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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Iran: Obama Is Bluffing, Netanyahu Is Not

In March 2012, President Obama told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/obama-to-iran-and-israel-as-president-of-the-united-states-i-dont-bluff/253875/):

"In the most extensive interview he has given about the looming Iran crisis, Obama told me earlier this week that both Iran and Israel should take seriously the possibility of American action against Iran's nuclear facilities. 'I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff.' He went on, 'I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.'"

Well, given Obama's behavior after declaring "red lines" and "game changers" involving Assad's use of chemical weapons against the rebels in Syria, it is fairly obvious that Obama does indeed bluff.

In contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is not bluffing. Speaking with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation on Sunday, Netanyahu declared (http://freebeacon.com/netanyahu-new-iranian-presidents-strategy-smile-and-build-a-bomb/):

"I think we’ve spoken many times, President Obama and I about the need to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. I know that is the U.S. policy. What is important important to convey to them, especially after the elections, that that policy will not change and that it will be backed up by increasingly forceful sanctions and military action. In my view, there is a new president in Iran. He believes — he’s criticizing his predecessor for being a wolf in wolf’s clothing. His strategy is be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Smile and build a bomb. He brags about the fact that he talked to the Europeans while completing a nuclear conversion plan. I think they can’t be allowed to get away with it. They’re getting closer and closer to the bomb, and they have to be told in no uncertain terms that will not be allowed to happen. I think it’s important to understand that we cannot allow it to happen. You know, our clocks are ticking at a different pace. We’re closer than the United States. We’re more vulnerable and therefore we’ll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does. But as the Prime Minister of Israel, I’m determined to do whatever is necessary to defend my country, the one and only Jewish state from the regime that threatens us with renewed annihilation."

How do we know that Netanyahu is not bluffing? Simple: Netanyahu has been schooled in the philosophy that if someone says they intend to kill you, you had best believe them.

When the time comes, Netanyahu will not hesitate to act.

Meanwhile, however, August draws near, and the West prepares to go on vacation.


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