President Obama’s U.N. speech offered little confidence for those living in the direct firing line of an Iran, which may soon be armed with a nuclear weapon.
For the people of Israel—and millions living in the Gulf states that lie in the shadow of Tehran—Obama’s address to the U.N. must have looked positively Carter-eqsue in tone and spirit. This was a milquetoast statement on Iran by the U.S. President, who projected a dangerous leading-from-behind mentality at a time when the free world needs bold U.S. leadership.
The Iranian nuclear crisis took up just two paragraphs toward the end of Obama’s speech—clearly not a priority issue for the President. In essence, Obama delivered the same message he’s delivered now for four years: that “America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited.”
It’s also the same message that the European Union has been consistently delivering for more than a decade of futile negotiations with Iran. Efforts to appease the mullahs have been an unmitigated failure that has served only to embolden one of the most brutal and barbaric regimes of modern times.
Significantly, President Obama did not outline tougher measures to halt Iran’s nuclear program. It was a speech that could easily have been given by the leader of France, Germany, or any European country rather than the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. There was no mention of further U.N. sanctions, any strengthening of America’s military might in the region, or support for Iranian dissidents fighting for their freedom. No impression was given that the use of force may be an option on the table.
In addition, Obama did not mention Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by name, and he failed to directly reference the Iranian leader’s recent statements calling for the “elimination” of Israel. Israel itself, America’s leading ally in the Middle East, was barely a footnote in the President’s speech.
Yet again, Obama drew moral equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a theme he has frequently expounded upon since taking office. He did not condemn Palestinian terrorism, simply declaring that “among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on the prospect of peace.”
The President’s speech today followed the White House’s astonishing refusal to meet with the Israeli prime minister this week, another reckless snub to a close friend and U.S. ally. As Iran marches toward becoming a nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, the U.S. should stand with the people of Israel, who are literally fighting for their survival in the face of an Islamist tyranny that openly talks of annihilating its near neighbor.
The Iranian regime’s nuclear and genocidal ambitions are a threat to the free world. However, President Obama’s weak-kneed approach serves only to encourage America’s enemies while undermining confidence in U.S. leadership on the world stage.