In the hopes of winning reelection, President Barack Obama will bomb Iran.
That’s my prediction for the second half of 2012.
I say this for three reasons:
- Economic sanctions and diplomacy are not slowing Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
- Netanyahu is determined to attack Iran after sanctions and diplomacy have run their (failed) course.
- President Obama will be pummeled by Republicans as weak and hapless if Israel attacks Iran independent of American knowledge or support, dooming his reelection bid.
President Obama, in other words, is boxed-in. Given how an attack on Iran will tank the global economy, it’s his only hope of reelection—to get out ahead of the inevitable and become “Barack Rambo, leader of the free world.” Screw his Nobel Peace Prize from 2009. This president is going to go down in history as the man before whom the following choice was presented:
- preemptively strike Iran; or
- surrender the presidency to a hawkish Republican.
A distressing existential moment is building for this otherwise cautious and peace-loving president. My bet is that, when push comes to shove, he’s going to hit Iran before (or in association with) Netanyahu and Israel. President Obama is not going to sit by and let history overrun him.
You watch. It’s going to happen.
This lead sentence in a Gaurdian story from yesterday gives the inescapable state-of-play:
Officials in key parts of the Obama administration are increasingly convinced that sanctions will not deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear programme, and believe that the US will be left with no option but to launch an attack on Iran or watch Israel do so.
No option. And here’s Dennis Kucinich being quoted in the same article:
Congressman Dennis Kucinich said this week he fears sanctions are less about changing Tehran’s policy than laying the ground for military action. He warned that “the latest drum beat of additional sanctions and war against Iran sounds too much like the lead-up to the Iraq war”.
It is a lead-up to a new war. And President Barack Obama will be the one orchestrating it.