George Will: Let’s remember that Iran is watching this red-line dance on Syria
posted at 11:21 am on August 26, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
The Associated Press ran a rather uncharacteristic piece on Sunday about the several ways in which President Obama’s ideas and visions for foreign-policy accomplishments during his two terms are just not working out that well. Reality keeps butting its way in, and one analyst described the administration’s ensuing tentativeness thusly: “The president has not had a long-term strategic vision… They’re moving issue to issue and reacting as situations come up.” Obama is all about eschewing the United States’ unilateral powers in favor of the political safeties of a global coalition, and as another former Defense Department official put it, “Obama has sometimes equated ‘we have no leverage’ with ‘there’s no point to really doing anything.'”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu often refrains, however, Iran has no intention of scaling back on their nefarious nuclear ambitions, and he’s been urging the United States to ramp up sanctions and let Iran know that they mean business. As George Will very aptly pointed out on ABC on Sunday, you can bet that Iran is paying plenty of attention to the President’s lack of follow-through on his big “red line” declaration about chemical weapons in Syria, and watching all of the hesitation with a very keen eye.
We have to read what he has said as he carefully stitched a loophole into what he said a year ago. He said, “a red line for us is when we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons being moved around or being utilized.” I don’t know what the metric ‘a whole bunch of’ is, but he can always say, ‘this is not a whole bunch of.’ … Our military is rightly leery of making a “gesture.” They’re not in the “gesture” business, and they have a feeling that that’s what they would be doing. Throwing, lobbing cruise-missiles, these stand-off weapons, that make us, what, feel good? Or look good? … Some people believe in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa Klaus, the Loch Ness monster. Others believe in the international community. It’s a fiction. … Iran is watching this, that’s the big thing. Iran is watching this little dance of deadlines and red lines and deciding it doesn’t mean a thing.