The news from Israel over the weekend has left no doubt that President Obama’s failure on Iran has been one of both words and deeds. Not only did Obama refuse to speak publicly against the regime at the most opportune moments, but his administration has also trotted out high-level appointees to undermine the credibility of a Western threat to use force if sanctions and diplomacy continue to fail.
Those are the words; unfortunately, the deeds match them. Obama has consistently sought first to prevent, then delay, then weaken tough sanctions against Iran. At times, the president has even faced down a united Senate to oppose sanctions. At the UN, we once could count on help from Turkey on international sanctions; in the age of Obama, the international coalition on this issue continues to fray. And then there was this weekend’s announcement that the U.S. dramatically scaled down joint military exercises scheduled for this fall, and is withholding certain military assistance (once the Obama administration’s claimed trump card when criticized over U.S.-Israeli relations). Message received, say the Israelis:
The White House at the weekend reiterated its commitment to Israel’s security, but this drew a withering response from the Israeli source: “It’s hard to explain the gulf between the White House’s comments about the commitment to Israel’s security and the comments made by the US chief of staff,