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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Clinton redefines 'going nuclear'

Picking up on comments that Secretary of State Clinton made about North Korea on Sunday's Meet the Press, the Washington Times suggests that Clinton may be re-defining what 'going nuclear' means in a way that will allow the Obama administration further leeway in pretending that Iran is not a nuclear power.
Asked by NBC's David Gregory if the effort to keep North Korea from going nuclear had failed, Mrs. Clinton answered, "No, I don't think so, because their program is still at the beginning stages." In other words, two nuclear tests and a stockpile of seven or eight nuclear weapons are no longer enough to join the club. Tough luck Pyongyang, you've been blackballed.

This would simply be an exercise in semantics if it weren't for the probability that Iran will soon test its own nuclear weapon. This administration, like its predecessor, has said that an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability would be unacceptable. But if Iran conducts a nuclear test sometime in the coming months, that apparently will not indicate the failure of diplomacy any more than the North Korean tests have. Faced with defeat, the State Department will define it away.

The Obama administration's willingness to accept the inevitability of a nuclear Iran could not be clearer.


Meanwhile, countries such as Israel that cannot protect their territory and people with semantic shields are preparing to take action. Israel's apparent state of readiness to exercise the military option against Iran -- and America's clear lack of readiness -- underscores the credibility gap in the U.S. position that all options are on the table. Israel is communicating a credible threat of force to Tehran, a necessary element in coercive diplomacy that the U.S. posture explicitly lacks.

The American "umbrella strategy" is purely defensive and thus more likely to encourage Iran's leaders than dissuade them. The Obama administration states firmly that an Iranian nuclear weapon would be unacceptable but at the same time indicates it will accept that. Nuclear Iran is not faced with massive retaliation but passive accommodation. That's not much of a deterrent.
It becomes clearer by the day that the Obumbler will do nothing to stop Iran. Israel is going to have to go it alone.

Read it all.


At 6:19 PM, Blogger Andre (Canada) said...

I am 100% in favor of Israel taking care of Iran on its own as clearly the US is dragging the process on until Iran becomes a nuclear power, at which point the US will shrug and say...oops, what do you want us to do, the cat is out of the bag".
But, i think that there is one outcome that could potentially be worse than doing nothing...and that is contemplating a failure of the Israeli action. What will happen if Israel attacks Iran but fails to achieve its objectives? What is IAF planes are downed and pilots captured?
Israel will not only be considered an aggressor (that is a given) but on top of everything, the military option will now be off the table...and Obummer will be able to say..."see, i told you the military option was not a good idea".
I have not seem any analysis of this scenario even though it has to be on the table as potential outcome.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

As Barry Rubin wrote, with a view like that, Iran's leaders are dying laughing. They know the bottom line is Obama's America won't and can't stop them.

What could go wrong indeed


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