On what "all options" really means, the president said:
I think the Israeli people understand it, I think the American people understand it, and I think the Iranians understand it. It means a political component that involves isolating Iran; it means an economic component that involves unprecedented and crippling sanctions; it means a diplomatic component in which we have been able to strengthen the coalition that presents Iran with various options through the P-5 plus 1 and ensures that the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] is robust in evaluating Iran's military program.As the Los Angeles Times recently noted, "U.S. intelligence agencies don't believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb," so it's not clear what "military program" the president believes there is to evaluate.
I think we in the United States instinctively sympathize with Israel, and I think political support for Israel is bipartisan and powerful.The first part of that sentences is arguable; the second, not.
[O]ur assessment, which is shared by the Israelis, is that Iran does not yet have a nuclear weapon and is not yet in a position to obtain a nuclear weapon without us having a pretty long lead time in which we will know that they are making that attempt.While the bit about a "long lead time" is appreciated, this is not true. The official assessment from the US intelligence community, with which the president is presumably familiar, is that Iran is not only "not yet" in possession of a nuclear weapon, but that in the words of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, they haven't even chose to build a nuke and are instead but "keeping themselves in a position to make that decision," which is government-speak for "we've got nothing."
[O]ur argument is going to be that it is important for us to see if we can solve this thing permanently, as opposed to temporarily. And the only way, historically, that a country has ultimately decided not to get nuclear weapons without constant military intervention has been when they themselves take [nuclear weapons] off the table.Got it. The president doesn't listen to his own intelligence officials. But he's not Bush! No, he's literally not George W. Bush. He's Barack Obama, silly.
And as Obama-not-Bush hastens to point out, if you're the leader of an officially racist state seeking to annex evermore of your neighbor's land, he's the best friend you've got:
When you look at what I've done with respect to security for Israel, from joint training and joint exercises that outstrip anything that's been done in the past, to helping finance and construct the Iron Dome program to make sure that Israeli families are less vulnerable to missile strikes, to ensuring that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge, to fighting back against delegitimization of Israel, whether at the [UN] Human Rights Council, or in front of the UN General Assembly, or during the Goldstone Report, or after the flare-up involving the flotilla -- the truth of the matter is that the relationship has functioned very well.There's no disputing that. Back to Iran:
Now, what we've seen, what we've heard directly from them over the last couple of weeks is that nuclear weapons are sinful and un-Islamic. And those are formal speeches from the supreme leader and their foreign minister.This is actually the only time I've seen a US politician acknowledge the official statements from Iranian leaders denouncing nuclear weapons as counter to their Islamic values. So, credit where it's due, I guess: good for him.
Unfortunately, Obama appears confused but moments later when he appears to suggest an Iranian nuclear weapon is what would set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East:
If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, I won't name the countries, but there are probably four or five countries in the Middle East who say, "We are going to start a program, and we will have nuclear weapons."Weird, because if Israel already has nuclear weapons -- hundreds of them, in fact -- and the US president and his Israeli counterpart are going around claiming that now Iran wants them too, it would follow that it was Israel's construction of a nuclear weapon that set off a Middle East arms race, not Iran, no? But then, Obama refuses to even acknowledge that Israel is the one country in the region that hasn't signed on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has in fact covertly developed nuclear weapons, so one wouldn't expect him to make that point in an interview with a former (and proud) Israeli prison guard.
Having failed to make that obvious point, the president returns to a favorite pastime: waving his dick at the American electorate and reminding them he issued the orders to kill that unarmed, apparently surrendering motherfucker, Osama:
I think it's fair to say that the last three years, I've shown myself pretty clearly willing, when I believe it is in the core national interest of the United States, to direct military actions, even when they entail enormous risks. And obviously, the bin Laden operation . . . .Those "enormous risks," the president did not hasten to add, are typically posed to poor foreigners, not America's patriotic, Mountain Dew-toasting drone operators in Nevada. But whatevs. Boom! Pow! This president kicks ass and he's pretty clearly willing to remind you of it.
Finally, an exchange between Obama and his prison guard over his unflinching support apartheid:
Why is it that despite me never failing to support Israel on every single problem that they've had over the last three years, that there are still questions about that?
GOLDBERG: That's a good way to phrase it.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: And my answer is: there is no good reason to doubt me on these issues.No, there isn't. But come November 2012, millions of liberals will do it anyway.