Obama Sounds the Retreat
Obama's failure to castigate Iran's nuclear weapons program is a reckless and naive policy switch.
June 4, 2009 - 8:10 am
President Obama’s Cairo speech had a number of serious shortcomings, including a fixation on moral equivalence among Israel, its neighbors, and the Palestinians who have and continue to reject the Jewish state’s right to exist. But no part of the speech was quite so troublesome, or as dangerous, as the words he devoted to the looming threat posed by Iran — a country bent not only on acquiring nuclear arms but on destroying Israel, in part by aiding and abetting terrorist groups.
Obama had this to say:
It will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America’s interests. It is about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.
I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation — including Iran — should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.
And that’s it. Really.
If you missed the part about America’s resolute commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, you are not alone. If you missed his castigation of Iran for fomenting violence, killing American servicemen in Iraq, and flouting international agreements on everything from nuclear inspection to genocide, you are not alone.
It is, no doubt, music to the mullahs’ ears to hear that there is no prohibition on proceeding with their program. After all, the president declared himself helpless to tell another country that it lacks the right to acquire nuclear weapons. All he could muster on the subject of preventing Iran from acquiring such weapons? He is “hopeful that all countries in the region can share this goal.”