How Much Uranium Would You Like?
By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Although candidate Obama declared a nuclear Iran would be “a game-changer,” his interview with the BBC has given Tehran the time and plausible deniability necessary to achieve its genocidal intentions. Continuing the failed policies of Bush’s second term, he added another dynamic: his interview implied Iran’s defiance may be the fault of the United States.
Speaking on the eve of his trip to Cairo to deliver a “personal commitment to engagement,” Barack H. Obama unveiled his silver bullet for Iranian tensions: “I think the key here is to initiate a process that is meaningful, that is rigorous…[continuing] discussions in a way that is constructive.” Even the therapeutic psychobabble echoed the 1970s – more alarmingly, so did the president’s subservience and moral equivalence.
Much has been reported of the president specifically calling Iran’s quest for civilian nuclear power (wink, wink) “legitimate.” Obama said, “Without going into specifics” – when does he ever? – “what I do believe is that Iran has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations.” Unfortunately, those aspirations seem to revolve around decimating a Jewish state and imposing a medieval theocratic morality on the world to hasten the return of the Mahdi, who will slaughter any stray “infidel” who happens to survive the cataclysm. Balancing these legitimate aspirations, he named the international community’s “very real interest in preventing a nuclear arms race in the region” – a swipe at the region’s other nuclear power, Israel. He then cited the danger of loose nuclear material possibly reaching terrorists’ hands. No other Middle Eastern nation has declared a preemptive nuclear strike one of its foreign policy goals. Moreover, even in the jihad-rich soil of the fertile crescent, it is hard to make an argument that any government has stronger ties to terrorism than Iran. The State Department has consistently named the regime “the most active state sponsor of terrorism.” The mullahs are financiers of Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – who will be the indirect beneficiaries of any economic “incentives” we hand Tehran, though not the only ones. Iran gave the al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Islam $20,000 and the Hamas-led Palestinian government tens of millions. It announced a worldwide effort to recruit 50,000 suicide bombers to attack “Western infidels and Zionists,” and its elite armed forces spent years instigating or financing Iraqi terrorists to kill Americans.
Perplexing as it is, the president is right that Iran has, or had, “legitimate energy concerns.” Although it sits atop an ocean of fossil fuels, major metropolitan areas experience regular blackouts, because the mullahs have chosen to export oil rather than place the reserves at its citizens’ disposal. Yet even these outages may be a thing of the past. Last month, Iran Daily reported the nation had added 3,500 megawatts to the national power grid to avoid blackouts this summer; however, the money to pay for this (totaling trillions of rials) had not then been budgeted. Domestic pressure could force Tehran to assign a greater percentage of its prime export to home use, and this, with falling gasoline prices, may decrease Iran’s GDP. A prudent president would allow this to play out, especially as Ahmadinejiad faces a re-election campaign. Forcing Iran to curtail exports and harm its economy while a maniacal president gets the blame, all at the same time? What’s the down-side?
Barack Obama opposes this, because he believes it will hinder the nation of Iran – as curerrently constituted in a Muslim theocracy – from becoming the world powerhouse its destiny demands. He told the BBC: “My personal view is that the Islamic State of Iran has the potential to be a extraordinary powerful and prosperous country. They are more likely to achieve that in the absence of nuclear weapons…If what is preventing them from seeing that reality is 30 years of loggerheads between Iran and the United States, this may be an opportunity for us to open the door and see if they walk through.”
Obama indicates that the problem is the United States: we have held Iran at “loggerheads” for three decades, since roughly the time Ahmadinejiad personally stormed the U.S. Embassy and brutalized its diplomatically protected employees. He ignores President Carter’s role in ushering the revolution into power by undermining the Shah and his decision to hold open communication with the Ayatollah when the mullahs took power. He overlooks President Clinton’s decision to place criminal investigations into terrorist attacks on hold to appease “moderate” Iranians and his subtle easing of sanctions, all met with a single-minded focus on carrying out jihad in the most lethal way available. Instead, Obama hints both the United States and Iran share the blame, a theme he quickly widened to the entire Dar al-Harb vs. the Dar al-Islam.
Can't Infidels and Muslims Get Along?
“You know, there are misapprehensions about the West, on the part of the Muslim world. And, obviously, there are some big misapprehensions about the Muslim world when it comes to those of us in the West.” What misapprehensions does he believe his backward countrymen harbor about the Muslim world? Perhaps that the world’s Muslims despise the United States, support terrorism, train their children for and sometimes involuntarily enroll them in violent jihad, and rejoiced in the streets upon hearing of 9/11 (and on its subsequent yearly anniversaries)?
