BUT WILL HE MEAN IT? – Reuters is reporting what President Obama will say this morning in a speech before the UN General Assembly. The question is whether he means it. Clearly, this is aimed, not at the laughable "international community," but at the community of American voters.
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama will warn Iran on Tuesday that the United States will "do what we must" to prevent it acquiring a nuclear weapon, and appeal to world leaders for a united front against further attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Muslim countries.
Preparing to take the podium at the United Nations six weeks before the U.S. presidential election, Obama hopes to counter criticism of his foreign record by Republican rival Mitt Romney, who has accused him of mishandling the Arab Spring uprisings, damaging ties with Israel and not being tough enough on Iran.
Seeking to step up pressure on Iran, Obama will tell the U.N. General Assembly that there is still time for a diplomacy but that "time is not unlimited," according to advance excerpts of his speech, due to begin sometime around 1315 GMT.
His tough talk appears aimed at easing Israeli concerns about U.S. resolve to curb Tehran's nuclear drive, as he reasserts before the world body that he will never let Iran develop an atomic bomb and then simply contain the problem.
But he will stop short of meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand to set a clear "red line" that Iran must not cross if it is to avoid military action.
"A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained," he will say. "It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations and the stability of the global economy ...
"The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
Stern words, but is anyone taking Obama seriously these days? Reuters gets at the bottom line:
With campaign pressures building in a close race, Obama's final turn on the world stage before facing voters has left little doubt about his immediate priorities.
He skipped the customary one-on-one meetings with foreign counterparts but went ahead with the taping of a campaign-style appearance on the popular television talk-show "The View" - a trade-off that drew Republican criticism.
Obama planned to be in and out of New York in 24 hours and off to the election battleground state of Ohio on Wednesday.
COMMENT: Barack Obama is the perpetual candidate. Have Americans noticed that? He seems far more comfortable running for a job than actually doing it.
At the UN he'll aim for a bullseye, but he'll really be thinking Buckeye.
September 25, 2012