceivably cause the Iranian regime to give up its quest for nuclear weapons.

But even Russian approval for watered-down sanctions would not mean the imposition of such sanctions.  China, which like Russia is a member of the Security Council, must also give its approval.  And China reportedly is even less enthusiastic about sanctions than Russia.

One gets the impression that Russia and China are playing Obama.  But this assumes that Obama cares about obtaining harsh sanctions against Iran, as opposed to gaining half-hearted measures he can point to as a diplomatic accomplishment.  I don't assume this.  Instead, I suspect that Russia, China, and Obama are playing Israel and the rest of us who fear a nuclear Iran.

John Hinderaker adds: A skeptic might almost say that Obama's "reset" consists of bringing our foreign policy goals more in line with Russia's.
Iran To Go Nuclear Within The Month
The Jerusalem Post says an Iranian energy official warns no country will contemplate strike on Teheran.

Iran will join the global nuclear club within one month, according to the deputy research chief of the Islamic republicís Atomic Energy of Iran (AEOI).

Behzad Soltani, who also serves as the secretary-general of the AEOIís Scientific Cooperation Council, was quoted as saying that "no country would ever think about attacking Iran," once the nuclear threshold has been crossed.

"We do not intend to use the peaceful nuclear energy merely for generating electricity and energy, rather our next step would be expanding use of this technology," Soltani reportedly said.  Radiation, he said, can ensure that "foodstuff, proteins and vegetables are preserved for a longer time and with a higher quality."

Soltani added that construction work on a large-scale nuclear power plant, and a smaller research reactor in the Iranian city of Arak is nearing completion and is now at 70 percent.

The technology, he said, would enable Iran to improve its political, economic and technological standing.  "Iran's mighty nuclear independence [will] intermingle with economic growth, expansion of technology and political power in the international arena," Soltani suggested.

In the shadow of the Obama's latest dog and pony show, the nuclear conference in Washington, Iran expressed uncertainty earlier Tuesday over the possibility that China would back new sanctions against it.

The West fears Iran's nuclear program masks ambitions to obtain a nuclear weapon, a claim Teheran denies.
The Obama Leadership Vacuum
Thomas Lifson says Barack Obama's level of detachment from his duties has come to the point where even his cabinet secretaries quietly are letting it be known that he has defaulted on his leadership responsibilities.  Congress was delighted to step into the breach and write health care reform, but when it comes to the executive branch, leadership must come from the top.

The most pressing issue for national security (Obama's top responsibility) is Iran's drive to acquire nuclear weapons (and use them to "wipe Israel from the map"), quite possibly triggering Armageddon, as nuclear-armed Israel will not go quietly.  Nuclear war in the Middle East would change the course of civilization, something even Israel-haters would find highly disagreeable.

Yet according to the New York Times, the Secretary of Defense

"has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran's steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document."

This is a shocking admission.  Yet it is not the only instance of a cabinet secretary stepping into the breach where Obama has left a leadership void.

Continue reading here . . .
Obama On The Spot After Tepid UN Sanctions On Iran
Leo Rennert says the U.N. Security Council, by a 12 to 2 vote, approved a new set of sanctions on Iran that fall short of U.S. and Israeli expectations.  After all, it wasn't only so long ago that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged to mobilize the international community behind "crippling" sanctions that might prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.  The new UN sanctions fall short of "crippling" by a country mile.  For example, they shy away from an embargo on Iran gasoline imports that might have made Iran's leaders think twice.  Even so, the administration couldn't even get Turkey and Brazil to abstain -- two countries Obama has courted assiduously.  Instead, they openly broke with Washington and voted "no."

So where do we go from here?

After nearly a year and a half of Obama's diplomacy, the U.S. has exhausted the possibilities it could expect from the UN in trying to halt Iran's drive to join the nuclear club.  Russia and China -- wielding veto power -- won't allow stronger action against Iran.  And while Obama gave it his all in pursuing only the UN track over these long months, Iran gained precious time to enrich uranium to higher levels.  Even the UN's nuclear watchdog now acknowledges that Iran already has sufficient nuclear fuel for two bombs.

There has been talk that the administration -- after exhausting the UN channel -- will now move to assemble a "coalition of the willing" with perhaps Canada and the European Union to come up with tougher, meaningful sanctions.  The EU, according to some reports, also has been waiting to move in that direction once the UN proved itself unable to rise to the task.  This would seem Obama's only remaining option, while the clock ticks inexorably toward Iran joining North Korea as a rogue state with nuclear-weapon arsenals and a capacity to share such weapons with non-state, terrorist groups.

The hour is late, perhaps too late.  Iran will not be shaken by the Security Council's timid performance.  Obama has consumed precious time -- and failed to get anything meaningful form the UN.  So what does he do now?
Iranís Bomb
Matt Gurney says that if the newest round of sanctions levied against Iran by the international community doesnít stop Iranís march towards a nuclear weapon, what will?  That answer to that question, whatever it may be, will fundamentally shift the balance of power in the Middle East.  There is no good solution to dilemma of the Iranian bomb, and as time goes on and the bomb comes nearer to reality, the options will only get worse.  Nonetheless, a decision must be made.  Is the Obama administration up to the task?

