Hillary Clinton was recently asked what she would do to Iran if it attacked Israel with nuclear weapons. She stated that as president she would obliterate Iran. Recently asked if she still stood by her statement, she said she did:
Sen. Hillary Clinton today defended her statement that the United States would "obliterate" Iran if it ever launched a nuclear strike on Israel. "Why would I have any regrets?"Iran, according to the latest US National Intelligent Estimate, has stopped nuclear weapons research, although they continue to enrich uranium. It's probably not very likely,
We had talks with the Soviets when they had 40,000 nuclear weapons. The Chinese currently have thousands. Iran has zero. Why are we afraid to have talks with them?even if Clinton served two terms as president, that she would be confronted with an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel.
And, for heaven sakes, Israel can take care of itself anyway, Ms. Clinton.
Currently the average Iranian would love to have more interaction with the US. The Iranian people were the most genuinely saddened by the 9/11 attacks on America. The people there love western music, movies, and blue jeans. Imagine how negatively Iranian (and Middle Eastern) sentiment would be affected if we "obliterated" Iran.
This is one area where Obama and Clinton are very different in their approaches. Obama chastized Clinton's remarks for sounding very Bushian. I agree.
"Well, it's not the language that we need right now, and I think it's language that's reflective of George Bush. We have had a foreign policy of bluster and saber-rattling and tough talk, and, in the meantime, we make a series of strategic decisions that actually strengthen Iran.In addition to threatening to attack Israel, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has "denied" the holocaust. But what about the rest of the Iranian ruling class? Did they say anything like this?
The only way I would modify Obama's intent would be to suggest that he wait until after the June 2009 elections in Iran before sitting down for talks--Ahmadinejad might not be president anymore.
Conservatives galore have called Obama an appeaser and willing to negotiate with terrorists. I think that's bunk. I'm not sure how they can really be so narrow minded with everything that we know about Iran. Hillary Clinton made a terrible faux pas with her "obliteration" comment. Obama said he is willing to sit down and talk. But he didn't say that he would be a pansy about it.
Ron Paul makes a good point about communicating with our adversaries, using the Soviet Union as an example:
I fear our policy towards Iran is a threat. [...] We [should] have a more sensible policy, we talk to them and trade with them. We remove the sanctions. I mean, the Soviets had 40,000 [nuclear weapons]. I was called up for military duty in 1962 during the Cuban crisis. The height of the Cold War and we won the Cold War, we didn’t have to go a nuclear war. We won that by being strong by talking to the Soviets, we talked to Khrushchev. We have a lot more than Iran, Iran has none.Obama said something similar:
Here’s the truth: the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons, and Iran doesn’t have a single one. But when the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn’t we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That’s what strong countries do, that’s what strong presidents do, that’s what I’ll do when I’m president of the United States of America.Not that I support Obama for president (Ron Paul would be infinitely better). But on this issue, they're both right. Have you thought of the likelihood that China has perhaps thousands of nuclear weapons right now--but we associate with them?
Iran is being held up by the neocons as a much greater bogey monster than it really is. As long as Iran knows that we have a big stick and that we will use it as necessary, there can only be positives that come out of communication with them.