George Orwell once remarked that seeing "what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." It's a struggle President Obama is failing when it comes to Iran, the editors at the Wall Street Journal opine in today's paper. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week dismissed Israel as a historical blip, one of those "minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated." "Note that word—'eliminated,'" the Journal writes. "When Iranians talk about Israel, this intention of final solution keeps coming up."
This isn't an isolated incident. Ayatollah Khamenei recently called Israel a "cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut." The US always denounces these pronouncements, but that's "not the same thing as taking them seriously," the Journal complains. Civil societies sometimes fail to grasp that "not everyone behaves in a civilized or rational fashion. … The tragic lesson of history is that sometimes barbarians mean what they say."