The ‘Tide of War’ Is Not Receding

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On January 29, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was interviewed on CBS news.  When asked about the situation with Iran, Secretary Panetta responded: “[I]f they [Iran] decided to [build a nuclear device], it would probably take them about a year …  [and] …if they proceed and [if] we get intelligence…then….there are no options that are off the table” for the US commitment to stop Iran from building a nuclear arsenal.

Sounds good, except for all the “ifs:”  “if they produce” and “if we get intelligence” and “if they decide to do it”

Panetta’s “ifs” create the impression that there may in fact be no threat from Iran, that Iran may not be pursuing nuclear capacity, that there is as yet no actionable intelligence about Iranian WMDs, and that maybe Iran has not decided to pursue a nuclear option.

But facts of which Mr. Panetta must be aware tell us the opposite.

Back in the ‘60s the Shah tried to start a WMD program for Iran but it floundered and was abandoned.  In the mid-1990s the Ayatollahs restarted the program. Iran said it wanted nuclear power for clean energy needs, but in 2002 an Iranian exile group shared with Western intelligence secret Iranian documents revealing a clandestine program to enrich weapons-grade uranium.  The facility at Natanz was built with the assistance of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program.  Under threat of sanctions, the government agreed in 2003 to halt work on uranium enrichment; but in 2006, less than a year after Akhmedi-Nejad took power, the Iranian government announced that it was going to restart its uranium enrichment. No “ifs” about that.

From 2005 onward US intelligence organizations and the Israeli Mossad worked together to locate and sabotage the financial underpinnings of the Iranian nuclear project.  On September 9, 2009, American intelligence concluded that Iran had the nuclear fuel necessary to build an atomic bomb, thanks in part to a hitherto undocumented underground plant near the city of Qom. Most recently in January of this year, Iran announced defiantly that it was going to start an additional uranium enrichment site, fortified to withstand even the most powerful of America’s bunker-busting bombs. No “ifs” about that either.

In May 2011, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Salehi addressed a regional economic summit in Tehran.  He told his audience that he was optimistic that nuclear inspectors would not find anything amiss when they visited Iran.  Of course he was optimistic. For the past 20 years Iran has done a great job of hiding those of their WMD sites that were devoted to the development of military uses for nuclear weapons.

American efforts to counteract the Iranian threat have been limited to sanctions and efforts to persuade EU allies to cease cooperation with Iranian financial institutions, the most significant of which were H.R. 1905, the Iranian Threat Reduction Act of (May) 2011, and the Senate’s decision in December 2011 to approve sanctions against Iran’s central bank. Although, as has recently become clear, President Obama does not support such actions, even though a nuclear Iran now threatens the American continents, he nonetheless signed these newest and most comprehensive sanctions on December 31, 2011.  No “ifs” in the opinion of Congress nor in Obama’s acquiescence.

Throughout the past decade Iran has argued that it merely wants to generate clean, green electricity with its nuclear program; but a host of reports from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), thoroughly documented in a series of articles in the NY Times, create the more than merely credible case that Iran has been well on its way for over a decade to developing a nuclear device for military use. The New York Times offers no support for any “ifs.”

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  • Flowerknife_us

    Fundimental change is broad enough cover to change sides. Missrepresentation of reality becomes commonplace. The sugared news-served with no consumer warnings- is far more harmful for America than all the real cookies and candy we consume.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    I can't recall a time in our country's history when the world was so close to war and when America faced so many threats simultaneously, yet at the same time we are gutting our military and setting the stage for the next world war to ensue thanks to Obama and failed nation-building missions that were incredibly fantasy based and counterproductive.

  • mrbean

    Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. Muslims don't want to be tolerant, they don't want allies, they don't want to assimilate, they want to change the west to conform to Islam and Sharia law. Useful idiot dhimmis just want no conflict and the alligator to eat them last. Muck the Fuzzlims! It is time to kill 'em all, wrap 'em in their prayer rugs and put 'em all in piles, burn 'em all using pork grease for a starter, and let Allah sort 'em out. Crispy critters will never come back for rematches!

  • dirtbag

    "Iran said it wanted nuclear power for clean energy needs" Why the leftist and the green people stopped whinning on Iran, since to them nuclear power is much dirtier than coal and oil?

    Ohhh, because they are PC and afraid of being beheaded!

  • Brujo Blanco

    We appear to be in a situation in which we will get hit from all sides and we will not be ready. Obama’s crew seems to have the idea that if they do not a knowledge a problem then there is no problem. Perhaps Obama believes that if we do get hit he will be sitting pretty.