In a recent New York Times analysis, veteran journalist David Sanger suggests not.  The administration has plans, to be sure -- diplomatic pressure, military deterrence, backroom negotiations, continued economic measures, intelligence operations, etc. -- but as Sanger depressingly notes, the administrationís own officials grant that even combined, all these steps will work out to be "not enough." If resolutely applied, they may slow Iranís progress towards a nuclear weapon, but thatís all.  If things continue down their current path, an Iranian nuclear bomb is guaranteed.

After all, the history of the regime has shown that international pressure does little to impress the Tehran theocracy.  After the UN Security Council handed the latest round of sanctions down two weeks ago, Iran indeed spun the situation to its advantage, using the unified front being presented by the worldís great powers to rally support for the regime inside Iran.  "We have always used this unity option with a solid heart against any attack," prominent Iranian cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told reporters.  "I believe we have to preserve this unity, even if it has been slightly tarnished."  In other words, the regime is portraying itself as the hero, standing up to foreign pressure.  Itís an old game, but a useful one.

Even as the regime makes good use of this latest series of sanctions, adopted for their mutual agreeability to all the veto-wielding members of the Security Council rather than their ability to punish Iran, Obama is working to weaken sanctions proposed by Congress, including his own party.  The new sanctions, targeting Iranís energy sector, are reportedly deemed by the administration to be too strong, running the risk of provoking a backlash from European allies, as well as the Russians and Chinese.  (Concerns over a European backlash seem unlikely, given that the European Union is also discussing a new round of sanctions, likewise aimed at Iranís petroleum revenues, upon which the regime is totally dependent for survival.)

Why Obama would seek to weaken sanctions that even the dovish Europeans are considering is difficult to fathom, particularly since these would not be international sanctions, but limited to American companies and individuals.  Perhaps itís yet another attempt to demonstrate Americaís goodwill to a regime that continues to oppress its own citizens, export terror and seeks to destabilize the Western worldís only reliable outpost in the region.  Whatever the aim, it will not succeed.  Not sanctioning Iran didnít work, but Obamaís advisors agree that sanctioning it wonít work, either Ö what else can be done?

Indeed, Sangerís piece lays out the grim proof that sanctions do not work.  Sanctions, and the threat of them, did not stop India and Pakistan from developing and testing their nuclear weapons.  North Korea utterly destroyed its own national economy in the pursuit of nuclear weapons even in the face of devastating international sanctions (far worse than have been levied against Iran), and the end result was a starving populace in a nuclear-armed state.  Years of sanctions did little to bring Saddam to heel, only outright conquest of his country was able to dislodge him and his loyalists from Iraqís numerous palaces.  Iran has already accepted that it will face sanctions if it continues to pursue a bomb, and has planned accordingly.  The regime has been crystal clear in their priorities -- they value a nuclear arsenal more than Obamaís friendship or free trade with the international community.  Short of vaporizing Tel Aviv, they canít get much clearer.  Why canít the White House accept what is plain?

Perhaps because the administration is privately aware that they have no idea how to respond to the inevitable, and therefore seek to postpone it as long as possible.  One White House official told Sanger that asking what America will do to stop Iranís construction of a bomb is "not the kind of question you win many points asking."  Other suggest that the White House has not yet, even at this late date, truly determined how far it will let Iran go, and what steps itís willing to take to hold them back from that point of no return.  That the White House might not have yet made this fundamental determination is nothing less than horrifying.  Every other option, every possible contingency scenario, hinges upon knowing how far one is willing to go.  Until you know what, you are helpless.  Iran knows this, and continues to build its bombs accordingly.

But not every country is as content to wait for Iran to embrace the ways of peace.  Last week, the London Times reported that, afraid of what an Iranian bomb would mean for the Arab world, that Saudi Arabia had quietly consented to Israel flying through its airspace as part of any attack on Iran.  Saudi Arabia quickly denied the report, of course, but it does point to a bleak truth -- neither Israel nor the Arab states want to see Iran develop a bomb.  And if the United States wonít take serious action to stop them, someone else -- alone or in cooperation with their neighbors -- might decide to do it themselves.
Would Obama Use Force?
Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh ask, if Iran came close to getting a nuclear weapon, would Obama use force?

Imagine a moment when Obama has only two alternatives: prepare to live with a nuclear-armed Iran or embark on the perilous path of military action to stop it.

Imagine that diplomacy has run its course, after prolonged and inconclusive negotiations; that surging international oil prices have undercut the power of economic sanctions against Tehran; and that reliable intelligence says the Islamic republic's weapons program is very close to reaching its goal.

Facing such conditions, would Obama use force against Iran?

