DID it surprise a single Post reader that Iran’s been hiding a big nuclear weapons development facility? It stunned our president when he learned about it months ago. Then he kept it secret from you.
Obama didn’t want you to know how much progress Iran had made. It’s an embarrassment.
And it raises the pressure on the White House to act—something this president’s squirming to avoid. But the Iranians have now realized we know, so they tipped it themselves.
Obama had no choice but to come clean.
Yesterday, he interrupted the G-20 summit to go public—before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did. Flanked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s dead man walking, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, our president offered more uselessly vague rhetoric in response to proof of a major “covert Iranian enrichment facility” and its implications.
Obama’s statement amounted to, Ooooh, I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down … maybe … eventually … but not really … let’s talk …
Only Sarkozy made a serious attempt to get the Iranian leadership’s attention, stressing the consistent failure of negotiations and the need for action. He understands that a decade of talking with Tehran brought zero results.
Shouldn’t we be ashamed that a French president’s leading the fight to protect Israel and the free world?
To be fair, Obama’s overwhelmed.
Fatally confident of his powers of persuasion, he’s bewildered that he hasn’t been able to convince the Iranians (or the Palestinians, Russians, Venezuelans, Chinese, etc.) to do what he wants them to do.
So Washington delays. While Iran races toward a nuclear arsenal.
Not only has Iran’s known program moved ahead despite our cajoling, now comes the news that far more dangerous facilities have been missed for years by our intelligence services (to their credit, though, they ultimately found the Qom installation). Who knows how many more we haven’t found?
Additionally, an Iranian exile group opposed to the theocrat thugs in Tehran claimed this week that Ahmadinejad’s government operates two secret plants that fabricate detonators for nuclear weapons.
One of those sites is in an east Tehran suburb, another in that enormous city’s exurbs. The major enrichment site that embarrassed our president sits near Qom, Iran’s holiest city.
Ahmadinejad’s boys know what they’re doing. They’ve dispersed their nuclear program across urban areas and deep underground. The network is not only hard to hit—it’s impossible to strike effectively without inflicting thousands of civilian casualties.
These new sites raise the stakes higher still: Attack the plant near Qom and we’ll be seen by Shia Muslims as violating a holy city. Strike those Tehran detonator factories and you get severe collateral damage—plus the probable spread of radioactive material, an instant “dirty bomb.”
Yet, after all this, there’s still resistance in Washington to the conclusions that Iran’s determined to develop nuclear weapons and then use them. What amount of evidence will it take?
Iran’s faith-crazed president appears before the UN, denying the Holocaust and damning Israel. He has openly and repeatedly professed an apocalyptic religious vision that requires chaos on earth to bring about the return of the “hidden imam,” the Shia version of a messiah. He never misses an opportunity to call for Israel’s total destruction.
And Washington insists he’s joking. (Yeah, they’re belly-laughing in Tel Aviv right now.)
Appeasers also blather that “other states have had nukes for years,” but haven’t used them. And mutually assured destruction (MAD) actually did keep the peace between the superpowers for six decades (another lesson our president doesn’t get).
The arguments don’t hold up. Even the North Koreans, the other entry in the rogue-state nuclear-arms race, don’t want to die. They want earthly power, not a sacred apocalypse.
The new and immeasurably dangerous factor in play is religious fanaticism. The doomsday-lust avowed by Ahmadinejad and his supporters shatters every deterrence equation.
So now what? Obama will try more talks. We may see half-hearted sanctions—which will be violated right and left. Russia, which profits hugely from dirty trade with Iran, can slip goods across the Caspian Sea or through Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
And maritime sanctions are meaningless, unless our president is willing to order our Navy to fire on Chinese-flagged or Venezuelan-flagged merchant vessels.
Think that’s going to happen?
How will it end? With desperate Israeli attacks that do only part of the job, followed by Iranian counterstrikes on Persian Gulf oil facilities, the closure of the Straits of Hormuz and oil above $400 a barrel.
Only the United States can stop Iran’s nuclear program before it’s too late. And this president won’t.