Moving forward, he reaffirmed that he will allow Iran to perpetrate a “game-changer” by running out the clock. “Although I don't want to put artificial time tables on that process,” – apparently, artificial time tables are only placed on releasing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, ending the war in Iraq, and screwing GM stockholders – “we do want to make sure that, by the end of this year, we’ve actually seen a serious process move forward. And I think that we can measure whether or not the Iranians are serious.”
Experts agree, one year is more tham ample time for the situation to become frightfullly serious. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, hardly a conservative think tank, has assessed, “
During 2009, Iran will probably reach the point at which it has produced the amount of low-enriched uranium needed to make a nuclear bomb.” The chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff agrees with the one year timeframe. President Obama’s one-year moratorium on sanity provides Iran the time to develop the weapon, and his affirmation of their “civilian” nuclear ambitions gives them the international political cover to proceed.
Let’s Do the Time Warp Again
If the concept of giving Iran time to see if they are “serious” sounds familiar, it should. In approach, it recalls Jimmy Carter’s pathetic attempts to negotiate the hostages’ ransom with Ahmadinejiad’s predecessors. (He settled on $8 billion, of which Iran netted a cool $3 billion.) More proximately, this is another continuation of George W. Bush’s policies, in this case a disastrous one. Despite his “Axis of Evil” rhetoric, by at least 2006 President Bush chose to appease Iran’s saber-rattling. His advisors put together a series of economic incentives – including donating one or more light-water nuclear reactors for “civilian” power generation – in exchange for Iran suspending its nuclear program. Almost exactly three years ago, Condoleeza Rice told a televised press conference, “It's time to know whether Iran is serious about negotiation or not.” The intervening three years have proven everything a rational individual needs to know about Iran’s intentions. Yet Obama continues kicking the nuclear can down doomsday lane, offering – you guessed it – economic incentives and a nuclear reactor.
“Civilian” Nuclear Power; Another Road to WMDs
A clear-headed president would reject any distinction between a rogue state developing civilian or aggressive nuclear power, as the former has been used as an entrée to the latter. The 1997 Rumsfeld Commission documented how Iran could “construct a small number of weapons in the next ten years” continuing civilian nuclear power programs, under IAEA supervision, simply by violating its strictures.
North Korea blazed this path. Continuing “civilian” power generation, King Jong-il amassed 8,000 spent fuel rods
containing 8-12 kilograms of plutonium, enough for an estimated six warheads
. At a time of Pyongyang’s choosing, it expelled IAEA inspectors and began reprocessing them. Even while playing diplomatic games with the Bush administration, the DPRK weaponized the processed rods in approximately one year
Perhaps with this precedent in mind, one foreign policy elite recently stated: “Any comprehensive threat assessment must also take a close look at the international demand for nuclear power, which can create proliferation problems…For nations willing to break the rules, the legal pursuit of nuclear energy can be a backdoor to developing illegal weapons capabilities.” This warning came, not from conservative Republican Donald Rumsfeld, but from leftist Democrat Ellen Tauscher, President Obama’s nominee for Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, whose military and disarmament ideology is abysmally naïve. Yet she has proven more insightful than the man who will be handing down her orders.
If history is any indication, those orders will be increasingly cordial. Last July in Israel, Obama vowed to “offer a series of big sticks and big carrots to the Iranian regime to stand-down on nuclear weapons.” But he dubbed a nuclear-armed Iran “our single most important threat to Israel but also to the United States of America.” In December, Iran rejected Obama “economic incentives,” and Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Hasan Qashqavi
replied America must recognize Persia’s “nuclear right.”
In April, Obama quietly dropped
the precondition that Iran suspend uranium enrichment before resuming talks. Now, he is dutifully legitimizing the mullahs' nuclear ambitions and inviting
them to Independence Day celebrations.
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s diplomatic history has been an endless string of tergiversations, each predicated upon stalling negotiations long enough to render them gratuitous. Our president’s plans will allow Iran to achieve this coveted goal at last, under the guise of a “legitimate” function demanded by 30 years of U.S. intransigence toward the Ayatollah and his successors.
One can always hope Obama has “legitimate aspirations” of attaining common sense. Until then, don’t hate the player, hate the game-changer.
1. Gertz, Bill. Betrayal. (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing Inc., 1999), p. 72.
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