To avoid being labeled a flip-flopper anymore, Barack Obama has decided to just take both sides of the issue in a single statement. In response to Iran’s missle test this morning, here’s how Barack Obama said he would respond if he were President (video):
“There’s no doubt we’re seeing rising tensions in the area. And it’s part of the reason why it’s so important for us to have a coherent policy with respect to Iran,” Obama told CNN television.
Iran “must suffer threats of economic sanctions with direct diplomacy opening up channels of communication so we avoid provocation, but we give strong incentives for the Iranians to change their behavior,” he said.
So he wants threats of sanctions but he wants to avoid provocation. Exactly how does that work with a country who says:
The aim of the test was to “to demonstrate our resolve and might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with harsh language,” said the air force commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, General Hoseyn Salami.
Two other types of missile with shorter ranges were also tested, and state television reported a total of nine launches, showing footage of three missiles firing simultaneously.
“Our hands are always on the trigger and our missiles are ready for launch,” General Salami said. “The enemy must not repeat its mistakes. The enemy targets are under surveillance.”
As Ed correctly points out, “Sanctions are provocations; otherwise, they wouldn’t work at all.”
So Obama is basically saying we need to provoke Iran with actions while making sure we don’t provoke Iran with our actions.