A Wall Street Journal article published on Saturday has examined U.S. President Barack Obama's handling of the Iranian nuclear threat, as well as his position on Israel. The newspaper, which is among the most widely read news publications in the U.S., criticized Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey's comments from last Thursday.
Dempsey was quoted as saying that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would "clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran's nuclear programs." The newspaper called these comments "counterproductive and oddly timed," as they came out just as the International Atomic Energy Agency published a report saying Iran's nuclear development program had not been hindered by sanctions and that it had even accelerated.
"The agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile," the IAEA report stated.
"Since coming to office, Obama administration policy toward Israel has alternated between animus and incompetence," The Wall Street Journal said. "No wonder the Israelis are upset. It's one thing to hear from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he wants to wipe you off the map: At least it has the ring of honesty. It's quite another to hear from President Obama that he has your back, even as his administration tries to sell to the public a make-believe world in which Iran's nuclear intentions are potentially peaceful, sanctions are working and diplomacy hasn't failed after three and half years."
The article said it was the Obama administration's "head-in-the-sand performance" on Iran that had convinced Israel that it is better to strike sooner rather than later. "Not only is there waning confidence that Mr. Obama is prepared to take military action on his own, but there's also a fear that a re-elected President Obama will take a much harsher line on an Israeli attack than he would before the first Tuesday in November."
Toward the end of the article, The Journal offered Obama a piece of advice: "If Gen. Dempsey or administration officials really wanted to avert an Israeli strike, they would seek to reassure Jerusalem that the U.S. is under no illusions about the mullahs' nuclear goals — or about their proximity to achieving them. They're doing the opposite."