As I was reading Mitt Romney’s saber-rattling, tough talking, op-ed on Iran in the Washington Post yesterday, what jumped out at me was where Romney called President Obama “America’s most feckless president since Carter,” Feckless. Unsure of the meaning I did what any self-respecting 21st century American would do–I Googled it. Here’s what I found:
1. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective.
2. Careless and irresponsible.
Careless and irresponsible. Maybe it’s just me, but I would consider the epitome of carelessness and irresponsibility in an American president to be rushing headlong into another war. Another war based on dubious claims from the usual suspects that if we don’t act immediately we face the imminent threat of seeing mushroom clouds over American cities. Haven’t we been here before?
President Obama properly addressed Romney, and the other Republican presidential candidates who have pretty much echoed Romney’s hawkishness, at his press conference yesterday:
“What’s said on the campaign trail, you know, those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities,” Obama said. “They’re not commander in chief. And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war. I’m reminded of the decision that I have to make, in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy…“This is not a game,” Obama continued. “And there’s nothing casual about it.”
Careless and irresponsible. I don’t think so, Mitt.
One more thing about Romney’s op-ed. He closes with this:
“We can’t afford to wait much longer, and we certainly can’t afford to wait through four more years of an Obama administration. By then it will be far too late.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said much the same thing in his speech at AIPAC:
“Israel has patiently waited for the international community to resolve this issue. We’ve waited for diplomacy to work, we’ve waited for sanctions to work. None of us can afford to wait much longer,” he said.”
One thing to keep in mind when listening to the ‘we can’t wait’ crowd in Israel and in America. This ain’t the first time these boys have cried wolf:
1984: West German intelligence sources [say] that Iran’s production of a bomb “is entering its final stages.” US Senator Alan Cranston claims Iran is seven years away from making a weapon.
1992: Israeli parliamentarian Benjamin Netanyahu tells his colleagues that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon – and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the US.”
1992: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres tells French TV that Iran was set to have nuclear warheads by 1999.
[I]n early 1992 a task force of the House Republican Research Committee claimed that there was a “98 percent certainty that Iran already had all (or virtually all) of the components required for two or three operational nuclear weapons.”
1995: The New York Times conveys the fears of senior US and Israeli officials that “Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than previously thought” – about five years away – and that Iran’s nuclear bomb is “at the top of the list” of dangers in the coming decade.
1998:..Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reports to Congress that Iran could build an intercontinental ballistic missile – one that could hit the US – within five years.