Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was back in New York Monday, continuing his effort to intimidate and shame Barack Obama into dropping his policy of retaining first-strike capability against rogue states such as Iran. For 35 minutes at the UN, Ahmadinejad did his best impression of an anti-nuke crusader, working to eradicate these weapons for humanity’s sake. Behind his peacenik façade (which is sure to take in many on the Left), however, lurks a reality that couldn’t be more contrasting.
“The possession of nuclear bombs isn’t a source of pride,” Ahmadinejad intoned piously, sounding like a spokesman for Greenpeace. “It is disgusting and rather shameful. And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons, which isn’t even comparable to any crime committed throughout the history.”
And of course top on the Iranian President’s list of “disgusting” and “shameful” countries was Israel: “While the Zionist regime has stockpiled hundreds of nuclear warheads…it enjoys the unconditional support of the United States government and its allies and receives, as well, the necessary assistance to develop its nuclear weapons program.”
Referring to Obama’s reservation of first-strike capability, Ahmadinejad said that signers of the Non-Proliferation Treaty should consider “any threat to use nuclear weapons or attack against peaceful nuclear facilities as a breach of international peace and security,” and punish the offenders accordingly.
Delegates from the U.S., Britain and France walked out of the UN General Assembly during Ahmadinejad’s speech. Perhaps they didn’t relish having to sit through the absurd charade of a ruthless despot, the president of a country that gives aid to the jihad terror groups Hamas and Hizballah and yearns to wipe Israel off the map, being allowed to enter the United States and accuse it of being a terrorist state — all the while defending his nuclear program.
This was the same Ahmadinejad, after all, who just weeks ago warned Israel not to attack the jihadists in Gaza who still shoot rockets into Israel and plot the destruction of the Jewish State: “An attack on Gaza would not make you mightier,” he said, addressing the “Zionist entity,” “and would not restore your damaged prestige. And you should know that an attack on Gaza will end your inauspicious and filthy life.”
What could end Israel’s “inauspicious and filthy life” except…a nuclear attack?
These are favorite themes of Ahmadinejad’s public utterances. In mid-March, he declared: “Today, it is clear that Israel is the most hated regime in the world… It is not useful for its masters [the West] anymore. They are in doubt now. They wonder whether to continue spending money on this regime or not. But whether they want it or not, with Allah’s grace, this regime will be annihilated and Palestinians and other regional nations will be rid of its bad omen.”
How will Israel be “annihilated,” except by…a nuclear strike?
Iranian Major General Hassan Firouzabadi declared in early April: “If America presents Iran with a serious threat and undertakes any measure against Iran, none of the American soldiers who are currently in the region would go back to America alive.”
Not one? Not even one? How could the Iranians possibly accomplish that, except with…nuclear weapons?
Ahmadinejad mocked Obama’s impotence, telling him in an April 7 address that, faced with Iran’s nuclear program, American leaders who were “bigger than you, more bullying than you, couldn’t do a damn thing, let alone you.”
And indeed, the thuggish Iranian president is probably right about that. Barack Obama’s wrongheaded and weak policy of “engagement” has put a swagger in Ahmadinejad’s step. Besides funding Hamas and Hizballah and egging on their genocidal intentions toward Israel, Iran is training the Taliban in Afghanistan in the most effective use of roadside bombs, and continuing to meddle in Iraq.
For all this we have one man to thank above all: Barack Obama. After a year of Obama’s dogged wooing of the Iranian mullahs, his scandalous refusal to support the anti-regime protestors in Iran, and his abject failure to do anything effective to counter the Iranian nuclear program, which even his own Secretary of State now acknowledges is working toward developing nuclear weapons, the only thing the president has to show for his policy is an increasingly confident, belligerent and assertive Iran.
It was good that the Americans left the General Assembly hall while Ahmadinejad was speaking Monday. Now they should back this up by changing course, and showing more spine in the face of Iran’s bullying. But there is no sign that that is going to happen.