Posts Tagged 'Iran'

Many People Believe They Are Only Sacrificing Israel

Faced with the unmasking of the neo-isolationist Obama and his Chamberlain-esque foreign policy (appeasement of enemies, abandonment of friends, and underfunding of defense), I cannot help but think back to the last time world peace was threatened by such fuzzy-brained pacifism: the 1930’s.

Then, too, building strong defenses was anathema, because it was the easiest place to cut costs, and also to avoid worrying our enemies. Then, too, the concern was that our edgy ally (then France) would get us into big trouble with its extreme demands.  And, then, too, we worried that the seemingly aggressive (to judge them by their deeds and their words) upstart nation with the seemingly irrational leader were really only trying to correct past injustices and imbalances; appeasing their demands while uttering soothing reassurances was the best way to settle them down.

So the current Obama foreign policy farce has already had a full dress rehearsal and tryout on the road; it was…less than a hit.

Much has been made of the possibility of a nuclear Iran contemplating an intentional genocidal attack on Israel’s 6 million Jews (now conveniently gathered together in an area smaller than New Jersey).  The apocalyptic nutcases who hold power in Iran have in fact talked about doing just that, many times over the past dozen years.  Fortunately, the wise “realists” of the foreign policy establishment have always known it was just talk.  “You know how kids are.”

The other worry (as if Holocaust II were not enough to get your attention) is that a nuclear Iran will be the undisputed power center of the Middle East.  Here we ought to heed the warning given by Winston Churchill after the 1938 Munich sellout of Czechoslovakia.

“It must now be accepted that all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms they can with the triumphant Nazi power

“In fact, if not in form, it seems to me that all those countries of Middle Europe… will, one after another, be drawn into this vast system of power politics – not only power military politics but power economic politics – radiating from Berlin, and I believe this can be achieved quite smoothly and swiftly and will not necessarily entail the firing of a single shot.

Many people, no doubt, honestly believe that they are only giving away the interests of Czechoslovakia, whereas I fear we shall find that we have deeply compromised, and perhaps fatally endangered, the safety and even the independence of Great Britain and France.”

How chillingly familiar it rings.  Already we see Egypt making its obeisance to the new regional power.  “It must now be accepted that all the countries of [the region] will make the best terms they can with the triumphant…power.”   It may not “entail the firing of a single shot” – just a few successful nuclear weapon tests.

In the 1930′s, inflated and premature fears of German military power paralyzed French and British (and American) action when it might have succeeded, and put off the showdown until Hitler was actually ready.   Excuses for inaction are always plentiful.

Of course, “Many people, no doubt, honestly believe that they are only giving away the interests” of our ally – isolated, democratic, freedom-loving Israel.  But here, as in 1938, they may find themselves mistaken.

The uncomfortable deja vu of all this brings to mind Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Bullwinkle: “Hey, Rocky; watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!”

Rocky: “That trick never works.”

Bullwinkle: “This time for sure.”

Bullwinkle (after trick fails): “I gotta get a new hat.”

What Would the Second Obama Do?

by David Smith

With all due respect to my friend Moleman, I say: Forget the 12th Imam.  Consider the Second Obama.

In one of those “I didn’t know the mic was hot” moments, President Obama was overheard reassuring the Russians that “After the election I will have more flexibility.”  He was asking them to be patient in their demands that we back off from building our long-promised missile defens shield.

You should read the ABC News story here.  You really should.

Obama has often been accused of “kicking the can down the road” by putting off controversial decisions until after he is re-elected.

The Keystone pipeline?  Sorry, I need more time to think about it.  Check with me in late November.

Action against Iran’s nuclear weapons program?  Sorry, I’m still not sure they really want to make warheads.  I’ll keep my eye on it.  Maybe by December the picture will be clearer.

Building a missile defense shield so no other country (or insane militant America-hating theocracy) can attack us?   Let’s talk about that next year.

This pattern raises a question.  How does this flexibility work?  What would he like to do but feels it unwise to do prior to the election?

The answer: Anything to lose votes.

Yes, but whose votes?

Hard-core Democrats will vote for him even if he allows oil drilling in the NPR building.

Hard-shell Republicans will vote against him even if he pilots the first bomber over the Iranian warhead factories.

So who decides elections?  Moderates and Independents, that’s who. Continue reading ‘What Would the Second Obama Do?’

Iran’s Underground Weapons Program Moves Underground

Lost in the (certainly justifiable, if premature) celebration of the imminent fall of the monster Gaddafi, the world seems to be underreacting to this disturbing AP news story from the Middle East:

Iran moves centrifuges to underground site

“Islamic Republic transfers some of its uranium enrichment machines to subterranean facility
offering better protection from possible airstrikes:  Associated Press”

Iran has moved some of its centrifuge machines to an underground enrichment site that offers better protection from possible airstrikes, the country’s vice president said Monday.”

