Donald Lambro

The prospective Republican presidential nominee said in a speech that Obama wants to "sit down and negotiate with a government exporting the most lethal devices used against (our) soldiers." He wants to "sit down and negotiate with a government that is very clear about developing nuclear weapons ... They are sponsors of terrorist organizations. That's a huge difference, in my opinion."

Here's what Adm. Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, said about Iran's leaders in a recent interview with the Council on Foreign Relations: "The Iranians today, we have clear evidence, are providing the very weapons that are causing U.S. servicemen and women to die. That's clear, that's not refuted, that's not hawkish, that's not shaded. That is the fact."

What message would a President Obama be sending to the Hamas terrorists who now control Gaza and are lobbing missiles into Israeli territory, seeking its complete destruction? What moral authority in the war on terrorism would Obama have left if he were seen sitting down with a lunatic like Ahmadinejad in the naive belief that he could persuade him to abandon his terrorist designs on his neighbors?

If this does not raise profound doubts about Obama's judgment on national-security issues, listen to the specious, mixed-up arguments that he and other Democrats are coming up with to defend his blame-America-first policies.

Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, for one, maintained that President Bush has negotiated with rogue leaders like North Korea and Libya, so what's the big deal?

But Bush never rewarded these leaders with prestigious presidential summits. He dealt with them through envoys -- in the case of North Korea, with representatives from Russia, Japan, China, South Korea and the United States.

This week, Obama deployed a twisted logic worthy of the fulminations of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He said Bush's policies in Iraq were responsible for Iran becoming a powerful, threatening nation in the Middle East. Come again? Its fanatic leadership had little or nothing to do with its destabilizing actions in the region?

In March 2000, long before the war in Iraq, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in a speech before the American Iranian Council: "Through the years, this grim view (of Iran) is reinforced by the Iranian government's repression at home and its support for terrorism abroad; (and) by its assistance to groups violently opposed to the Middle East peace process ..."

Weakness on defense and national-security issues has long been one of the Democrats' strategic failures in presidential elections, but rarely has its front-runner had numbers this weak.

When only one-third of America's voters say they trust Barack Obama to handle the war on terrorism to keep us safe, and only 18 percent think he has the experience to be president, the Democrats are in deep trouble.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.