Saturday, February 16, 2013
Nuclear holocaust denial
One campaign slogan that U.S. President Barack Obama has upheld to the letter was the promise to restore hope. Indeed, America’s enemies have never been as blessed with this coveted commodity as they are now. Their rooting for Obama’s re-election, then, was completely understandable. But his behavior since then — including his choices of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary and John Brennen as CIA director — has exceeded their expectations, if not fulfilled their wildest dreams. Even if these appointments are not ultimately confirmed, the radical-Muslim world perceives them as an indication of presidential intent.
If the mullahs in Tehran had been harboring any nagging anxiety about potential hindrances to their stepped-up nuclear program, Washington made sure to alleviate it this week. The proverbial Valium that the U.S. administration provided took two forms. The first was a dose of “look the other way” in relation to North Korea’s bold nuclear test on Tuesday. The second was a spoonful of sissy rhetoric sprinkled into Obama’s State of the Union Address, mere hours after the bomb was detonated at the Punggye-ri test site.
Iran is not only an ally of North Korea — whose weapons-guiding technologies are being perfected for the creation of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States — but it has proven to be in nuclear cahoots with the similarly murderous regime. In fact, the Syrian nuclear reactor that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attacked in 2007 was being developed with North Korean and Iranian manpower and expertise.
It is safe to assume, then, that Tuesday’s explosion was not merely a test of North Korean warheads; it was also a test case for Iran — to see how the event would be responded to by the “international community.”
Well, the warheads did just fine. The international community, however, responded with “harsh criticism.” Oh dear. That really had North Korea and Iran shaking in their boots and burkas — as did Obama’s “tough” stance in his speech.
“The leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution,” he asserted, essentially giving the ayatollahs a green light to continue centrifuge activity with no consequences.
To make sure they understood that he wasn’t being a bully, Obama clarified that his policy extended to everybody equally, and that America would have to set a good example. "… We will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands,” he said, “because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead."
The following day, on Wednesday, Iran announced that it was installing new equipment for refining uranium. It was also on Wednesday that international inspectors were not given access to a site believed to be used for nuclear testing. Meanwhile, the United Nations nuclear supervisory body and the International Atomic Energy Agency are still discussing the wording of a document that will supposedly be drawn up at the conclusion of talks with Iran — talks that have been going on for months with no results whatsoever. The only outcome is that the U.N. and the IAEA are beginning to worry that maybe Iran is actually planning on using its nuclear power for less-than-purely-peaceful purposes.
Indeed, on Thursday, U.N. inspectors returned from Tehran in a bad mood. They hadn’t even been successful at setting a date for the next meeting to engage in diplomacy with the Islamic Republic — a gathering that was supposed to take place at the end of February in Kazakhstan.
But outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was happy to see the inspectors leave. "… [W]hoever thinks that the Iranian nation would surrender to pressure is making a huge mistake and will take his wish to the grave," he declared.
While the rest of the West is bent on avoiding any confrontation with Iran — to the point of ignoring the very real and immediate threat it poses — Israel continues to be told that the most urgent order of business in the Middle East is stopping settlements and establishing a Palestinian state. That such a state would be another tentacle of Tehran has been demonstrated as often as has Iran’s backing of terrorist groups across the globe.
Whether it is Obama’s blindness, radical ideology, or a combination of the two that prevents him from recognizing this reality will be deciphered when his presidency undergoes an autopsy. In the meantime, one thing is as clear as enriched uranium: He is putty in the hands of those who would see America annihilated along with Israel. No wonder his “hope and change” agenda is so popular among them.
Ruthie Blum is the author of "To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the 'Arab Spring.'"