NY Times Op-Ed: Iranian Nuke Problem is Bush's Fault

Liberal Israeli columnist and author, Ari Shavit, wrote an op-ed for the NY Times called, "How Bush Let Iran Go Nuclear" where he says President Obama's years of appeasement has nothing to do with Iran being on the precipice of nuclear weapons. The entire blame, according to Shavit, rests with former President George W. Bush.

If Mr. Bush had decided to display American leadership and exercise American power by launching a diplomatic campaign against Iran rather than a military one against Iraq 10 years ago, the United States’ international standing would be far greater today.

The Bush administration’s decision to go after Iraq rather than Iran was a fatal one, and the long-term consequences are only now becoming clear, namely a devastating American failure in the battle to prevent a nuclear Iran, reflected in Washington’s willingness to sign a deeply flawed agreement.

Mr. Bush’s responsibility for the disaster now unfolding is twofold: He failed to target Iran a decade ago, and created a climate that made it very difficult to target Iran today. The Bush administration didn’t initiate a political-economic siege on Iran when it was weak, and Mr. Bush weakened America by exhausting its economic power and military might in a futile war. By the time American resolve was needed to fend off a genuine global threat, the necessary determination was no longer there. It had been wasted on the wrong cause.

It's strange that Shavit would blame a President who has been out of office for five years for where Iran stands today. He ignores the fact that the regime accelerated its march toward nuclear weapons during that time. He also ignores the fact that Iranian resolve has strengthened thanks to this Administration's mollification strategy, which has included quiet acquiescence when the Iranian regime stole an election and brutally repressed a popular revolt, continuing to shrug off each Iranian failure to respond to his offers of negotiation with announcements that there was still “time and space” for them to respond, and fighting against stronger sanctions from Congress (only to claim credit for them when they are passed).  

Logic and fairness would dictate that if blame was to be placed on a U.S. leader, Obama should share some of the responsibility.