The foiled terror attack on the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight was only the most visible sign that the issue of national security is returning to the frontburner. Charles Krauthammer at RealClearWorld has an article looking at Iran, and how the president’s poor handling of this issue is set to come back and haunt him. Let’s recall that President Obama did nothing to encourage pro-democracy protesters early in the year. He has been wishy-washy on deadlines for Iran getting rid of its nuclear program and the year ends with Tehran spitting in his face and telling him they’ll junk their nukes when we junk ours.
In this latter point, Tehran is not without an argument. Turn the clock back to 1800 and ask whether the emerging United States would have gotten rid of its navy because the British Empire demanded it. The answer is no, and we fought another war in 1812 to solidify independence. But the president may want to revisit that time period and ask that question in a different light. And that’s to ponder how history turned out. The U.S. built its navy and gradually become the pre-eminent power in the world, while the Empire began to dissolve. British interests were not served by a newly armed America. Applied to our contemporary situation, the lesson is this—Tehran or any other nation may have an understandable position in wanting to keep their nuclear program, but the national interests of the United States are clearly not served by such. We can understand their position all we want, but it doesn’t mean we have to set policy to accommodate it.
It is on this basic philosophical question that Obama and the Left go off the deep end (well this, and a few others). They seem incapable of finding a prudent balance between understanding where an enemy is coming, but still understanding where we are coming from. Because the United States has a right to its interests and opinion as much as the rest of the world does. And the reality is that this country has consistently taken the high ground when it comes to nuclear weapons. In the post-World War II era we were the nation that could’ve bombed the world into submission, but didn’t, choosing instead to rebuild Europe and Japan. That’s our legacy. It’s a fair guess that Tehran’s ambitions are a little bit different. The president ought to stand up and affirm that history and unapologetically demand that Iran get rid of its nuclear program. We have the moral standing to do so, and our strategic interest demands it. It’s time to worry more about the United States and less about whether he is being received by throngs of adoring fans overseas.