Olivia Orme, Blog Post #1

09/15/13

Headline: Obama says Iran shouldn’t misinterpret US response to Syria

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-says-iran-shouldnt-misinterpret-us-response-to-syria/2013/09/15/fd6f27cc-1e05-11e3-8459-657e0c72fec8_story.html

This article addresses the US stance on Syria and Iran, and how President Obama’s choice to have diplomatic negotiations with Syria doesn’t mean he will not use military force against Iran if they continue to produce chemical and nuclear weapons. Earlier in the week, President Obama went on George Stephanopoulos prior to coming to an agreement with Russia on how to deal with the Syrian crisis, and spoke about the US facing similar issues with Iran. He had already established the US would try to use diplomacy with the Syrians, after threatening to use targeted airstrikes. The President, however, said that Iran should not assume that the same diplomacy would be used between themselves and the US. Quoted from the article, President Obama stated, “I think what the Iranians understand is that the nuclear issue is a far larger issue for us than the chemical weapons issue, that the threat . . . against Israel that a nuclear Iran poses is much closer to our core interests,”(Paragraph 5) and he addresses how the use of nuclear weapons against our allies will not be tolerated, and suggest if the nuclear weapons are still produced within Iran, the US will respond with military force if left with no other option. President Obama also mentioned his response to the Syrian chemical weapons, and how some critical responses of his decisions have been negative due to the different stances he has taken on the subject, until the latest agreement of diplomatic conversation between the Russians and Syrians prior to any airstrike or military action. This also calls into question the relationship between the US and Russia, but the ultimate goal of ridding chemical weapons from Syria has pushed aside any diplomatic issues between President Obama and President Putin. At the end of the article, Obama focuses his attention back to the economy, and how that is the new focus he wants Congress to address, and places primary attention back on the US. I found this article to be very important because it addresses another country creating weapons of mass destruction, and how the threat Iran posses against Israel is still at large, and that President Obama is prepared to take military action if needed against Iran, which will place the US in the midst of another war.

The story opens up the subject of our relationship with Iran, and how the threat of nuclear and chemical weapons is one that the US is not quiet about. I believed the story brought up a very valid point, because while the chemical weapons in Syria are a large issue that posses a threat on civilian safety, the Iran nuclear weapons still remain a large concern to the US. As a nation that has very few allies in the Middle East, we cannot risk loosing Israel, and the relationship between Israel and Iran is very fragile when Israel is being targeted by these nuclear weapons. The main issue in the article is whether or not diplomacy will actually be enough to end the chemical weapon crisis, and if we can also negotiate with Iran, or if we will be forced to use force against them. I think focusing on diplomacy is the best option for the time being, in order to avoid another war and maintaining the goal of ending the use of these chemical and nuclear weapons. I also think we should stick to one approach, and not continue to sway on what the best option is. Having negotiations between Russia and Syria is our best option at the moment, and before committing to airstrikes, Obama should wait for the response to these negotiations, along with receiving the votes from Congress and the UN on the subject. The story touches on the subject of Thomas Hobbes philosophy we have discussed in class that, “For as long as every man hold the right of doing anything he likes, so long are all men in a state of war,” (Paragraph 4 from the Leviathan handout). So long as Iran and Syria believe they can do anything they want with these weapons of mass destruction, we are in a state of unrest and possible war with them, until an agreement can be reached between us. The article opens up a variety of questions on what the next step will be, but we must wait for negotiations to end before finally ridding Syria of their chemical weapons.

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