Russert says that NBC News has learned the U.S. has assembled military plans to strike targets in Iran because that country is assisting its agents/insurgents in Iran. He asks Obama, would you support “limited attacks in Iran”?
Obama says he doesn’t want to speculate yet. He says that as commander in chief, he doesn’t take military options off the table, but that he wants to see the intelligence. After some pro-forma Bush-bashing, he points out that Iran has to change its behavior, but that he will offer “carrots.”
(Carrots? Extending this metaphor, the Europeans have offered an entire grocery store for the Iranians to drop their nuclear program, with no results so far.)
“If we cannot get the Iraqis to stand up in seven years, we are not going to get them to stand up in fourteen years or fifty-six years.”
I don’t like that answer, but I think it will resonate with many Americans.
Obama says Hillary’s use of the term, “obliterate them” in response to a question about the U.S. response to an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel, is the language of George Bush, of saber-rattling and tough talk. He says that as president, he would respond “forcefully and appropriately.”
He hits Bush for “cowboy diplomacy, or no diplomacy.” He notes that Iran went to the United Nations to object to Hillary’s comment and “was able to get some sympathy.”
Here’s some background on this, but there’s no word in this article on Iran getting sympathy for its complaint. I was surprised to see Ahmadinejad is playing a political pundit, and offering a prediction on the presidential race:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said during a trip to New Delhi on Tuesday, that he believed that neither Clinton nor Senator Barack Obama, the other Democratic presidential candidate, had a chance of winning the U.S. presidential election in November.
“Do you think a black candidate would be allowed to be president in the U.S.?” the semiofficial Mehr News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. “We don’t think Mr. Obama will be allowed to become the U.S. president.”
Referring to Clinton, he said: “Presidency of a woman in a country that boasts its gunmanship is unlikely.”