• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama Has Another Jimmy Carter Moment at the U.N.

    President Obama’s U.N. speech offered little confidence for those living in the direct firing line of an Iran, which may soon be armed with a nuclear weapon.

    For the people of Israel—and millions living in the Gulf states that lie in the shadow of Tehran—Obama’s address to the U.N. must have looked positively Carter-eqsue in tone and spirit. This was a milquetoast statement on Iran by the U.S. President, who projected a dangerous leading-from-behind mentality at a time when the free world needs bold U.S. leadership.

    The Iranian nuclear crisis took up just two paragraphs toward the end of Obama’s speech—clearly not a priority issue for the President. In essence, Obama delivered the same message he’s delivered now for four years: that “America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited.”

    It’s also the same message that the European Union has been consistently delivering for more than a decade of futile negotiations with Iran. Efforts to appease the mullahs have been an unmitigated failure that has served only to embolden one of the most brutal and barbaric regimes of modern times.

    Significantly, President Obama did not outline tougher measures to halt Iran’s nuclear program. It was a speech that could easily have been given by the leader of France, Germany, or any European country rather than the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. There was no mention of further U.N. sanctions, any strengthening of America’s military might in the region, or support for Iranian dissidents fighting for their freedom. No impression was given that the use of force may be an option on the table.

    In addition, Obama did not mention Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by name, and he failed to directly reference the Iranian leader’s recent statements calling for the “elimination” of Israel. Israel itself, America’s leading ally in the Middle East, was barely a footnote in the President’s speech.

    Yet again, Obama drew moral equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a theme he has frequently expounded upon since taking office. He did not condemn Palestinian terrorism, simply declaring that “among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on the prospect of peace.”

    The President’s speech today followed the White House’s astonishing refusal to meet with the Israeli prime minister this week, another reckless snub to a close friend and U.S. ally. As Iran marches toward becoming a nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, the U.S. should stand with the people of Israel, who are literally fighting for their survival in the face of an Islamist tyranny that openly talks of annihilating its near neighbor.

    The Iranian regime’s nuclear and genocidal ambitions are a threat to the free world. However, President Obama’s weak-kneed approach serves only to encourage America’s enemies while undermining confidence in U.S. leadership on the world stage.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Obama Has Another Jimmy Carter Moment at the U.N.

    1. Leftref says:

      Funny, he doesn't look like Jimmy Carter or Neville Chamberlain.

    2. Jim Nemeth says:

      All rhetoric aside not attending national security meetings, not meeting with world leaders, opting for a campaign stop rather then "a get your hands dirty" response to a terrorist attack and no honest from the heart policy speech to the people about the middle east in flames speaks volumes to me.

    3. rtcdmc says:

      Nile, just be glad he didn't apologize … again.

    4. Saleh Tanveer says:

      The last adventure, or should I say misadventure by the neocons to shape the world in America's image does not seem to have given them any pause about the inherent limitations of American raw power, unless you are willing to sacrifice thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

      If non-Bush-Cheney policies mean leading from behind, so be it for the sensible majority of people who have come to realize the futility of saber rattling and constantly beating the drums of war.

      • MJF in CT says:

        So you are willing to allow terrorists to have nuclear capability?

      • Saleh, perhaps you have not yet noted that the war drum beat and the violence all comes right out of the actions and minds of the insane leaders in the Middle East. Israel is the only country in the region with a value system even close to ours and we intend to preserve that system. If it is challenged by the unstable leaders of Islam, then I , sadly have to believe that we are not beating the war drum, we are responding to it. Sief halek.

    5. ted409 says:

      the only saving grace here is the widespread notion that the israelis are nuclear already .
      nobody with a sane mind can launch a nuclear weapon without destroying mankind from the fallout.
      and of course there are no sane minds that we know about in iran.

    6. Andrew says:

      I love when foreigners try to interfere in a US election. Especially foreigners like Nile Gardiner who have never served in the military in their lives. Yes, foreign cheerleaders for a US war that the Brits are too afraid to fight themselves. The mind reels.

    7. Gregson says:

      Obama's Foreign Policy is a redux of Neville Chamberlain!

      Obama missed the biggest opportunity to thwart Iran's hegemony by sitting on his hands during the Iranian Spring in 2009!

      Obama watched as the Iranians took to the streets – he has watched as Bashar al Assad oppresses and kills thousands of his own people in Syria – he watched , he waited and came to the truth grudgingly in Libya – and he is paying the price of that inaction today!

      Perhaps he should have attended each and every one of his Daily Intelligence Briefings instead of appearing at only HALF of them – and the total collapse of the Obama Doctrine in the Middle East is the result!

      From China to Iran – Syria to Russia – From Egypt to Mexico and Brazil to Pakistan – Obama has allowed America to look weak with every encounter.

      He constantly shows disrespect to America's closest friends. He dismisses India – Shows overt disdain to Britain and Israel – Obama pulls back on promised Defensive capabilities to the Czechs and Poles – he “slow-walks” Free Trade Agreements with South Korea and Columbia and pushes the Canadians to offer their Energy Resources to the Chinese.

      Obama's weak Foreign Policy positions emboldens America's enemies while he undermines the trust of America's most valued Allies.

      Obama's failed Leadership on our Debt/Deficit, on Economic matters, on Jobs and now Foreign Policy certainly lends credibility to Eastwood's "Empty Chair" metaphor!

      Can America really afford another 4-years of this!!

    8. TheBritishPolitician says:

      Good lord, whatever people want to believe the situation in the middle-eastern region is clearly breaking down fast and then you have this moron in the white house not even showing Americas teeth in his speech and then blowing off all the world leaders just to go party with his fund raisers and campaign for the election. If he gets elected for another term this November, it is more than likely america will more than likely end up having to go to war with Iran down to the fact that as soon as they get a nuclear weapon they will more than likely hit Jerusalem forcing america's hand and so Europe and even my own country (England)will probably follow suit.

      I've heard plenty about how he's in "constant" contact with world leaders about the Tehran situation and other things like Syria, but quite frankly the fact that the president of the most powerful nation on earth (china in a close second) wont even "openly" meet with world leaders or even do anything more than put out a terrible half arsed speech to the UN and then not bother to even talk to world leaders is quite frankly disturbing I personally do not like where this is going.

      It's also disturbing how he seems to be using the "Anti-Islam video" which is obvious to any competent Muslim which I think is a majority of the Muslim population (not the rioters) that it was not directly made by america but a misguided individual who hates Islam for his own reasons, he's using this video to cover-up his own failures in the middle east.

      I am quite frankly embarrassed as well that the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe is spouting the same type of idiocy, I'm not in favour of war preferably it should be avoided at all costs, but when a regime such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime is constantly spouting how he will wipe the west and Israel off the face of the earth and is close to obtaining nuclear weapons, something SHOULD be done in some capacity these sanctions are clearly not working.

      I feel like this is a flash back to 1979, ladies and gentlemen of america you didn't elect barrack Obama in 2009 you elected Jimmy Carter (Forgive me if that was an overreaction but the stupidity on the part of your president is ridiculously similar to carter.)

      • Finrod says:

        Obama is too busy appearing on The View and David Letterman to meet with world leaders.

        As a former president, he wouldn't have to meet with any world leaders and could spend all his time on fluff shows.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×