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden believes such a move would be necessary, recently telling CNN that a U.S. military strike against Iranian facilities "seems inexorable" because diplomacy is failing.  "We engage.  They continue to move forward," Hayden warned.  "We vote for sanctions.  They continue to move forward.  We try to deter, to dissuade.  They continue to move forward."

Obama has also emphasized Tehran's own actions as the determining factor in a U.S. response.  "We offered the Iranian government a clear choice," he said on July 1, when he signed the Iran Sanctions Act.  "It could fulfill its international obligations and realize greater security, deeper economic and political integration with the world . . . or it could continue to flout its responsibilities and face even more pressure and isolation."

And a few days later, Obama stressed in an interview with Israeli television that although his administration will "continue to keep the door open for a diplomatic resolution . . . I assure you that I have not taken options off the table."

As a practical matter, however, Obama's decision on the use of force would hinge on factors well beyond Iran's timetable for obtaining a bomb.  In fact, the political, military and policy constraints Obama would face could compel his administration to forgo the military option no matter how close Iran gets to joining the nuclear club.

Continue reading here . . .
Ahmadinejad Invites Obama To Debate
The AP is reporting that Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he's ready to meet "face-to-face" with Obama in a public debate over their countries' disputes.

The Iranian leader says he plans to visit New York for the next U.N. General assembly in September, as he has several times since coming to power in 2005.

In a speech Monday, Ahmadinejad says that during his trip to the U.S. he's ready to meet Obama "face to face and before media to put the world's issues on the table."

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly proposed televised debates with American presidents over the past years, an offer dismissed by Washington.  The U.S. accuses Tehran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon, a claim Iran denies.

Can you take a teleprompter to a debate?
Ahmedinejad Threatens U.S. With War "Without Boundaries"
ABC News is reporting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad warned the Obama administration today that if Iran's nuclear facilities are attacked, the U.S. will face a war that "would know no boundaries."

The Iranian president, who is in New York for the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, spoke at a breakfast meeting with reporters and editors at Manhattan's Warwick Hotel.

He said that Iran is on the brink of becoming a nuclear power, and warned Israel and the U.S. against attacking its nuclear facilities.

Asked about the possibility of a U.S.-supported Israeli air strike against Iran, the fiery Iranian leader said an attack would be considered an act of war, and suggested the U.S. is unprepared for the consequences.  Such a war "would know no boundaries," Ahmedinejad said.  "War is not just bombs."

Meanwhile . . . Obama ordered two cheese steaks, a chocolate chip ice cream, and then tried to rip off a fruit vendor.
Weasel Zippers says Obama today tried to pay for four apples with one dollar.  Now, if Bush did this, can you imagine the uproar??

According to this afternoonís press pool report from Philadelphia, where Obama is traveling, Obama made a surprise visit to the Reading Terminal Market, which contains numerous stalls selling all kinds of delicacies.

Obama shook hands with customers in front of the falafel stall and ordered a couple of cheese steak sandwiches with sweet peppers and mushrooms, just like any self-respecting Philly guy would do.

Then the fruit vendor called out, "President Obama how íbout an apple? Something healthy too."  Obama grabbed four apples and gave the salesman a dollar.

Recognizing the error, Obama personal aide Reggie Love quickly stepped in with some more money for the fruit seller, who had just been ripped off by the leader of the free world.

On the way out, Obama went straight back to his unhealthy ways and ordered a small mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.

So much for Michelle Obamaís healthy eating campaign.  Kids, do as I say, not as I do!

And speaking of "War is not just bombs," I bring you the next item . . .
How Will Obama React?
Trevor Loudon reminds us that when the Soviets put missiles into Cuba, President Kennedy forced them to back off.

Now the Iranians are putting missiles into Venezuela.

Iran is planning to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil, based on western information sources, according to an article in the German daily, Die Welt, of November 25, 2010.  According to the article, an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October19, 2010.  The previously undisclosed contract provides for the establishment of a jointly operated military base in Venezuela, and the joint development of ground-to-ground missiles.

At a moment when NATO members found an agreement, in the recent Lisbon summit (19-20 November 2010), to develop a Missile Defense capability to protect NATO's populations and territories in Europe against ballistic missile attacks from the East (namely, Iran), Iran's counter-move consists in establishing a strategic base in the South American continent -- in the United States' soft underbelly.

According to Die Welt, Venezuela has agreed to allow Iran to establish a military base manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Venezuelan missile officers.  In addition, Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an "emergency."  In return, the agreement states that Venezuela can use these facilities for "national needs" -- radically increasing the threat to neighbors like Colombia.  The German daily claims that according to the agreement, Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base.  It says that Iran also pledged to help Venezuela in rocket technology expertise, including intensive training of officers

What will Obama do about new this threat to U.S. security?

1.  Stare down the Iranians?
2.  Stop buying Venezuelan oil and open up all known U.S. reserves to exploitation?
3.  Pressure the Senate to pass the New START Disarmament Treaty with Iran and Venezuela's Russian allies?
4.  Play basketball?
5.  Play golf?


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