has rolled back his predecessor George W. Bush’s policy of isolating Iran and North Korea. Has has made overtures to the Taliban and other terrorists, and has even removed the word “terrorists” from most U.S. government conversation.
This seems all to the good if one views the world as all one happy, discussing family a la the United Nations.
This week North Korea vowed to re-start its nuclear program and threw internation inspectors out of its communist strong hold. “Everything they shut down or destroyed in the nuclear program before was put out of service due to long, painstaking negotiations with U.S.,” a former State Department negotiator told me. “Now they can sell us each rug all over again and that could take two, three maybe five years. By then they could have hundreds of nuke and missiles to deliver each one.”
Iran has welcomed Obama’s overtures even as Ahmadinejad boasts about his nuclear program.
Just ask Iranianabout Obama.
“We are studying the comments of the U.S. government precisely and with respect,” Mottaki was quoted as saying in an interview with the Yomiuri newspaper published in Japanese on Friday.
“If the Obama administration turns its expressions of change into reality, there can also be change on our side,” he added.
But not everyone in the Middle East believes in the Obama Happy Family U.N. Model of the world.
Isreal fears it is in an existential box between its former number one ally, the U.S., and Iran, who’s President Ahmadinejad has vowed to wipe it from the map.
The U.S. is pressuring Israel to accept a Palistinian state and make other concessions — but most of all the U.S. is relying on isreal not to attack Iran.
Veteran international news analyst Arnaud de Borchgrave says many in the Middle East are concerned that Israel will break from U.S. control and restraint….
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
From The Washington Times
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman – are getting ready for what many now assume will be retaliation from Iran after an Israeli bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities later this year.
Up and down the Gulf, Patriot missile batteries have been quietly deployed around key oil installations. The Patriot system is designed to detect, target and hit incoming missiles that may be no more than 10 to 20 feet long and flying at three to five times the speed of sound. Iran has hundreds of missiles and rockets.
There is also a steady traffic in and out of Washington of high-ranking GCC military and defense officials, including Army, Air Force and Navy chiefs. Gulf rulers are fearful Israel’s new government – headed by the tough, uncompromising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – will walk away from any possibility of a Palestinian solution. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said as much when he it made clear that “we are no longer bound by the previous government’s undertakings for the negotiation of a Palestinian state.”
The Annapolis accord of 2007 for a two-state solution? Didn’t happen on our watch, said Israel’s new governing team. Mr. Lieberman even wants to strip any rights from Arab Israelis who are disloyal to the Jewish state.
Undeterred, George Mitchell, the new supernegotiator for a Middle East settlement, went back to the region for the third time since Barack Obama became president. He sees a glimmer of hope for a peace deal with Syria that would detach the ruling dictatorship from its close ties with Iran. However, a Netanyahu government in Israel is not about to give up control of the Golan Heights it has occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War.
While Iran may unclench its fist in words, as President Obama unclenched America’s, no one in Israel, and very few in other countries, believe Iran’s theocrats will relinquish the nuclear ambitions they have been working on secretly for the last quarter century. Mr. Netanyahu echoed nearly unanimous Israeli feelings when he said an Iranian bomb, coupled with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threats of destruction against the Jewish state, is an “existential crisis” that Israel cannot and will not ignore.
Israel’s moderate President Shimon Peres added a stern warning. If forthcoming talks with Iran don’t yield results, he admonished, “We’ll strike.” But, he added, this cannot be done without the United States. Israel’s military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told the Knesset’s foreign-affairs and defense committee that the emergence of a nuclear arsenal in Iran is now “mainly dependent on a political decision.”
From Today’s Los Angeles Times:
Israeli President Shimon Peres told Mitchell on Thursday that the Jewish state was not considering an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “The solution to Iran is not military,” said Peres, whose position in the Israeli government is largely ceremonial.
On Sunday, Peres said in an interview with Israel’s Kol Hai Radio that Israel would attack if Iran did not halt its nuclear program, which Tehran says is designed to answer civilian energy needs but Israel and the West fear could lead to the production of weapons.
Letter to the Editor, the New York Times
As Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, correctly observes, “You can’t have nine countries telling the likes of Iran nuclear weapons are dangerous for you, but we need to go on refining our arsenals.”
For President Obama to change the nuclear culture, he must take on those who focus only on the possible proliferation to North Korea and Iran while ignoring the ever-increasing danger of the already-nuclear Israel, Pakistan, India, China, France, Britain, Russia and the United States. He must also counter those who excuse the United States, which has more nuclear weapons than any country except Russia, started the nuclear arms race and is the only country to have used the weapon against another nation.
For Mr. Obama to truly change the dynamic and remove the incentive for countries like Iran to become nuclear states, he must move the nuclear powers toward real nuclear disarmament. He must begin by debunking those who for 60 years have said it’s O.K. for the United States and a select few others to have these weapons, but the rest pose a danger.
If Mr. Obama merely offers more plans to talk, proposes negligible reductions in outdated weapons systems while newer, more efficient systems are put in place, and looks the other way while countries like Israel, Pakistan and India arm themselves, that is not real change — nor will such steps reduce the likelihood of nuclear disaster.
John E. Colbert
Chicago, April 13, 2009