Friday, December 07, 2007

Not that far

The LA Times headline is: "Doves find fault with Iran report too". And the key paragraphs are:

"The halting of the weaponization program in 2003 is less important from a proliferation standpoint than resumption of the enrichment program in 2006," said Samore, director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Samore said the report undermined Bush's warnings about Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons and left Tehran in a strong position, allowing it to develop its enrichment capacity without a substantial challenge from the United States and its allies. The secret weaponization program is "on ice," he said, but Iran preserves the option to resume that when it wishes.



The key variable in the Iranian nuclear weapons equation is the character of the regime in Teheran. While it remains expansionist and aggressive there can be no real security in the Middle East. Sanctions and diplomacy aimed at making modifying the regime's weaponization policy or making the production of fissile material harder can ultimately only slow down a regime bent on acquiring nuclear weapons. Diplomats have always asked for time.

Anthony Lake, who was a national security advisor to President Clinton, found no fault with the intelligence report. But he said a key message was the importance of taking action. "While we've got more time, we've got to use the time, because the enrichment activities are continuing," Lake said in an interview.

But time to do what? It's been suggested that no US administration since 1979 has made it a firm policy goal to topple the regime in Teheran. Although the Bush adminstration's rhetoric may at times have given that impression, it never actually implemented a serious program to topple the Ayatollahs. But at least it conveyed the idea that it was thinking about it.

What the new NIE has done -- and why I think even the liberals are so worried -- is that the intelligence assessment has made it very difficult to sustain even the bluff of working towards regime change; a threat they would have no truck with but at the same time probably found useful for so long as they could get a President George W. Bush to articulate it. Now that the doves have got what they ostensibly wanted, whether by design or misadventure, it has become apparent that it's not everything they wanted after all. It's ironic that an NIE which was supposed to have "proved" the usefulness of sanctions and diplomacy may wind up underlining its ultimate inadequacy without the threat of more dire action to give it teeth.

No President wants to face a Middle East in turmoil upon assuming office in 2008; and the last thing some liberals may really want is that anybody should actually be so foolish as to take their advice. St. Augustine once said, "give me chastity and continence, but not yet." There's no shortage of those who have advocated making bending over for the Ayatollahs. But now that the moment impends, we hear 'not yet, not yet'.

18 Comments:

Blogger Sammler said...

I would add a related point: our invasion and rapid conquest of Iraq in 2003 was the most frightening thing that Iran's leaders had seen. But our inability to shape the country to our desires, and our highly visible buyer's remorse, cannot but have emboldened them once more.

12/07/2007 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Garth Farkley said...

We are all missing the import of the NIE conclusion. It's like someone says he's almost certain you have stopped beating your wife.

12/07/2007 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Seasonal but OT:

A remarkable phone call from a 13-yr old boy to Houston radio station KSBJ FM 89.3 . So profound, the station has it posted on their website.



Click here to listen to it. It's short. (turn up the volume)

12/07/2007 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Charles,

Thanks for the link. Brought tears to my eyes...

Contrast the heart of this kid with those 13 y.o. Pali's we see on the news waving AK-47s in the air in Gaza...

Nobody will ever convince me that Jehovah and Allah are one and the same...

We would do well to remember that as we sit back and fiddle while Tehran prepares to burn... NYC.

12/07/2007 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Some Senate Republicans smell a rat concerning this NIE and have called for an investigation. Obviously this is an example of locking the barn door after the horse was stolen. The political damage has been done. The MSM, moonbats and enemies in the Middle East now have their narrative that will be repeated ad nauseum everytime the topic of Iran comes up (this is worse than not finding the WMDs in Iraq). By now, the people responsible for creating the NIE have either covered their tracks or pre-positioned themselves behind powerful friends in Congress.

Let's hope the next President can deal with this problem.

12/07/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Perhaps we should not forget what happens when we fail to stand up to nations with evil intentions.

Today is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

12/07/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Brendan said...

Assume that the NIE is correct:

Point 1: Iran stopped their weapon program after we invaded Iraq. Hmmm...