“Engineers are “hard at work” preparing the facility in Fordo, which is carved into a mountain to protect it against possible attacks, to house the centrifuges, Fereidoun Abbasi was quoted as saying by state TV.”

What makes this puzzling is that authoratative-sounding media pundits and prestigious national security experts have been assuring us for years that Iran’s nuclear program could not be stopped by airstrikes, since it was buried in deep subterranean facilities.  This was all patiently explained to neocon hotheads who called for air action similar to the successful attacks that ended both Iraqi and Syrian nuclear programs in past decades.  As the “wise men” made clear, the only alternative to diplomacy and sanctions was a horrendous nightmare of “boots on the ground”; and nobody wants that now, do they?

So now it turns out that the uranium centrifuges, the biggest and most vulnerable part of the program, were sitting around in the open air?   Oops.

This whole debate had settled down somewhat in recent years, as both the Administration and the news media (but I repeat myself?) took their eye off the Iranian ball.  If you want a refresher course in this denialism, take a look back at my dialogue with Frankie Sturm,  then Communications Director of the Truman Democrats (a misnamed organization trying to resurrect national security credibility for the Democratic Party).  The title was “A Perfect Storm of Appeasement”, and it was written in February of 2009 – two and a half years ago.

Here is Mr. Sturm, expressing the left’s conventional wisdom at the time (and since):

There’s a lot out there on the futility of air strikes. Here is one article from the Atlantic and another link to a study by the Oxford Research Group. It was easy to take out Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1983 because the entire program was contained in that single, above ground installation. The suspected nuclear site in Syria that Israel took out recently is a similar story – it was just one above ground building. Iran learned from the Israeli airstrike against Iraq in 1983. That’s why they’re so thoroughly buried underground.

Oops. Continue reading ‘Iran’s Underground Weapons Program Moves Underground’

The Latest Palestinian Peace News

Palestinians Endorse “Country-Of-Origin Labeling”

Here are two news reports from the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

First, Hamas clarifies its position on future Israeli borders.

Osama Hamdan, Head of the Hamas Foreign Liaisons: Armed Confrontation Will Continue to Be “the Backbone of the Resistance”, the Israelis Must Return to Their Countries of Origin interview aired on Al-Jadid/New TV on May 4, 2011: (that is 2 weeks before recent the Netanyahu/Obama exchanges):

“There is no doubt, however, that the armed confrontation will continue to be the main effort and the backbone of the resistance, until the liberation of Palestine.”

“I think that politically, the two-state solution is over. The people who suggested this notion are the ones who say so. Therefore, trying to talk about a two-state solution again is like talking about something that is over and done with.” 

“I think that we are entering the phase of the liberation of Palestine. When we talk about the liberation of Palestine, we are talking about the notion of Return: the return of the refugees to their homeland, and the return of the Israelis to the countries from which they came.”

So there you have it: the Palestinian view of future Israeli border is not pre 1967, but rather pre-1948.  Actually, it is even worse.  Though Jews have lived in the area for thousands of years, they are now to…get out.

At least the Palestinians support “Country-Of-Origin Labeling”

And here is news of the welfare state, Palestinian Authority style: Continue reading ‘The Latest Palestinian Peace News’

Agnostic about Genocide?

My friend Ben Finiti talks of having become a political agnostic, uncomfortable taking sides on many of the most contentious issues of our time. I feel the same – up to a point. I agree that many questions (stimulus, bailouts, immigration, health care, etc.) offer at least two sides with plausible concerns, relevant facts, and about the same level of good- and bad-faith arguments.  To invest in one position, I must do one of two things. I must decide that I know what this is all about and am sufficiently informed, disinterested, and dispassionate to be able to say which position should prevail. Or I must use my affiliations as guides to my positions (“My friends/family/party are for it, so that must be the right position.”) Like Ben, I find it increasingly difficult to do either on most issues.

But not on all issues. In the Middle East and around the world today, a struggle of titanic proportions is taking shape. The battles are still small by 20th-century standards. In Afghanistan and Iraq, US troops fight in the field.  Around the globe, security forces try to thwart murderous terrorists before they can strike at civilian targets.  Under multiculturalist banners, unassimilable immigrants demand recognition of Sharia law, accommodation of “honor killings”, and punishment for anti-Islamic speech. Continue reading ‘Agnostic about Genocide?’

OK, This Is Just Funny

OK, this is just plain funny.  “Obama To Enter Diplomatic Talks With Raging Wildfire“, on YouTube from Onion News Network.

Sad that it is so funny.  But still funny.  I don’t care who you are.


A French Lesson

File this under “Never Thought I’d See the Day…”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has publicly rebuked Obama’s airy internationalism in the face of the Iranian threat.  The US media seems to have missed the story.  It happened on September 25, and Breitbart has it.

Sarkozy Mocks Obama At UN Security Council

Sarkozy: “We live in the real world, not the virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions.” 

“President Obama dreams of a world without weapons … but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite… Continue reading ‘A French Lesson’

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