Ken Buck: Obama's dangerous dance with Iran
President Obama just made a dangerous world a lot more dangerous. His strategic bumbling in the most explosive part of the planet has set off a chain reaction.
The president turned his back on America's friends like Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and longtime partner Saudi Arabia. Desperate for help in crushing the Islamic State terrorists and diverting attention from his failures, President Obama has thrown in his lot with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
America has no worse enemy.
For three decades, the State Department classified Iran as a state sponsor of international terrorism. The Iranian regime supported and directed the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, slaughtering 241 American servicemen in a single stroke.
Tehran aided terrorists worldwide ever since. Reports indicate it helped al-Qaeda in the 1990s. After 9/11, the regime helped al- Qaeda even more. When the U.S. sent forces to destroy al-Qaeda's Taliban safe havens in Afghanistan, Iran aided the Taliban. When the U.S. led the way to oust Saddam Hussein and smash jihadists in Iraq between 2003 and 2011, Iran backed terrorists and Shiite militias to maim and kill our young men and women.
Iran's notorious Revolutionary Guard designed and built countless improvised explosive devices, giving them to terrorists to butcher our people more horrifically in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
President Obama never called Iran to account for its unprovoked attacks on Americans. Instead, his policies have rewarded the ayatollahs.
Iran is a longtime supporter of the Syrian regime — itself a state sponsor of terrorism — run by fanatics willing to murder thousands of its own citizens with chemical weapons.
Bit by bit, Iran is surrounding the great oil fields of the Arabian peninsula. It has co-opted the government of Iraq that we had put in power. Last month, it helped Houthi extremists overthrow the pro-American president of Yemen, a government that President Obama once called his counterterrorism success story. It is trying to overthrow the government of Bahrain.
And then, of course, there is America's staunchest friend in the region: Israel. The Iranian regime continues to build the capability to execute its inflammatory rhetoric to exterminate Israel and hold the world hostage to new forms of nuclear terror.
The ayatollahs and their followers believe their rhetoric. Israel, they insist, must be wiped out. America, they repeat daily, is "the Great Satan." As true believers, they demand that the Great Satan must be destroyed as well.
Last December, President Obama pretended not to notice the Iranian regime celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 1979 hostage crisis by staging "Death to America" rallies. Grasping for options against the atrocities of the Islamic State, Obama has gone soft on Iran. For years, the U.S., Israel and others had been working covertly to disrupt and destroy Iran's nuclear weapons program. Not anymore.
The president apparently believes that, for all their tough talk, the ayatollahs are reasonable men who can be trusted to strike a deal that benefits everybody. After all, no other country has more "boots on the ground" against the Sunni fanatics of the Islamic State than the Shiite fanatics of Iran.
The Obama administration seems willing to accept an Iranian nuclear weapons system that is complete but not operational. Such a stance would assure Tehran that its big investment in nuclear missiles will ultimately become a reality. And President Obama could claim political success for preventing the ayatollahs' nukes from actually being deployed.
At least on his watch.
Republican Ken Buck represents Colorado's 4th Congressional District.