Monday, March 19, 2012

Barry Rubin: Whether He Likes it or Not: Why Obama’s Policy Will Eventually Bring War with Iran

By Barry Rubin

“A statesman has not to make history. But if ever in the events around him he hears the sweep of the mantle of God he must jump up and catch at its hem.”

President Barack Obama hasn’t changed but the situation has, in part due to his actions. Obama will do everything possible to escape confrontation with Iran but events, reinforced by his own statements and of course by Iranian behavior, will one day, if he is still in office, force him in that direction. Obama is not a capable enough statesman to grab the hem of the mantle of God, but he has managed–to coin a phrase–to entangle himself helplessly into it.

As usual, Shakespeare said it best, in “Hamlet”:
“For ’tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard, and it shall go hard”
The word “petard” in Hamlet did not refer to clothing but to a landmine that blew up the sapper who laid it. In other words, a tool intended for one purpose turned against its creator despite his efforts and intentions

I’ve already written a satirical article to make this point and now this piece makes the same argument in a serious style.

The debate over whether Obama is Israel’s “best friend” or just faking for electoral purposes misses the point. The personality or even the intentions of the man who lives in the White House are not necessarily the main factor shaping international events. Often, what he says and does determines outcomes in ways he never intended.
Continue reading Whether He Likes it or Not: Why Obama’s Policy Will Eventually Bring War with Iran

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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