As expected, Barack Obama spoke of his unwavering support for Israel when he appeared before delegates at the AIPAC convention today in Washington, D.C. “As president I will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security,” he said. But will he?
He has pledged to meet diplomatically with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been explicitly denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel’s destruction for the past few years. But he also said something very interesting today: “we must maintain the isolation of Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel’s destruction.”
So, I ask you, Senator Obama, what about Ahmadinejad’s Iran does not scream for inclusion in this group of extremists you intend to isolate? You yourself said that Ahmadinejad’s regime is “one of the greatest threats to the United States, Israel, and world peace” and described him as “reckless” and “irresponsible.” Does his denial of the Holocaust and active pursuance of a nuclear weapon not classify him as an “extremist committed to Israel’s destruction”? Your own words described him as such. The bottom line is, meeting with Ahmadinejad, just like meeting with Hamas or Hizb’Allah, will give legitimacy to a terrorist group that should not have it. But you have failed to realize this.
So why meet with him?
Obama gave his reasoning for meeting with Ahmadinejad today in his speech. He said that he would like to adopt a policy that “includes direct engagement with Iran similar to the meetings [the United States] conducted with the Soviets at the height of the Cold War, laying out in clear terms our principles and interests.” This may seem equivocal, but there is something terrifically naive about this statement.
The Soviet leaders never called for the absolute and total destruction of the United States. They did not equate Americans to devils. They were the communist counterpart to America’s capitalism, and while things occasionally did get “hot,” negotiations were always possible because the Soviets were in the same situation that America was in. Both superpowers were dedicated to their economic and political system, and were ensuring their own security with an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Despite all of the differences, all of the heated debates and the scary moments, the Soviets were just as rational as the Americans were. They knew that a nuclear war would end badly for both sides. Thus, diplomatic meetings between the Americans and the Soviets were fairly successful. They came to agreements, worked out differences, and avoided conflict.
Ahmadinejad, as Obama has stated himself, is not a rational person. He is bent on the destruction of the “Zionist devils” through any means possible, including nuclear war. His lack of support from and respect for his people suggest that he is willing to make a significant sacrifice to accomplish his goal.
Tell me, Senator Obama, does this look to you like Iran under Ahmadinejad is at all similar to the Soviets under Krushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, and Gorbachev? I certainly hope not, but then again, your speech suggests otherwise.
In September 2007, Obama voted against an amendment co-sponsored by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut that classified the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group. Three-fourths of the Senate, including Hillary Clinton, voted for this amendment. But for some strange reason, it has not yet occurred to the young senator from Illinois that Ahmadinejad and his government are no different than terrorists. The scope of the mullahs’ influence and power should have nothing to do with a decision to negotiate, especially if it is based off of completely irrelevant historical comparisons.
Senator Obama desperately needs a history lesson.
I’m from Southern California and currently go to school at Hebrew University in Jerusalem