The Guardian reports: Barack Obama has accused Republican presidential candidates of casually “beating the drums of war” over Iran without having the political courage to directly advocate a military attack or considering the human cost of battle.
In his first press conference of the year on Tuesday, Obama turned on the Republican politicians who for days have been accusing him of weakness and naiveté over Iran, ramped up by the visit of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and a meeting of the US’s most powerful pro-Israel lobby group.
The president said his policy of sanctions has united much of the international community to pressure Iran and that “we have a window of opportunity where this can still be resolved diplomatically”.
“That’s my track record. Now, what’s said on the campaign trail – those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities. 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 in war,” he said.
“I’m reminded that the decision that I have to make in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impacts that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy. This is not a game. There’s nothing casual about it.”