In the Harry Truman Tradition
This morning on ABC's Good Morning America Hillary Clinton was asked how she would respond if Iran launched a nuclear attack on Israel.
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran. That's what we will do. There is no safe haven."
"Whatever stage of development they might be in their nuclear weapons program in the next ten years during which they may foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them," Clinton said.
"That's a terrible thing to say, but those people who run Iran need to understand that, because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic."
Barack Obama responded, "I was absolutely clear about the fact that if Iran used nuclear weapons on Israel, or any of our allies, we would respond forcefully and swiftly."
"But, in some ways, this hypothetical presupposes a failure to begin with," said Obama. "We shouldn't allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, period."
"I have consistently said that I will do everything in my power to prevent them from having it and I have not ruled out military force as an option," he said.
Obama suggested that Clinton's use of terms such as "obliterate" in reference to Iran are ineffective "saber rattling."
"Talk using words like obliterate doesn't actually produce good results," said Obama. "I think the Iranians can be confident that I will respond forcefully, and it will be completely unacceptable if they attacked Israel, or any other of our allies in the region, with conventional weapons or nuclear weapons."
There was, of course, no mention by either candidate that Israel has the nuclear capability to destroy much of Iran. But it's not kosher to mention that fact. And both Democratic candidates Clinton and Obama are keen to project U.S. military power abroad, just as surely as the Republican John McCain.