“They don’t pose a serious threat to us in the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us."
If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. That doesn't mean we agree with them on everything. We might not compromise on any issues, but at least, we should find out other areas of potential common interest, and we can reduce some of the tensions that has caused us so many problems around the world."
Listen to the whole thing yourself.
I am late with this because I was writing up another piece, so, since many have said what I want to say, although not all in one place, I will bring you a roundup of reactions and add my comments at the end, so that mine are not repeating what others have put so well.
Starting with Hot Air regarding Obama's comparison between Iran and the Soviet Union:
We talked with the Soviet Union because they also had nuclear weapons. Obama seems to forget that the entire point of our Iran policy is to prevent being put in the position of having to cut deals with a terrorist-supporting, radical Islamist non-rational state. When the enemy already has the capability of destroying you several times over, negotiations are needed to keep one side from initiating a war. Only an idiot would think that the negotiations intended on disarming the Soviets, or they us. The same dynamic applies to our engagement with Mao Zedong and Red China; Mao was smart enough to hold himself out as a potential partner in a power balance against the Soviets.
The Soviet Union collapsed economically; they did not just decide to capitulate. The Berlin Wall did not fall as a result of negotiations, but because the regime propping it up ceased to exist. Why did the Soviet Union collapse? Because Ronald Reagan won an economic war with Moscow, forcing it to spend more and more and falling further and further behind. The Strategic Defense Initiative provided the coup de grace to the Soviets, who knew they could never match us in missile defense, and tried negotiating an end to the economic war instead, with disastrous results.
Ed concludes with:
This speech reveals Obama to have no grasp of history, no grasp of strategic implications of a nuclear Iran, and no clue how to secure the nation and handle foreign policy.
Commentary Magazine touches on that issue as well:
Was it presidential visits with the Soviet Union that brought down the Berlin Wall? Or was it the 40 year history of bipartisan military deterrence, the willingness of Ronald Reagan to walk away from Reykjavik summit, the resulting bankruptcy of the Soviet Empire, the support of dissidents and freedom fighters in the war against tyranny, and the willingness to identify Communism as a center of evil in the late 20th century?
You can understand why every attempt by John McCain to discuss global threats is labeled “fear-mongering” by Obama. In his world this is all a fantasy and we are not at risk. All perfectly logical . . . if you divorce yourself from reality.
RedState reminds us that Iran doesn't attack us directly.
That picture is from the Beirut Airport. It's smoke rising from the Marine barracks. 241 American servicemen were killed. Sixty Americans were injured. 58 French paratroopers were killed with 15 injured.
The attack was carried out by Hezbollah, with Iranian backing.
And Iran survives.
Barack Obama is stupid or willfully ignorant. Iran will never attack us directly. They cannot. But they will attack us with a thousand cuts through many shadowy surrogates hoping we bleed to death.
NRO's Campaign Spot shows us a little basic history about who Obama has just called "tiny" and declared they pose no threat to us.
Iran: Effectively demonstrated the impotence of the Carter Administration and humiliated the United States for 444 days. Killed 19 American servicemen when they sponsored the bombing of Khobar Towers. Sponsored and supported Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic jihad. Manufacturing IEDs to use against American troops; runs training camps for insurgents.
Finally, I note the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission: "While it found no operational ties between al Qaeda and Iraq, the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has concluded that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network had long-running contacts with Iraq's neighbor and historic foe, Iran."
That is just Iran, go see the data on the other "tiny" non serious threatening countries Obama mentioned.
Last but not least, for now anyway, John McCain's reaction to Obama's assertions:
Before I begin my prepared remarks, I want to respond briefly to a comment Senator Obama made yesterday about the threat posed to the United States by the Government of Iran. Senator Obama claimed that the threat Iran poses to our security is “tiny” compared to the threat once posed by the former Soviet Union. Obviously, Iran isn’t a superpower and doesn’t possess the military power the Soviet Union had. But that does not mean that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant. On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers. They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. And their President, who has called Israel a “stinking corpse,” has repeatedly made clear his government’s commitment to Israel’s destruction. Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed. They might not be a superpower, but the threat the Government of Iran poses is anything but ‘tiny”.
