Opinion: How to Save the Obama Presidency? Bomb Iran


pipesBy Daniel Pipes

I do not customarily offer advice to a president whose election I opposed, whose goals I fear and whose policies I work against. But here is a way for Barack Obama to salvage his tottering administration by taking a step that protects the US and its allies.

If Obama’s personality, identity and celebrity captivated a majority of the American electorate in 2008, those qualities proved ruefully deficient in 2009. He failed to deliver on employment and health care, he failed in foreign policy forays small (e.g., landing the 2016 Olympics) and large (relations with China and Japan). His counterterrorism record barely passes the laugh test.

This poor performance has caused an unprecedented collapse in the polls and the loss of three major by-elections, culminating two weeks ago in an astonishing senatorial defeat in Massachusetts. Obama’s attempts to “reset” his presidency will likely fail if he focuses on economics, where he is just one of many players.

He needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him as a lightweight, bumbling ideologue, preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge and where he can trump expectations.

Such an opportunity does exist: Obama can order the US military to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity.

Circumstances are propitious. First, US intelligence agencies have reversed the preposterous 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that claimed with “high confidence” that Teheran had “halted its nuclear weapons program.” No one (other than the Iranian rulers and their agents) denies that the regime is rushing headlong to build a nuclear arsenal.

Second, if the apocalyptic-minded leaders in Teheran get the Bomb, they render the Middle East yet more volatile and dangerous. They might deploy these weapons in the region, leading to massive death and destruction. Or they could launch an electromagnetic pulse attack on the US, devastating the country. By eliminating the Iranian nuclear threat, Obama protects the homeland and sends a message to America’s friends and enemies.

THIRD, POLLING shows long-standing American backing for an attack on the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

• A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll in January 2006 found that 57% of Americans favored military intervention if Teheran pursues a program that could enable it to build nuclear arms.

• A Zogby International poll in October 2007 found that 52% of likely voters supported a US military strike to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon; 29% opposed such a step.

• McLaughlin & Associates in May 2009 asked whether people would support “using the [US] military to attack and destroy the facilities in Iran which are necessary to produce a nuclear weapon”; 58% of 600 likely voters supported the use of force and 30% opposed it.

• Fox News in September 2009 asked: “Do you support or oppose the United States taking military action to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons?” Sixty-one percent of 900 registered voters supported military action and 28% opposed it.

• Pew Research Center in October 2009 asked which is more important, “to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action” or “to avoid a military conflict with Iran, even if it means they may develop nuclear weapons”; of 1,500 respondents, 61% favored the first reply and 24% the second.

Not only does a strong majority – 57%, 52%, 58%, 61% and 61% – already favor using force, but after a strike Americans will presumably rally around the flag, pushing that number much higher.

Fourth, were the US strike limited to taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities, and not aspiring to regime change, it would require few “boots on the ground” and entail relatively few casualties, making an attack politically more palatable.

Just as 9/11 caused voters to forget George W. Bush’s meandering early months, a strike on the Iranian facilities would dispatch Obama’s feckless first year down the memory hole and transform the domestic political scene. It would sideline health care, prompt Republicans to work with Democrats, make netroots squeal, independents reconsider and conservatives swoon.

But the chance to do good and do well is fleeting. As the Iranians improve their defenses and approach weaponization, the window of opportunity is closing. The time to act is now or, on Obama’s watch, the world will soon become a much more dangerous place.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. The article is foolish. Obama can’t bomb Iran, the man is a failure, and a failure can’t do anything right. If Obama were to bomb Iran he would mess up the U.S. much worse than he has done in domestic policy. It is not simple to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities; I don’t believe the Israelis think they can do it. Imagine an attack that utterly fails, that happened to Jimmy Carter 30 years ago an afterward he was smoke. This is much more serious. If the Clinton administration had not castrated our intelligence and covert operations capability so dramatically, the U.S. may have been able to destabilize the Iranian government, which would have been a better choice than nuking it! But now, the best option is prayer.

  2. right. let’s bomb a whole country to satisfy some disgruntled conservative extremists who would still find fault with whatever Obama does. The death of innocents is just tangential. How repulsive can this rhetoric get?

  3. I think its fair to say that a poll should a not constitute such a serious complicated decision as bombing iran and b. How could you judge the feeling of the general population which amounts to about 300 million by polling a mere 1500 people. now with regards to iran well its leader is an arab and arabs by nature are always scared of their own shadow never mind the world powers and so the threat of ahmadenijad is merely that of a child really and so the nuclear threat is not our main concern really what should concern us as jews is his continuous support of hizbulah and hamas which b.t.w. he does with secrecy cuz again hes afraid of the world and so these are really our main imminent threats. Now I am not saying that he cant use his nuclear warfare if his driven to madness by his imagineary religious beliefs all is possible but its not as likely as an attack by hizbulah and hamas is and oh hes even capable of delivering to them nuclear devices for this purpose but then again how could you just destroy his hidden nuclear facilities when they are all spread out over the country it just is not simple for had it been simple bush or israel would have done it long ago

  4. The Iranians have built their plants in mountains—tough to bomb them. Then, once we’ve bombed, it’s war, and we’d have to be prepared to fight them all over a large country and overseas, too. And fight Hamas and Hezbollah. And potentially be bombed all over the world in soft civilian targets forever. No good options short of regime change.

  5. Without commenting on Daniel Pipes’ proposal, I am of the opinion that the best advice to give Mr. Obama is to resign. The next best alternative is to vote against every single left-wing ideologue currently in the Congress.
    Let us pray to our Father in Heaven for Divine assistance.