President Obama blasted his GOP rivals on Tuesday for the reckless, expedient way they throw around the idea of going to war with Iran over its nuclear program. Rick Santorum has suggested that he might bomb Iran, and Mitt Romney predicted this week that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon if the "feckless" Obama is re-elected. "Those folks don't have a lot of responsibilities," Obama said of his Republican challengers. "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... This is not a game. And there's nothing casual about it." Is Obama right to criticize Republicans for clamoring toward war?
Yes. Republicans are politicizing war: Tough-talking GOP presidential candidates are "clearly pandering to the pro-Israeli lobby, as well as to neo-conservatives," says Joe Peyronnin at The Huffington Post. Obama has beaten them in "the 'national security' perception battle" with a string of successes, including the killing of Osama bin Laden. Now they're trying to look strong, but their "senseless bluster" only makes Obama look more presidential with his "confidence, competence, thoughtfulness, and resolve."
"Casual talk of war"
No. It's Obama who's acting too casually: The president is naive, says William Kristol at The Weekly Standard, sticking his head in the sand while Tehran moves perilously close to acquiring the bomb. "President Obama wants to wait to act until Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons" — but by then it will be too late. We need a president who is unafraid to "have Israel's back" in the obviously escalating conflict with Iran.
"When Israel acts, will the U.S. have Israel's back?"
Actually, Obama and Republicans aren't far apart on Iran: "To listen to the rhetoric coming from the Republican candidates for president," says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway, you'd think Obama had "completely mishandled" Iran. But he has done pretty much everything the Republicans are proposing. Naval exercises in the Persian Gulf? Check. Tougher sanctions? Check. "When it comes to Iran, Republicans and Democrats have far more in common than they do disagreements."
"Republicans vs. Obama on Iran: Fewer differences than you'd think"