Iran to build new uranium enrichment facilities: How are those non-preconditions working out for you, Obama?

President Barack Obama is just barely willing to talk to Fox News but believes in speaking to the world's leading dictators and terrorists "without preconditions."  While his naive leftist base and enemies of the nation might find that position appealing in its "modesty", what it really shows to people who matter in international affairs is one simple thing: weakness.

Yesterday, Iran announced that it is going to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities -- deep within mountains so as to be impervious to attack from the air -- in defiance of the UN and the toothless IAEA.

While some analysts are saying this is an essentially predictable reaction to the UN's threats of sanctions, it's hard to imagine Iran's taking this action if Ronald Reagan or even either George Bush were our president.  Obama exudes effete juvenile naivete and weakness.  He comes away from one foreign meeting after another having offered a few more pretty words (though they're all starting to blend together at this point) but having come away with no tangible results, even from erstwhile allies.

The ayatollahs see a guy who takes the better part of 5 months to decide whether to send more troops into a war we're already in and who's likely not to agree to send as many troops as his field commander requested. (For the record, I'm not saying he should have simply agreed to McChrystal's request, but I am saying the amount of time he's taking and the way he's handling the issue are...let's just say unpresidential, to be kind.)  So how concerned could they be about Obama's reaction to anything they do short of attacking Israel?  What's Obama going to do?  Take 8 or 12 or 16 months to decide how to react?  Seems like a decent guess.

And of course Iran doesn't take the UN seriously, especially with such a high likelihood of Russia or China blocking for them.  Iran's only risk is an attack by Israel, but they probably expect that Obama will be able to restrain Netanyahu from such an action.

That could be a miscalculation by Iran...but probably not.  It won't be so much because Netanyahu feels the need for US permission to defend an existential threat to the Middle East's only functioning democracy.   Netanyahu already sees clearly that Obama is out of his depth when it comes to anything beyond Chicago community organizing.  But Israel will need help from the US to defend itself against a near-certain Iranian retaliation if Israel were to try to attack some Iranian nuclear facilities.  Furthermore, Israel might need US permission to fly over Iraq.  If Obama withholds either or both of those assurances, Israel's hands are effectively tied.

Obama's "without preconditions" approach to international affairs has had one main effect: To massively strengthen the boldness of dictators like Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin while weakening Israel, Eastern Europe (i.e. Poland and the Czech Republic), and the US itself.

Obama's foreign policy follies are remarkable if for no other reason than that they make Jimmy Carter look like a master statesman.  It's time for Democrats to realize that The One presents a Great Risk and that being young and hip and black does not give Obama a free pass to being a simply horrendous leader whose legacy of weakness could take a generation or more to overcome.

[Update: I see that Fouad Ajami has written a slightly softer version of the same analysis for the Wall Street Journal's opinion page...]

  • (anotherantistatist)
    Comment from: (anotherantistatist)
    11/30/09 @ 06:27:48 pm

    ..pardon me, You got the thing pretty well pegged Mr. Rossputin, except you left out the part where ‘something’s gonna happen’. Whatever it is, there are so few options on the table for ‘all’ once you knock out the unrealistic ones like meaningful sanctions, which Israel knows would take the cooperation of the usual proven scoundrels, and once you account for obomba’s ‘problem’, which would seem to allow for an unabated, or even somehow accelerated (see: ‘now’) nuclear progression/finality in Iran. The only likely scenario I can see playing out is action by Israel…not that they would like it, as we now know it would involve the cursory unconscionable dithering-time required for acts of war when it is our own war, let alone somebody-elses’…dither-time-squared because of the absence of U.S. ‘permission’, plus hand-wringing-time to address all other ‘important’ elements of national-self-preservation we don't currently have to address here in the U.S. Short of airdropping 50,000…make that 100,000 Uzi’s into the next Tehran-demonstration (and it better be soon), and given Israel’s short history of reality-laden crises, usually, the timing of which being dictated by others, it won’t take long for Netenyahu to apprehend the other ‘flyover’ option. If it wasn’t so dire, this is where the fun would start: ... ‘imagining’ what would happen to obomba and the rest of the world-community if Bibi called his bluff! I doubt obomba would react quickly for the first time if the only real ‘man’ in the fight, Israel could get in and out in front of the first polling-data. Putin would snicker, and the rest would grope to consult with some genuine experts.