Americans are increasingly inclined to believe diplomacy and economic sanctions won’t work to stop Iran from building or acquiring nuclear weapons. A stunning new poll finds that a full 52% of Americans now believe the U.S. is approaching the point of needing to use military force to stop Iran. Only 37% oppose a military option.
By sharp contrast, in September of 2006, only 39% of Americans supported a military option, while 47% opposed using force.
Going inside the numbers, the Investors Business Daily/TIPP poll found that:
- 65% of Republicans favor using military force against Iran, while 23% oppose
- 48% of Democrats favor the use of force, while 43% oppose
- 44% of Independents favor a military option, while 45% oppose
It’s not that Americans want another war in the Middle East. But 30 years into the Radical Islamic revolution in Iran — and thus 30 years of economic sanctions and back channel negotiations — Americans are losing confidence that Iran’s leaders can be stopped from their feverish attempts to build, buy or steal nuclear weapons that could be used against the U.S. and/or our allies.
That said, there is no evidence that the Obama administration is seriously considering the use of force. To the contrary, President Obama is preparing his team to launch direct diplomatic negotiations with the tyrannical, apocalyptic government in Tehran, even as moderate Muslim countries like Morocco have severed diplomatic ties with Iran. What’s more, as I reported earlier in the week, there is a growing chorus of foreign policy “experts” and journalists who don’t see the harm in Iran getting the Bomb.
At this point, it would appear that incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be the only elected leader on the planet even remotely considering taking military action to stop Iran from getting the Bomb. He has certainly not made such a decision, so far as we know. But it now appears that Americans would overwhelmingly support such a move by Netanyahu. The IBD/TIPP poll finds 57% of Americans would back Israeli strikes against Iran, while only 29% would oppose them.
Knowing that a war with Iran could very well be coming soon, Netanyahu is doing everything he can to put together the broadest governing coalition possible — a “unity” government with Kadima and possibly even Labor. It is not clear, however, that he will be successful. But secret talks were on-going over the weekend. Netanyahu is supposed to present his final coalition to the nation on Thursday. There is speculation, though, that he could request an extension of up to two weeks.
What is odd in the current environment is that President Obama seems to be hoping that Russia — of all countries — will pressure Iran into stopping its feverish persuit of nuclear weapons and the ballistic missile systems to deliver soon-coming atomic warheads. Press reports indicate Mr. Obama sent a letter to the Kremlin offering to give up American missile defense bases in central Europe if the Russians would help us with Iran. Not surprisingly, the Kremlin has dismissed such overtures.
The current leaders of Russia have no desire to rein in Tehran much less help advance U.S. national security. To the contrary, Russia continues to make threatening moves under the joint leadership of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev. They are building strategic alliances with Iran and Islamic nations in Central Asia. They are selling arms and nuclear technology to Iran. They are selling arms and advanced missile systems to other Islamic nations. What’s more, they are now also considering signing deals with Cuba and Venezuela to put Russian bombers — capable of carrying nuclear warheads — within striking distance of the United States.
Washington also seems to hope that China will help the U.S. at the U.N. on the Iran issue. But that’s not likely either. Beijing just signed a $3.2 billion natural gas deal with the Iranians.
U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials — and now even a top Russian analyst — believes Iran could have the Bomb within the next year or two. Yet Washington does not have a credible plan to stop Iran peaceably, and seems unwilling to even consider military action. Only time will tell how this will all play out.
This is all the more reason, I believe, for the followers of Jesus Christ around the world to pray for peace in the Middle East while preparing for the possibility that war will break out and we will need to respond with humanitarian relief and other practical expressions of Christ’s love and support for the Jewish people and her neighbors.
HEADLINES TO TRACK:
- International Herald Tribune: U.S. and Israel differ on urgency of Iranian threat
- Iran not far from nuclear weapon, says Russian expert
- Iran ‘one or two years’ from nuclear weapon, says Russian expert — poses “significant threat”
- Gorbachev likens Putin to the worst of the communist tyrants he dealt with as head of the Soviet Union, says Russia is not free
- Russia to sell advanced missile system to Kazakhstan
- Turkmen leader pledges to build ties with Russia: “The president of Turkmenistan told his government on Friday that the country must strengthen ties with Russia, which he called a strategic partner.”
- SCO regional security group considering Iran membership (decision will be made at SCO summit in Russia, June 15-16)
- Iran suggests Russia could join OPEC
- Iran looks to Russia for help in joining the Shanghai Cooperation Council (a strategic alliance between Russia, China and Central Asian Islamic nations)
- Iran counts on Russia for September launch of nuclear plant
- AP: Bin Laden lashes out at Israel, Arab leaders
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