No American Leader Will Ever Attack Iran

(Tablet) Lee Smith - George Bush did not attack Iran because he was already waging war in two Middle Eastern theaters and did not want to go down in the history books as the president who only waged wars on Muslims. Barack Obama has not attacked Iran in his first term and is highly unlikely to do so in his second term because his Middle East policy is one of extrication from the region, not further military involvement. After the Obama White House revealed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps plot against the Saudi ambassador in Washington, it exacted no price from Iran for planning an operation in the American capital that might have cost the lives of hundreds of American citizens. No American president has ever drawn red lines for Tehran and enforced them by showing that transgressions are swiftly and severely punished. Jimmy Carter sat by idly when Ayatollah Khomeini and the founders of the Islamic Republic stormed the U.S. embassy and held Americans hostage for 444 days. Ronald Reagan provided the Iranians with arms - after the Islamic Republic's Lebanese asset, Hizbullah, killed 241 U.S. Marines in the 1983 bombing of their barracks at the Beirut airport. When the FBI said Tehran was responsible for the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers, Bill Clinton failed to respond or even name Iran. If you can kill Americans without any consequences, you can certainly build a nuclear weapons facility without too much concern that the Americans are really keeping "all options on the table"; the White House is not and almost surely never will - no matter who's calling the shots. Surely by now Israeli leaders know that, given the various trend-lines of American policy toward Iran, no U.S. president is going to take military action against Iran. The Israeli half of the conversation is no longer about pressuring their American allies. Rather, it seems to be preparing the Israeli public for an attack. The writer is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2012-08-23 00:00:00

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