Obama Has A Decision To Make [Election 2012]

With the presidential elections just around the corner, much of the discussion between the candidates has centered around domestic issues such as unemployment, healthcare, boosting the economy, women’s rights, taxes and so forth.  However, there is a very real threat of military action by Israel to slow Iran’s nuclear ambitions which could occur prior to the election. If this were to happen, international affairs may play a bigger role in this election than we think.
Before I explain, you need to know some background information:
This past Friday, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, called Israel’s existence an “insult to humanity.” Ahmadinejad has previously made similar statements including threatening to “wipe Israel off the map.”
While frightening statements such as these are nothing new from the president of Iran, these words can no longer be considered sheer rhetoric. With Iran’s nuclear program strengthening day-by-day, Ahmadinejad’s desire to “wipe Israel off the map” should be taken seriously. Yesterday, Iran unveiled several upgrades to its weapons arsenal including a more accurate short-range missile.
Since May 14, 1948 when Israel was officially declared a nation, the small Jewish state has remained one of the U.S.’s strongest allies and the only beacon of democracy in the Middle East. I support Israel, because it is currently the one unique example of a country in the Middle East that allows freedom of speech and religion, as well as women’s rights. Israel has already had a female prime minister.
Unfortunately, Israel’s existence has been plagued with conflict in the Middle East. The day after Israel became a nation, five of its neighboring countries declared war and attacked. In its 64 years of nationhood, Israel has been involved in several wars with its neighboring Arab countries. Through all of the conflict, however, the U.S. has remained a strong ally to Israel and continues its alliance to this day.
Barack Obama explained the American-Israeli relationship perfectly when he said the bond between Israel and the United States is rooted in more than our shared national interest; it’s rooted in the shared values and shared stories of our people.” With the strength of this relationship in mind, Ahmadinejad’s threats to destroy our ally become all the more serious.
In recent months, the U.S. has attempted to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities by implementing harsh economic sanctions against the country. What does this mean? It means that the U.S. is preventing our allies from trading or doing any business with Iran, a policy that has already created massive inflation and economic upheaval in the country. The hope is that the sanctions will do enough damage to the Iranian economy that its leadership will feel enough pain to halt their nuclear program in exchange for a more normalized trade relations.
Despite this economic upheaval, the Iranian president has brushed aside the interests of his own economy in favor or pursuing his own nuclear ambitions and single mindedness to destroy Israel.  As a result, Israel has begun to more seriously consider the possibility of attacking Iran before Ahmadinejad decides to follow through on his desire to destroy Israel. The world already has an historic example of a raging anti-Semitic leader in Germany who stated his goals and followed through with them. Many people including the US leadership in the 1930’s were dismissive of his statements and felt it wasn’t of concern to America. The Israeli leadership will undoubtedly make their own decisions on defending its country but certainly these decisions will affect the world.  On Monday, an Israeli newspaper reported that Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is “determined to attack Iran” before the U.S. elections.
I believe that  Netanyahu, the Israeli PM, would prefer the U.S. military’s support in any action against Iran.  I believe that from Israel’s perspective, striking Iran before the U.S. elections may be a smart move because Obama will be less likely to condemn the Israeli’s actions to protect his chances in the election.  Post election this may be different.
So, what does this mean for our country’s future?
It means that Obama is going to have a huge decision to make, one that could potentially help or drastically hurt his chances in the November election.
Historically, sitting presidents have had a significant advantage during war-time elections. In this way, if Israel decides to attack Iran within the next two months and Obama supports the Israelis, history tells us that Obama will have a higher chance of beating Romney.
On the other hand, if Obama condemns Israel for its actions, it could put Obama at a significant disadvantage. The majority of Americans (70% according to this Gallup poll) strongly support Israel. Therefore, if Obama chooses not to stand by Israel militarily, his decision could potentially hurt him in November because Americans will be less supportive of his decision.
War changes everything, and we may be about to find out exactly to what extent this statement is true. Will the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran threaten or help Obama in November?
Disagree with anything I have to say? Tell me your opinion in the comments!
[lead image via Filip Fuxa/Shutterstock.com]

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