President Obama claims the GOP candidates are “casual” about war. Some might counter that President Obama is too casual about an Iranian nuclear bomb:
President Obama fired back at his Republican challengers who have accused him of being soft on Iran, saying at a White House press conference that the standoff over the Iranian nuclear program is “not a game.”
Suggesting that the criticism being lobbed at him is not anchored in substance, Obama accused his rivals — without mentioning their names — of being “casual” about starting a war.
“If some of these folks think it’s time to launch a war, they should say so,” he said. “Everything else is just talk.”
According to Obama, there is still “a window of opportunity where this can still be resolved diplomatically” with Iran – and when Republicans attack him for being too weak, that’s only because they don’t understand the gravity of war.
“I’m reminded that the decision that I have to make, in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impact that has on their lives, the impact that has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy – this is not a game,” he continued.
Obama’s comments disingenuously imply that Republicans are criticizing him for not bombing Iran, when in fact Republicans are criticizing him because it’s hard to believe he’d ever bomb Iran, even if the world depended on it. As Jonathan outlined earlier today, the Iranians have little reason to take Obama’s threats of force seriously.
And why should they? Obama hasn’t even been resolute when it comes to sanctions. He’s spent the last few days talking about how tough his latest round is, but the congressional deadline for the administration to begin the sanctions went by last week with no action. The Obama administration still hasn’t put them into effect, and there’s been no clear indication of when the Treasury Department will get around to it.
That alone is reason enough for the candidates to criticize Obama for being too weak. And the next time Obama blasts them for having a “casual” view on war, he should realize it’s not the Republicans who are moving us closer to a military confrontation–it’s Iran.