|Thursday’s UK Guardian contains a story that should give Americans a bad case of the yips.
No sooner has the Libyan adventure ended than reports surface about a possible US military attack against Iran.
The purpose is obvious. America has been nervous for quite awhile about the possibility that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.
They are, according to us, a rogue sponsor of terror who can’t be trusted with the world’s most destructive weapon.
Of course, the Iranians don’t see it that way, but that’s neither here nor there. The central question the Guardian piece raises is whether the US, Britain, and other fellow travelers are ready to put Iran’s nuclear program out of business. Trust me, it won’t be by gentle persuasion. Are we now ready for yet another war? Sure President Obama is pulling the troops out of Iraq, and Libya is done. But a single military strike, by drone, F-16, whatever, will indicate to the world that America and its NATO allies are using the so-called Libyan model to target an enemy.
Am I the only person who has a really bad feeling about this? The British are reportedly ramping up their own military preparedness in the event the US decides to move forward. To be fair, the Guardian says President Obama doesn’t want to take action until after the 2012 election. His hand may reportedly forced by an IAEA report that says the Iranians are ramping up their program, leading some to think they’re developing weapons.
In a perfect world, nobody would have nukes. Despite protestations to the contrary, the US, the only country to use nuclear weapons, now seeks to determine who gets to have them and who doesn’t. The real solution to the Iranian nuclear program is disarmament, but we all know that won’t happen anytime soon. In its absence, diplomacy, as messy and non productive as it sometimes seems, is the real answer. Anything but the prospect of endless war.
There was an article in a paper the other day that said while so many Americans were focusing their ire at Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi, their real concern ought to be Iran.
Looks like that article got it right. The Iranians now admit they have a second uranium enrichment facility. This one looks to be fully capable of producing bomb making material. So much for Ahmadinejad’s statement the other day at the UN that Iran has fully cooperated with weapons inspectors. He certainly made no mention of this second facility in his remarks to the General Assembly.
So now what to do? Even those who might think the Iranians have a right to develop nuclear power for the nation’s energy needs are at a loss. This appears to be out and out deception.
Presidents Obama and Sarkozy, as well as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were quick to respond to Iran’s admission. President Obama said the new facility “is inconsistent with a peaceful program.” He demanded Iran present detailed information to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) as to the scope and intention of the new plant.
However, CNN is quoting sources who say Western powers have known about the existence of this so-called secret plant for several months. It was that knowledge that led Iran to send a letter to the IAEA admitting the new plant existed.
So the question must be asked again. What to do now? President Obama and France’s Sarkozy talk about new and “serious” sanctions. Can they work, and to what end? Demanding the Iranians close the new plant is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.
And while the West may see Iran’s nuclear ambition as war-like, what about the rest of the world. The Chinese have a longstanding problem with ratcheting up sanctions against Iran. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it has the power to veto any such action, rendering the tough talk of Obama, Sarkozy, and Brown effectively moot.
So it seems the road to getting Iran to scale back its nuclear program runs right through Beijing. Which leads to the question, what will the West have to concede to get the Chinese to pressure Iran despite their strong economic ties? It’s obvious any progress here will come in increments, and perhaps despite the tough words we heard Friday morning. Unlike the previous administration, no one is talking about a military option.
So what would you do? How would you respond to Iran’s new nuclear plant? Do you think they want to make a bomb? You tell me.
By the look and feel of US media coverage, the bosses of Libya and Iran ought to be the world’s most wanted. “Libyan Loon”, “Evil Ahmadinejad”, the tabloid headlines scream. As if calling these people names will somehow hasten their departure from the world stage. It’s ironic that Qaddafi (there are still at least a dozen ways to spell his name) will be following President Barack Obama to the podium at the UN General Assembly Wednesday. It’s been his embrace of the released Lockerbie bomber and his quest to pitch his tent somewhere in the New York area that’s refocused attention on him.
There are local officials in the New York hamlet of Bedford that are as we speak descending on an estate reportedly owned by Donald Trump. They’ll be inspecting the tent Qadaffi has pitched there, with an eye toward making him take it down because he didn’t get a permit. Nothing to do with politics, you understand. They’re just upholding the law.
As for Ahmadinejad, his constant denials of the Holocaust are reason enough for most people to find his presence here distasteful at best. And believe me, that is good reason. To top it off, he’s got significant problems at home, where there are still significant numbers of people who think he stole the last election. He’ll be center stage Wednesday afternoon, and several nations have promised to walk out of his speech if he starts ranting.
That leaves a larger question. Why are these guys even here addressing the world body? Their statements and actions d