On March 4, Vice President Joe Biden told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that President Barack Obama is “not bluffing” about the alternative to “a diplomatic solution” to Iran’s ongoing nuclear weapons development program, according to the CBS News website.
The vice president made clear that while President Barack Obama would prefer a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program and its potential threat to Israel, the “window is closing” on the opportunity for the Islamic Republic to take advantage of peace talks.
The renewed saber-rattling from the Obama administration is gathering steam in recent weeks as President Barack Obama prepares to embark on his first presidential visit to Israel on March 20. Vice President Joe Biden made the most forceful and strident remarks to date regarding the potential for the United States to go to war with Iran in an effort to stop its burgeoning nuclear threat to the region in his AIPAC speech, by saying:
“President Barack Obama is not bluffing. We are not looking for war. We are looking to and ready to negotiate peacefully, but all options, including military force, are on the table.”
The vice president set the pretext for a United States war with Iran by declaring that hostilities will be a direct result of the Islamic Republic’s intransigence in response to President Obama’s “open hand” policy of direct negotiations that his administration has fecklessly pursued since he took office in 2009.
In Biden’s remarks, he continually suggests that U.S. military force will be an undesirable – and inevitable – outcome if Iran does not agree to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions, by telling the AIPAC audience:
“If, God forbid, the need to act occurs, it is critically important for the whole world to know we did everything in our power, we did everything that reasonably could have been expected to avoid any confrontation.”
The March to War Begins
Ironically, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel taking office is the first step in President Obama’s march to war with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
After enduring an onslaught of highly-publicized criticisms over his past remarks that were widely considered to be pacifist, anti-Israel, and sympathetic to various Islamic groups, Hagel now provides Obama with credible political cover to launch full-scale military operations against Iran. Hagel is commonly viewed as sympathetic to Iran and its Islamist theocracy, making him the ideal “trigger man” during a war with the nation.
As Secretary of Defense, Hagel will necessarily carry out President Obama’s policies regarding use of force in the Persian Gulf. Due to his weakened status from his abysmal performance during his senate confirmation hearings and contentious final vote that broke mostly along partisan lines, Hagel will not be in any position to influence the president in any meaningful way on his foreign policy agenda.
Similarly, any public dissension from Obama’s Iran policy would permanently destroy Hagel’s reputation since only Democrats were willing to stake their political capital to defend him during the confirmation process.
Obama’s Combat Veteran Cabinet
Significantly, President Obama has chosen a pair of Vietnam War combat veterans to serve in the two most important cabinet positions for implementing U.S. foreign policy. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel represent a rare combination of veterans of a foreign war serving in the two most vital positions in the U.S. government in the preparation and execution of a new war.
Secretary John Kerry and Secretary Hagel will provide President Obama with much-needed credibility on the pretext for war and U.S. military strategy by virtue of their Vietnam combat experience and being Purple Heart recipients. Obama will likely use their biographies for propaganda in a manner similar to the Democrats’ campaign to declare former disabled Vietnam veteran Senator Max Cleland of Georgia a victim of anti-veteran “chicken-hawk” Republican attacks after his loss in the 2002 midterm elections.
The presence of two Vietnam combat veterans with a history of pro-internationalist, anti-war, pacifism in high-profile cabinet positions during the lead-up to the U.S. war with Iran will allow President Obama to claim that all peaceful alternatives were exhausted and military force is only being used as the last resort.
Cementing the Obama Legacy
For President Obama, the U.S. war in Iran will present him with dual victories: the opportunity to define an enduring legacy for himself, and the ability to completely distract voters from his stewardship of the moribund American economy and potential disasters of ObamaCare implementation.
The American public will enthusiastically and instinctively rally to support President Obama’s use of military force against Iran in a manner similar to his rise in popularity after the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death. By acting with decisiveness and conviction in a manner that is regarded as an evolution from his ineffectual “open hand” policy towards Iran, Obama will also be able to finally dispel the lingering perceptions that he is a “ditherer” and risk-averse in making tough foreign policy decisions.
As a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and one of the most adored left-wing politicians in U.S. history, President Obama enjoys significant influence – even outright control – over his liberal-progressive ideological base of support. To think that the anti-war left in the U.S. would do anything more than mutter perfunctory disapproval is to ignore historical precedent.
On March 19, 2011, exactly 8 years to the day that former-President George W. Bush announced the war in Iraq, President Barack Obama declared the entry of U.S. military forces into the civil war in the Arab nation of Libya. Even without seeking any congressional or United Nations consultation at all, his left-wing allies barely registered a complaint.
Conversely, the right-wing of the American ideological spectrum – particularly pro-Israel neo-conservatives and defense hawks – will align itself squarely behind President Obama and the U.S. war effort in Iran.
As this Examiner previously covered last week, the Israeli television news reported that President Barack Obama is expected to deliver his plans for a U.S. war in Iran and “window of opportunity” to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit in late March.
It would be almost unthinkable that John McCain or Mitt Romney could lead a united country into a war effort against Iran. The resistance from the ideological left-wing in the U.S. would be passionate and overwhelming in protest, which would deal a significant blow to American chances of victory in Iran.
President Obama knew when he began running for the presidency in 2007 that Iran would eventually become the biggest challenge for the next Commander-in-Chief. While Obama undoubtedly would have preferred the triumph of his “open hand” policy towards the Islamic Republic, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei did not acquiesce to his wishes.
The final option for President Barack Obama is war with Iran. With Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry to provide him with political cover, President Obama can now transform his presidential legacy while – like former President Franklin D. Roosevelt in World War II - recasting Democrats as the party of pro-American defense hawks.
With so much to gain, it’s clear Joe Biden is right when he said President Obama is “not bluffing” on Iran.
Steven Holmes is the Los Angeles Political Buzz Examiner.