Has the time come for the U.S. to launch pre-emptive military strikes on Iran’s terrorist infrastructure and nuclear facilities? The time has come for President Obama and each of the Republican presidential candidates to explain what concrete and decisive steps they will take to safeguard U.S. national security from the growing threat posed by the mullahs in Tehran.
Iran’s monstrous plot to kill Americans, assassinate the Saudi ambassador in our nation’s capital, and blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies, was an act of war. FBI Director Robert Mueller told reporters: “Though it reads like the pages of a Hollywood script, the impact would have been very real and many lives would have been lost.”
Indeed, it reads like the pages of my new political thriller, The Tehran Initiative
(Tyndale House Publishers), which opens with a deadly Iranian terrorist attack on Arab, Israeli, and American leaders in New York City, and an Iranian regime preparing to use nuclear warheads against U.S. and Israeli targets.
Fortunately, unlike in my novel, U.S. federal agents foiled the real-life plot. Unfortunately, it’s not clear Iran’s leadership is going to pay a price for such evil. The evidence suggests the orders and money came from high-ranking officials in Iran. Yet senior Pentagon officials have already signaled that the Obama administration has no intention of using military force against the Iranian regime.
It is time to dramatically overhaul U.S. policy towards Iran. The administration’s perennial pleading with Tehran to engage in diplomatic discussions has borne no fruit. To the contrary, Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continue to espouse apocalyptic beliefs about the End of Days and the coming of the so-called Shia messiah known as the Twelfth Imam or the “Mahdi.”
They threaten to annihilate Israel (which they call the “Little Satan”) and the United States (which they call the “Great Satan”). A United Nations report in September warned there is “credible evidence” that Iran is making progress towards building operational nuclear weapons. Iran is also developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering such nuclear weapons. Iran recently sent warships to shadow American coastlines.
The Israelis are getting anxious. “The international community must stop Iran before it’s too late,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned in his U.N. speech last month. “If Iran is not stopped, we will all face the specter of nuclear terrorism, and the Arab Spring could soon become an Iranian winter . . . The world around Israel is definitely becoming more dangerous.”
The Obama administration, however, refuses to take decisive action to neutralize the Iranian threat. In September 2009, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates ruled out using force. “The reality is, there is no military option that does anything more than buy time,” Gates said.
In April 2010, the New York Times reported that Secretary Gates “has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability.”
Worse, the Obama administration is now pressuring Israel not to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, despite the growing threat of a second Holocaust. “U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Israel [in October] with a clear message from his boss in Washington: The United States opposes any Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities,” reported the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The administration’s Iran policy, however, is out of synch with the American people. A new bi-partisan poll conducted in September by Democrat Pat Caddell and Republican John McLaughlin found that more than six-in-ten Americans believe Iran is the nation posing the greatest threat to us, ahead of China and North Korea.
Fully 63 percent approve of military action against Iran if economic sanctions do not stop their nuclear program. What’s more, 77 percent of Americans think the Obama administration’s current polices towards stopping Iran’s nuclear program “will fail.”
President Obama and the GOP presidential candidates should be pressed to explain what specific actions they would take to stop Iran from obtaining and deploying nuclear weapons and to neutralize Iran’s terror threat. The American people deserve answers — and soon.
Joel C. Rosenberg, a former aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is the author of eight New York Times best-selling books about the Middle East. His new novel, The Tehran Initiative, releases on October 18th. (www.joelrosenberg.com)
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