Point 2: They have resumed their civilian program of enrichment, which is required for the weapon program anyways.

Logical Conclusions:

Iran is willing to pursue a nuclear weapon.

They respond to force and strength.

They are currently resuming a critical aspect of the pursuit of WMD.

Analysis:

Credible threat of action, and action can successfully deter Iran and should be used, this doesn't mean we need full scale invasion and state rebuilding.

12/07/2007 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

our invasion and rapid conquest of Iraq in 2003 was the most frightening thing that Iran's leaders had seen.

A most critical point. Remember that Iran spent EIGHT YEARS and lost over ONE MILLION soldiers fighting to a bloody standstill against a country that we conquered in about a month with less than 200 combat fatalities.

This important fact cannot be over-emphasized. It represents the one lever that we have against Islamic regimes. Namely, their total military inadequacy. In almost every other repsect we are at a disadvantage.

When it comes to molding public opinion, our propaganda machine is a Model T compared to their Rolls Royce. Our own compunctions and hesitation to use overwhelming force is spineless compared to Islam's utter disregard for the sanctity of human life. A conspicuous lack of resoluteness and surity about our cause dashes itself against a near monolithic Muslim resolve to rule the world.

Combine all of this with the fact that carrot and stick politics DO NOT work against Islamic regimes and the bottom line is that our response must ALL STICK and no carrot. Yet, just the opposite is true as we continue to dither about in endless negotiations with a foe whose goals are non-negotiable.

brendan: Credible threat of action, and action can successfully deter Iran and should be used, this doesn't mean we need full scale invasion and state rebuilding.

Absolutely. If there is one single lesson that we must carry away from Iraq it is that the era of Nation Building is over for once and all time. At least with respect to Islamic tyrannies.

In the fight against global terrorism we must adopt a policy of going in, breaking the bad boys' toys and wiping our shoes on their corpses as we exit. If anything, we should loot their treasuries in order to finance these onerous expeditions.

No boots on the ground. No police action. No installation of democracy. Just a nice, neat smash and grab. If we leave anything behind it must be a harsh military dictatorship with the sole intent of exterminating Islamism right down to the last jihadi.

These Islamic regimes must be forced to rebuild on their own dime. Such privations will keep them out of the terrorism business for the meanwhile and give us enough breathing room to begin eradicating political Islam, branch and root.

The alternative is an endless parade of evermore brutal Islamic atrocities and, eventually, nuclear terrorist attacks. Either we set about this laborious effort now or resign ourselves to the avenue of last resort, which will be a Muslim holocaust of gruesome proportions.

12/07/2007 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Zenster said:

"our invasion and rapid conquest of Iraq in 2003 was the most frightening thing that Iran's leaders had seen. A most critical point. Remember that Iran spent EIGHT YEARS and lost over ONE MILLION soldiers fighting to a bloody standstill against a country that we conquered in about a month with less than 200 combat fatalities."

True and perceptive.

"When it comes to molding public opinion, our propaganda machine is a Model T compared to their Rolls Royce."

Not really accurate: Opposition to American policy in the Middle East comes mainly from our own institutions, e.g. the MSM, moonbats, academia, people entrenched within the political bureauacracy. Much of this opposition is a relic of the Cold War, e.g. accumulated Gramscian damage due to decades of Soviet agit-prop. 9/11 rubbed our noses in reality which then resulted in our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unfortunately America has a short attention span. I think we will need to have a major city whacked before we can become refocused. My hope is that major city will be somewhere other than in North America.

12/07/2007 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Panama Ed said...

Tel Aviv or Haifa are highest on the list.

Then the US will react.

Solving the problems at both ends.

12/07/2007 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Opposition to American policy in the Middle East comes mainly from our own institutions, e.g. the MSM, moonbats, academia, people entrenched within the political bureauacracy.

Perhaps so, eggplant, but I was referring to countries in the MME (Muslim Middle East) and their domestic propaganda machines as compared to our own government's.

