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Published on August 10th, 2012 | by Jasmin Ramsey


Hawks on Iran

Lobe Log publishes Hawks on Iran every Friday. Our posts highlight militaristic commentary and confrontational policy recommendations about Iran from a variety of sources including news articles, think tanks and pundits.

Jacob Helibrunn, National Interest: The senior editor argues that President Obama could “bomb Iran in late October” to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon and prove that he is not a “foreign policy wimp”. (Urging Obama to wage war for political expediency isn’t exactly a new idea among neoconservatives — take Daniel Pipes’ recommendation in 2010.) Writes Helibrunn:

President Obama could bomb Iran in late October to try and ensure that it does not develop nuclear weapons. A devastating strike would create an upsurge of patriotism in America and fully neutralize Mitt Romney’s contention that Obama is a foreign-policy wimp. It could allow Obama to sweep to victory in November.

He adds that “the neocons may be closer to helping bring about an assault on Iran than even they realize”:

They’ve already captured Romney. But they may also be on the verge of capturing Obama. Their sustained campaign of pressure, in other words, may be more effective than anyone has acknowledged. For the fact is that Obama already has amply demonstrated his ruthlessness when it comes to confronting America’s adversaries. If he were able to carry out regime change in Tehran, he might even start referring to himself as the new Decider.

Bill Kristol, Fox News: Speaking on an “All-Star” Fox News panel that includes fellow neoconservative ideologue Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol laments what he interprets as a U.S. abdication of its role in “helping to shape events” in the Middle East, as evidenced by the Obama administration’s unwillingness to intervene directly in Syria:

I just want to call attention to what Charles said. I think he was absolutely accurate, he said what the secretary of state of the United States said really doesn’t matter. This is Iran and Russia on the one hand, and Turkey and Saudi Arabia on the other. That is terrible. If we are abdicating our role of helping to shape events in this absolutely crucial part of the world, what does that say? Are we just going to let other countries ya know, play their games and stand back as if it doesn’t affect U.S. national security? What happens in Syria, which borders Israel, which is next to Iraq, where Iran is a major player?

Michael Gerson, Washington Post: Like John Hannah does here, Michael Gerson makes a claim that I can’t find any backing for — that the U.S. has changed its “red line” on Iran from preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon capability (Israel’s “red line”) to preventing it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. (As far as I know, preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon has been the U.S.’s consistent stance on Iran.) In any case, Gerson makes that claim within a post that criticizes the Obama administration for “paralysis” and “inaction” with respect to its foreign policy:

In Iran, a strategy of tightened sanctions and nuclear talks remains fruitless. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta recently repainted America’s red line: “We will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently reaffirmed his objective: “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime.” The United States seems to be headed toward some kind of confrontation with Iran, without Obama making any apparent effort to prepare Americans. Unless it is all a disastrous, discrediting bluff.

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About the Author


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

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  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

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