Roger Cohen: “Netanyahu has talked himself into a corner on Iran.”

The New York Times columnist explains how and why the Israeli Prime Minister’s “blunders” on Iran are counter-productive and self-defeating:

Netanyahu has talked himself into a corner on Iran. He has set so many “red lines” on the Iranian nuclear program nobody can remember them. He has taken to fuming publicly over President Obama’s refusal to do the same. Of late he has juggled metaphors: Iran is now “20 yards” from “touchdown.” His cry-wolf dilemma comes right out of a children’s book. It was in 1992 that he said Iran was three to five years from nuclear capacity.

(One achievement of Netanyahu’s Iran obsession has been to relegate the critical question before Israel — the millions of Palestinian people on its doorstep — to somewhere between the back burner and oblivion. The best primer for Netanyahu’s thinking is these words from his coached buddy Mitt Romney: “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, ‘There’s just no way.”’)

The mistake Netanyahu has made is to believe he can go over the head of President Obama. He has tried through Congress, where his speech last year earned 29 standing ovations. He has greeted Romney in Israel as if he were on a state visit. He has said those “who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.” He has given critical interviews on U.S. TV networks in the midst of a presidential campaign. And he hath protested far too much that he has no intention — none — of swaying the outcome.

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Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is an Iranian-born journalist based in Washington, DC.

2 Comments

  1. I agree! We are the leaders of this world not Israel, and I think Obama did everything diplomatically, Romney & Netanyahu & McKain made a mistake thinking they would make Obama look weak right before this election, so for that alone he should not win, in fact he (Romney) should be considered a threat to our national security. I think the American people saw through this failed escapade of theirs and hopefully nothing negative comes of this. There is after all a chain of command and it too applies even with this president with or without the republican support.

  2. Barack Obama should have his name legally changed to “Richard Cranium.”

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