Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Today's Reading Assignment

...From Elise Jordan, a National Security Council staffer writing at National Review on-line. Her column is devoted to something we've written about extensively in recent months: the Obama Administration's absolute refusal to confront Iran, on issues ranging from human rights abuses, to its nuclear weapons program. A few excerpts:

Iran is feeling pretty confident these days. The Americans are leaving Afghanistan and leaving Iraq, while showing just how far they’re not willing to go in Libya. A handful of former enemies in the Sunni Arab world — regimes that for decades acted as a pro-U.S. counterweight to Iran’s regional ambitions — have fallen in the wake of the Middle East’s democratic uprising. Others Gulf states with significant Shiite populations, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, seem a little shaky. Tehran, meanwhile, rockets ahead.

Literally. Last week, the U.K. foreign minister announced that Iran had tested missiles and rockets that can “deliver a nuclear payload.” The recipients of that delivery, by the way, would be Israel and Europe. It was a not-so-subtle message to the ever-feckless international community: We’re going to get a nuclear weapon. Your sanctions have not worked. There’s nothing you can — or will — do about it.


The White House’s response to the tests? Silence.

Sound (or no sound, as it were) familiar? Flashback to 2009: The Green Revolution sweeps the streets of Tehran. Ahmadinejad and his thugs brutally crack down on protesters of Ahmadinejad’s contested electoral victory. The White House decides to keep quiet. The same pattern unfolded following the democratic revolutions of this past season.

It’s not just “leading from behind,” as one of Obama’s advisers memorably described his leadership style, but speaking from the rear. The result? Tehran survived its brush with democracy, further emboldening the regime. Now they see the Arab Spring as another great opportunity. “[Iran] didn’t create the Arab Spring or start it, but they are clearly trying to exploit it wherever they can,” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has observed.

To be fair, Mr. Obama and his team aren't the first administration to kick the Iranian can down the road. Pre-occupied with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush White House was more than happy to let diplomacy "run its course," a process that resulted in wasted years--and Iranian progress towards a nuclear weapon--while European negotiators labored in vain to dissuade Tehran.

Now, we're literally at the point of no return. Iranian efforts to join the nuclear club will soon hit pay dirt, and its campaign to prop up it allies in Syria and Lebanon appears to be working as well. The mullahs and Ahmadinejad are on the march; our remaining allies in the region are getting very nervous and its time for a new approach to Iran. And the response from the White House?



planethou said...

Perhaps the Prez is using the "Speak softly and carry a big stick" approach to the problem. However, I doubt it.

W Phelps said...

So, what are we to do? Bomb? Invade? Both? If not, what?