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I strongly suspect that the tyrants who currently rule Iran and who have sworn to destroy America and wipe Israel off the map will someday write something similar in their diaries. If Iran does develop nuclear weapons and does use them against the West, the major responsibility will be on Robert Gates.
In his interview, Gates boasts of having “prevented [the US] from doing some dumb things over the past four and a half years.” His “confidants” have made it clear that this refers to Iran:
He prevented further adventures, particularly with countries like Iran that could have turned into military intervention had he not become Secretary of Defense.
He was the first secretary of defense to openly take the military option against Iran entirely “off the table,” as headlines around the world attested. This foolish act—why take any option off the table?—encouraged Iran to move forward with their programs of developing nuclear weapons without fear of an American attack on their nuclear facilities. This is not to advocate such an attack—except as an absolutely last resort. But to announce to the Iranians that they not need be concerned about any military action by the United States was, to paraphrase Gates, one of the dumbest things he could have done.
Moreover, under Gates’ watch, the United States knowingly issued a false report on Iran’s intentions regarding the development of nuclear weapons. The report essentially denied that Iran was seeking to develop nuclear weapons. This report was known to be false at the time it was issued since American intelligence became aware of the nuclear weapons facility at Qum before the report was issued.
The publication of this report sent a powerful message to Iran: The Americans have fallen for your bait and switch game in which you hide your capacity to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of purported civilian use. This encouraged the Iranians to move full-throttle ahead on their program.
At the same time Gates persuaded the Bush administration to change Israel’s green light to yellow and then to red, as it related to United States approval of an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The end result is that Gates has successfully persuaded the United States to change its policy from an absolute unwillingness to accept a nuclear armed Iran, to a policy of “containing” an inevitable nuclear armed Iran. This alleged policy of containment is no policy at all; it is an admission of failure. It is similar to Chamberlain’s failed policy of “containing” Nazi Germany. A nuclear armed Iran will endanger the peace of the world. It will be a “game changer,” in the words of President Obama (before he became president and reappointed Gates). And this potential disaster will be largely the fault of the departing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
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