‘I cannot bear Netanyahu. He’s a liar,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy told President Obama last week. Obama seemed to agree, saying,“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you.”

Welcome to the High School of Catty Leaders, where the barbs at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu count as first-rate global gossip -- and so much more.

For one thing, the exchange, inadvertently heard by reporters at the G-20 summit, stayed secret for several days because the reporters agreed it should.

How’s that for brave and independent journalism? Quislings with press passes is more like it.

Yet the most remarkable thing about the comments is the timing. With the growing sense that Iran is close to a “breakout” moment with its nuclear-weapons program, and that Israel may be planning a military strike to stop it, Sarkozy and Obama showed themselves to be small-minded and petty instead of focused on the world’s most important security issue.

God forbid they should have been caught saying they understand why Israel can’t let Iran get the bomb. Or that they were determined to make a strike unnecessary by keeping their promises to block an Iranian nuke. Or even that they worried about a nuclear arms race, with Saudi Arabia already saying it would get an arsenal if Iran does.

But then Obama and Sarkozy would have to be different people. You know, leaders from the front.

Instead we get a glimpse behind the imperial curtain and, like spotting the Wizard in “The Wizard of Oz,” we see there is no there there. Just two cowardly adults behaving like trash-talking teenagers.

There is no sin in what Obama and Sarkozy said. The sin lies in what they have failed to do.

Their responsibility requires them to secure regional and world peace. Both have talked a good game, but have stood by while the mad mullahs slaughtered their own people and prepared to start a nuclear winter.

Even the United Nations, which perpetuated the fiction that there was a shred of doubt of Iran’s intentions, concluded in a report yesterday that Iran’s actions make sense only in the context of trying to build weapons of mass destruction.

That would be worry enough, but Iranian leaders have made it perfectly clear they intend actually to use the bomb. They have talked for years about wiping Israel off the map.

One called the tiny Jewish state a “one-bomb country,” and another said that, if Iran is attacked, the “Iranian military will fight with the Zionist soldiers in Tel Aviv streets” and will use “maximum might and power all throughout the European and U.S. soil.”
Given those comments and so many others, it is obvious the real danger is that Iran is telling the truth about igniting a world war. Its financing of terror groups Hezbollah and Hamas prove its bloody intent.

The reach extends to American soil, as the Justice Department said last month in charging Iranian agents with plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Then, Obama promised Iran would “pay a price” for the brazen plan, but nary a word has been heard since, and certainly there have been no consequences.

Iran continues to help kill our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, without punishment. Indeed, Obama is preparing to withdraw our troops in a fashion that many Mideast analysts believe will be tantamount to handing Iraq to Iran on a platter.

Perhaps Netanyahu is a liar. So what? Obama and Sarkozy are appeasers to evil. Who would you trust more with your life?

Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column on other topics, including Herman Cain, click here.