With the issue of Iran's nuclear development heating up, plenty of pundits are offering up strategies and diplomatic plans of attack. A couple right-leaners (and a left-leaner), though, have some specific pointers for the president. President Obama's personal approach matters, they argue, and it could use some improvement. Here's what the American president has to do:
- Get Tough "Why would anyone," asks the National Review's Rich Lowry, "who is not an American insurance executive or a highly compensated banker be scared of Barack Obama?" The Iranians must be made to fear the consequences of their actions, argues Lowry, who finds the intelligence community's suggestion "that the Qom facility may be only a strange curiosity" laughable: "Apparently, the Iranian regime is an obscurantist theocracy with an unquenchable taste for conducting massive experiments in advanced physics. In secret. In heavily defended facilities."
- Get Serious "For a crisis such as this," writes the Washington Post's Richard Cohen, "the immense prestige of the American presidency ought to be held in reserve." That means no talk shows, no empty threats, and no over-dramatized crises. "Let the secretary of state issue grave warnings." Obama, Cohen concludes, "has gotten into a demeaning dialogue with ... an accomplished liar." But playtime is over for both leaders. "Obama's the president. Time he understood that."
- Get European When a Weekly Standard writer tells an American president to be more like a French president, it's time to sit up and take note: conservatives aren't known for fawning over scarf-toting, anti-Iraq war gastronomes. Stephen Hayes, though, thinks "Obama should have been taking notes" during Nicolas Sarkozy's Security Council address, and possibly during Gordon Brown's as well. "Three times in his brief statement," Hayes writes, "Obama used bizarre couplets to soften his already gentle critique of the Iranian regime." Sarkozy and Brown were more forceful. The Wall Street Journal agrees, chiding Obama for not confronting Iran earlier, as Sarkozy had wanted:
We thought we'd never see the day when the President of France shows more resolve than America's Commander in Chief for confronting one of the gravest challenges to global security. But here we are.