Before you hit the “comment” button to complain that I posted this story, the founding team at disinformation® always planned to expose multiple points of view on the site and let the reader decide for himself or herself which approach to an issue was correct, or at least most appealing. In this commentary by neocon Daniel Pipes (he is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University), I don’t agree at all with his ideology, but I think it is very important to understand that many Americans do subscribe to this type of idea.
I do not customarily offer advice to a president whose election I opposed, whose goals I fear, and whose policies I work against. But here is an idea for Barack Obama to salvage his tottering administration by taking a step that protects the United States and its allies.
If Obama’s personality, identity, and celebrity captivated a majority of the American electorate in 2008, those qualities proved ruefully deficient for governing in 2009. He failed to deliver on employment and health care, he failed in foreign-policy forays small (e.g., landing the 2016 Olympics) and large (relations with China and Japan). His counterterrorism record barely passes the laugh test.
This poor performance has caused an unprecedented collapse in the polls and the loss of three major by-elections, culminating two weeks ago in an astonishing senatorial defeat in Massachusetts. Obama’s attempts to “reset” his presidency will likely fail if he focuses on economics, where he is just one of many players.
He needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him as a light-weight, bumbling ideologue, preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge, and where he can trump expectations.
Such an opportunity does exist: Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity.
Circumstances are propitious. First, U.S. intelligence agencies have reversed their preposterous 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, the one that claimed with “high confidence” that Tehran had “halted its nuclear weapons program.” No one other than the Iranian rulers and their agents denies that the regime is rushing headlong to build a large nuclear arsenal.
Second, if the apocalyptic-minded leaders in Tehran get the Bomb, they render the Middle East yet more volatile and dangerous…