Faith stems not only from the ability of the speaker to persuade, but also from the status of the listener. Last week Obama was overheard saying Michelle "scared" him into quitting smoking. Some saw him as a coward who is afraid of his wife, while some viewed him as a courageous man who treats women nicely. Others said Michelle was not a good enough reason to quit smoking, and some viewed the female influence as favorable.
If the efforts to quit smoking of the most powerful man in the world drew both positive and negative responses, how should we respond to his promise that Iran will never be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons?
The easy answer is "time will tell," but as a peace-seeking individual I choose to believe him. Obama knows it is very easy to start a war, but it is impossible to know if and when it will end. He knows it is easy to drag the entire world into a third world war, but since a nuclear war has never taken place, who knows if anyone would remain after it ends?
It is true that as of late Obama has not been able to prove that he not only threatens but also makes good on his threats. The statements he released regarding Syria and Assad still echo like blank shots, and his critics repeat them over and over to show that the president is capable of only one thing – talking. But the Damascus case is different than the Tehran case. With regards to Syria, Obama felt a need to intervene as a policeman without the responsibility or involvement, while Iran is a danger that hovers not only over Jerusalem, but over the US as well.
I would be concerned if Obama and Rohani would have kissed each other on the cheek, like brothers, and walked hand in hand into the sunset. Such a display would have awakened an existential fear in me. I would assume that Obama was overly optimistic and was being led naively by someone who promised him a reactor that grows flowers. But the American president is saying that he is entering negotiations with Iran "clear-eyed" and not taking any option off the table – and I wish him success.