Lead, Mr. President !

[An old union buddy of mine wrote the following letter to his local newspaper.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  It would be a good thing if every concerned citizen did the same with his or her local paper.  The author assures me he won’t object to any degree of plagiarism.]

During the 2008 campaign, Candidate Obama was clear about the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  In a “60 Minutes” interview (9/22/2008), he said:

“I think that a nuclear armed Iran is …a game changer in the region. It’s unacceptable. And that’s why I’ve said that I won’t take any options off the table, including military, to prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Earlier (July 23, 2008), he told an Israeli audience: “That is our single most important threat to Israel but also to the United States of America. So this is something that we’re going to spend a lot of time working on.”

Since then, Iran’s nuclear weapons program has progressed unimpeded.  The centrifuges continue to hum, fuel continues to be stockpiled, and the only remaining question is when the first Iranian nukes will be ready to mount on their missiles.  When, not if.

And where is President Obama’s commitment “to spend a lot of time working on” the problem?  Whatever happened to all the “options” he so boldly kept on the table?  It appears that the options, along with the “single most important threat to the USA”, have somehow fallen off the president’s table.

In the best case, it is possible that Obama, like Neville Chamberlain before him, believed that hostile powers led by apocalyptic madmen would respond positively to his outreach and reasonableness; in this case, he honestly doesn’t know what to do now.

Or, in an uglier interpretation, one might suppose that his campaign statements were merely cynical political moves designed to secure the support of those voters concerned about the threat: promises, like piecrusts, made to be broken.

But Obama’s psychology is not the immediate concern. Iran must be stopped from becoming a nuclear power.  They cannot be stopped without US leadership.

Lead, Mr. President.  For God’s sake, lead.

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