Obama on a Nuclear Iran: Yes They Can?
9:26 AM, Jan 27, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
From Obama's interview with Al-Arabiya:
Wouldn't a simple 'no, a nuclear Iran is unacceptable to the United States and our allies' have sufficed? Instead Obama says that Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon is "unhelpful," that it's "not conducive to peace." When Obama was in Israel, he said that "a nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat and the world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." He added that he would "take no options off the table in dealing with this potential Iranian threat." In the first debate of the general election, Obama reiterated that the United States "cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran." But when Obama has the chance to speak directly to the Muslim world, he can only muster retread rhetoric from his inaugural address about clenched fists and open hands.
President Bush was incapable of engaging the Muslim world with his own words, but neither was it possible for the Muslim world to confuse his view of American interests in that region. President Obama has the potential to secure real progress through his skill as a communicator, but there's always been a fear that some portion of his success in negotiating difficult issues was the result of a willingness, or perhaps a compulsion, to tell his audience whatever it is he thinks they want to hear.