Every week brings ominous new signs that Iran soon will possess operational nuclear weapons.
Just this week, Israeli President Shimon Peres issued an uncharacteristic warning that, if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “doesn’t work with the Obama administration and the international community to stop building nuclear weapons, of course we will then strike.”
This blunt threat is a startling development coming from Peres, a normally calm, collected, and reticent-to-bluster statesman.
The Israeli president, whose post is ceremonial rather than policymaking, added, “We will not be able to move forward on this without the United States.”
And that is the rub. Will President Obama ever go along with a preemptive Israeli strike on Iran? A strike that will roil the international world, cause oil prices to spike to perhaps anywhere from $100 to $200 a barrel virtually overnight? A strike that will earn him the condemnation of the Third World, and maybe our “banker,” China? A strike that may cause some sort of Iranian retaliation — either directly or from its surrogates in the international terror world?
Will Obama — under heavy pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby here at home — be able to withstand that pressure to stop Iran before they use the nukes on Israel while Ahmadinejad flaunts Iran’s imminent entry into the Nuclear Club?
This is a decision that Obama does not want to face. He hopes to talk, yak, delay, stall this mess in hopes that something else — a coup, perhaps, or Ahmadinejad’s removal or Russian intervention — will stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Just having nuclear reactors is not a problem; making weapons grade plutonium is the major problem for the world.
President Obama has made negotiation, dialogue, and sharing with our partners/allies the cornerstone of his new foreign policy. This is a direct reversal of what was called G.W. Bush’s “Cowboy Diplomacy” — what many saw as a blustering, ill-conceived unilateralism that ticked off friend and foe alike.
This Iranian nuclear problem will be the major test of Obama’s diplomatic direction.
Can he persuade Iran to abandon a program it is pouring billions into?
Can he persuade a nation to do something it does not want to do, meaning give up its dream to join Pakistan, India, France, and — most importantly — Israel in the all-exclusive Nuclear Club? Entry into this club allows Iran to be the top dog among all Muslim nations and sends shivers throughout the Arab world, as those countries never have been comfortable with the inbred-superiority of the Persians.
Israel is obviously apoplectic over Iran’s behavior since the U.S. invaded Iraq. That lifted the “block” on Iran and freed the way for Tehran to finance and run its surrogates in Hezbollah and Hamas and, in effect, surround Israel and infiltrate from both the north and south.
Once a nation is “in” the Nuclear Club, it is immune to invasion or preemptive attack. No wonder Saddam Hussein tried to join, until the 1981 raid when Israel knocked out Iraq’s Osirak reactor, and then tried to bluff his opponents into thinking he had nukes right up until the 2003 invasion. He knew he would be immune to attack once he had possession of these weapons.
Iran is rushing to get nuclear weapons. Israel is worried that the Hitler-like Ahmadinejad will try to carry out his crazy, sick rhetoric. He has called Israel a “bacteria” that needs to be “eradicated.” He has predicted all sorts of dire scenarios in which Israel would be eliminated.
We are headed toward something big on this issue during the Obama presidency.
We need to worry that our enemies see Obama as weak.
Will they try to exploit that perceived weakness?
And will Obama let them?
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