Senator Obama has declared, and repeatedly reaffirmed his intention to meet the President of Iran without any preconditions, likening it to meetings between former American Presidents and the leaders of the Soviet Union. Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama’s inexperience and reckless judgment. Those are very serious deficiencies for an American president to possess. An ill conceived meeting between the President of the United States and the President of Iran, and the massive world media coverage it would attract, would increase the prestige of an implacable foe of the United States, and reinforce his confidence that Iran’s dedication to acquiring nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists and destroying the State of Israel had succeeded in winning concessions from the most powerful nation on earth. And he is unlikely to abandon the dangerous ambitions that will have given him a prominent role on the world stage.
This is not to suggest that the United States should not communicate with Iran our concerns about their behavior. Those communications have already occurred at an appropriate level, which the Iranians recently suspended. But a summit meeting with the President of the United States, which is what Senator Obama proposes, is the most prestigious card we have to play in international diplomacy. It is not a card to be played lightly. Summit meetings must be much more than personal get-acquainted sessions. They must be designed to advance American interests. An unconditional summit meeting with the next American president would confer both international legitimacy on the Iranian president and could strengthen him domestically when he is unpopular among the Iranian people. It is likely such a meeting would not only fail to persuade him to abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions; its support of terrorists and commitment to Israel’s extinction, it could very well convince him that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next President ought to understand such basic realities of international relations.
Barack Obama's attempt to rewrite history in order to justify his policy of appeasement, as stated on his own website by stating he would sit down with leaders of terrorist states without "preconditions", shows a few things.
One: That he truly does not know his history which I find extremely doubtful which leads me to believe it is no more than his attempt to ignore the full history and assume his audience is too "star struck" to call him out on it, or too stupid to know the full history themselves.
Two: Obama truly does not understand the difference between the old Soviet Union who already had nuclear weapons and Iran which our goal is to prevent" from obtaining nuclear weapons, which makes any such comparisons completely irrelevant and makes Obama seem as naive and inexperienced as Clinton and McCain have both pointed out on multiple occassions.
Three: This is exactly the type of mindset that has given the Democratic party the label and stigma of being weak on national security for decades.
Barack Obama hasn't a clue on how to keep America safe and with every foreign policy comment he makes, he is supplying massive amounts of ammunition to conservative pundits to be used against him in the general election in November.
The YouTube clips will be used now, short term, put away and before November they will be brought back up, dusted off, looped, spliced together and Obama's own words will be his biggest nightmare, especially with Independents and Moderates that believe someone must understand and acknowledge the dangers that face us if they expect anyone to trust them to protect this nation from those very dangers.
[Update] Related: Evidently Joseph Lieberman, Independent Democrat, made what is being described as a "brilliant" speech at last night at Commentary magazine’s annual dinner at the University Club in New York.
In the speech he discussed Barack Obama's inexperience and naive thinking about Foreign Policy issues:
Mr. Lieberman talked at some length about how the Democratic party has completely departed from the strong national-security principles of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy. He said those leaders clearly understood the need to fight totalitarian dictators and regimes, and that they possessed the moral clarity that can separate friends from enemies in the long-run battle to promote freedom and democracy.
He mentioned John Kennedy’s famous quote, “that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” He mentioned Ronald Reagan as an heir to that tradition.
He then spent a lot of time talking about why today’s Democratic party has completely lost its way on foreign policy — especially Sen. Obama, who Lieberman believes is completely wrong in proposing to meet with Iran, North Korea, and other rogue states. He also criticized Obama for opposing the South Korean trade deal, which should be an important foreign policy against North Korea as well as an economic-growth measure. Similarly, he attacked Obama for opposing the Columbia trade deal, which would strike a blow against Cuba and Venezuela while enhancing economic growth.
On several occasions the Connecticut senator emphasized the need for internationalism rather than isolationism, and for free trade rather than protectionism. He labeled Obama protectionist and isolationist, as well as completely naive on international affairs, while strongly endorsing John McCain on these points.
Lieberman, former Democrat and now Independent, caucuses with the Democrats on almost every social issue, but when it comes to National Security and Foreign Policy, he is strong and understands the threats that face the nation, indeed, the world, in this day and age.
Hence his endorsement and unflinching support for John McCain as President of the United States of America.