When some folks think about President Barack Obama, two specific adjectives flash across millions of American minds: foreign-born and duplicitous. He also reads teleprompters very well.
Although he has boasted that he would bring a gun to a knife fight, courageous is not one of the adjectives most folks choose. Obama is trying to change that. When speaking of the Israel/Iran feud, he said: Both the Iranians and the Israelis recognize that when we say it's unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons, we mean it.
Can you feel the force?
This fearsome statement (imagine Ahmadinejad's knees knocking together when he reads those words) was issued just a little while after Obama proposed an 80 percent cut in our nukes. My guess is that Ahmadinejad doesn't believe him.
Do you believe our government's unemployment figures? Or that the economy is getting better? You do? Just lie back and have another toke.
Of course, playing with figures didn't begin with Obama. The number of Americans being killed in Vietnam got so bad that our government (can you say God Bless America?) started manipulating the numbers.
Combat deaths were only counted for those actually killed in combat. If an unfortunate soldier stepped on a mine and died in a med-evac helicopter halfway to Japan, his was not a combat death. Heck, he wasn't even in Vietnam.
Surprisingly, after our Washington statisticians implemented the new policy, the number of Nam combat deaths declined dramatically. But I digress, back to Obama.
I know the way the president plans to stop the Iranian leaders dead in their tracks. It's ingenious and very liberal; so it has to work. I humbly admit that I have an unidentified White House source. He didn't give me permission, but I'm going to leak the plan, anyway.
Tell those military folks to have a seat and watch real power. We need to get hundreds of people to line the banks of the Euphrates River, and send paper cupcake liners holding lit candles downstream while everyone chants, Kumbaya! That will do the trick.
It was really stupid to fight World War II, because the French should have done that at the Rhine. In Korea, too, MacArthur should have used that same tactic at the Yalu. All we need is love, baby. John Lennon would be proud.
Maybe we'll just threaten and issue tough sanctions against the regime. I have no idea what a tough sanction is, and neither does anyone in the Obama administration, but, by golly, they'll be tough. I know; we can blockade all of the bacon shipments. That will bring them to their knees.
Can anyone -- this is a legitimate question -- site one instance in the history of the world when sanctions, or threatening a tyrant, resulted in behavior transformation? Please don't mention North Korea. The new Kim on the block apparently actually likes his starving fellow countrymen and doesn't want to see them eat their newborns.
So I repeat, When have sanctions worked? Never is a good answer. But Obama wasn't in charge back then; now he is. Superman has arrived, and Iran better get in step.
Walt Osterman is the author of Not Home Yet: A Tale Concerning Israel's Rebirth. He served in Vietnam and is a Bronze Star recipient. He lives in Wyoming.