Iran’s bombastic President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, again has called into question the military strength and staying power of the United States. Asked last month if he anticipated a U.S. military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ahmadinejad dismissively said:
Do you really think that an army that has been defeated by a small army and now wants to withdraw would want to enter a war against the large and well-trained Iranian army? I don’t think so. The U.S. cannot start a war against Iran. More importantly, why would it? There are no logical reasons for this. Experience has shown that it is much better to be Iran’s friend than its foe. No one has yet to benefit from being an enemy of Iran.
Ahmadinejad also rejected the possibility of an Israeli preventive strike. Asked about a statement by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton warning that Israel might strike before the nuclear reactor at Bushehr was fully operational, Ahmadinejad complained: “I think that Mr. Bolton is addicted to video war games. He sits all alone, imagining war games, and playing by himself. We think that such an attack is out of the question. The Israeli entity is too tiny to dare to confront Iran militarily.”
Ahmadinejad also ruffled Palestinian feathers when he warned on Friday that the Israeli-Palestinian talks that began in Washington last week would inevitably fail: “The fate of Palestine will be determined on the ground in Palestine. Not in Washington, not in Paris, and not in London.” “These talks are death,” he said. “There is no reason to hold talks.” A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority returned fire on Saturday, saying that Ahmadinejad, “who does not represent the Iranian people, who forged elections and who suppresses the Iranian people and stole the authority, is not entitled to talk about Palestine, or the President of Palestine.”
In contrast to the Palestinian Authority, which quickly put Ahmadinejad in his place, the Obama Administration still clings to its misconceived engagement policy. Despite the Iranian leader’s open contempt for the United States, the administration continues to adhere to the Obama Doctrine: the soft-headed application of soft power in an unsuccessful attempt to reach an acceptable compromise with the Iranian dictator.