One of the Bush administration's most signal failures has been in getting the word out about Islam's true intentions. I attribute this to a perverse combination of how Bush's own religious fundamentalism obscures his ability to understand that fellow Islamic fundamentalists in no way think like him or share the same goals coupled with Bush's plus our entire government and intelligence community's abject refusal to recognize the Saudis as our sworn enemies.

These factors have served to squelch any war of words that could have militated public opinion far more strongly in favor of crushing Islam. Instead, Bush and others continue to spew about The Religion of Peace™. [spit]

Given the world's most bully pulpit, Bush has remained curiously silent about the Islamic threat confronting America. It obliges me to conclude that his private relationship with the Saudis has clouded his judgement to the point where it represents a fundamental conflict of interest with America's national security.

12/07/2007 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Tel Aviv or Haifa are highest on the list.

At first blush one might think so. However, Israel's Samson Option represents a significant deterrent to such a strike. America's continuing inability to retaliate in true measure against the constant predations of Iran and other terrorist sponsors increases the likelihood thet we will be seen as unwilling to respond in kind to a nuclear terrorist attack.

The dog that does not bare its teeth is more likely to get attacked first.

12/07/2007 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Zenster said:

"One of the Bush administration's most signal failures has been in getting the word out about Islam's true intentions. I attribute this to a perverse combination of how Bush's own religious fundamentalism obscures his ability to understand that fellow Islamic fundamentalists.."

President Bush had an almost impossible task in dealing with islamic fascism. Not only was he faced with an incredibly savage enemy but he had the MSM, moonbats and career politicians constantly stabbing him in the back. At the same time, Bush tried and largely failed to create some sort of international concensus in dealing with the problem of islamic fascism. The President was like a circus performer walking on a tightrope while juggling balls and balancing a sword on his nose. Bush's perceived failures often times were merely cases of his sense of balance not being perfect.

Fortunately, our glass is half full. Al Qaeda has been significantly reduced as an international threat and Saddam's regime is a fading memory.

12/07/2007 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Let us also PLEASE REMEMBER that the reason we are having trouble in Iraq is precisely because we have not been willing to be the murdering, raping, avenging conquerors that the LEFT claim. If we were, we could have just executed a few tens of thousands "pour encourager l'autres."

When Iran fought Saddam, the Ayuttolah Houmeini organized brigades of 12-year-old martyrs, boys who were forced or in some cases volunteered to march barefoot, dressed in flimsy pajamas, through minefields to clear lanes by their deaths for the older men following bravely behind.

This is the mindset we are facing in Iran.

Anyone who forgets this...

is an idiot.

12/07/2007 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Mad Fiddler said:

"When Iran fought Saddam, the Ayuttolah Houmeini organized brigades of 12-year-old martyrs, boys who were forced or in some cases volunteered to march barefoot, dressed in flimsy pajamas, through minefields to clear lanes by their deaths for the older men following bravely behind."

I personally knew an Iranian boy who fled Iran to avoid clearing minefields. This is NOT some propaganda myth even though it sounds like on.

12/07/2007 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

eggplant, no doubt that Bush's task has been made incredibly difficult by the wide-spread opposition that he has faced but even many conservatives I know find fault with his inability to get on message about Islam.

Fear not, all in all, we are in violent agreement. And, no, the use of preadolescent boys as minesweepers is no myth. Please recall that they were given plastic keys on necklaces that were supposed to unlock the gates of paradise for them.

As I have mentioned elsewhere: When hands are prepared to twist the Twin Keys of Doom™, it will be the remembrance of how terrorists used a ONE YEAR-OLD BABY as an explosives bearer in the attempt on Benazir Bhutto's life and those two children strapped into their carseats in that Iraqi car bomb that will remove any sense of hesitation for those who ultimately decide.

Islam devours its young. There can be few more damning traits for a creed to have than that of gleefully hurling its babies into the furnace.

12/07/2007 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

The mullahs have no teeth, no clothes either.

12/08/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger InternetFred said...

So have the Iranians started to generate electricity yet? Have they made plans to? Are they building nuclear power plants?

If not, what are they going to do with the uranium?

12/10/2007 12:20:00 PM  

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