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Thursday, March 26, 2015

John Bolton, "To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran": Sorry, Obama Has Already Surrendered

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran," former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton explains that whatever nuclear "privileges" are granted to Iran pursuant to its pending agreement with the P5+1, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey will demand the same. (In my blog entry yesterday entitled "Thomas Friedman, "Look Before Leaping": Obama Gets Tough With the White House Florist," I suggested that Jordan and the UAE would also seek to begin building their own bombs.) Convinced that Iran will not forgo its nuclear weapons program regardless of the threat or implementation of international sanctions, Bolton concludes:

"The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.

Rendering inoperable the Natanz and Fordow uranium-enrichment installations and the Arak heavy-water production facility and reactor would be priorities. So, too, would be the little-noticed but critical uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan. An attack need not destroy all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program by three to five years. The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.

Mr. Obama’s fascination with an Iranian nuclear deal always had an air of unreality. But by ignoring the strategic implications of such diplomacy, these talks have triggered a potential wave of nuclear programs. The president’s biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East."

War, or even the threat of war, is frightening. I've lived through enough of them. On the other hand, the failure to stop Iran in its tracks is reminiscent of Chamberlain's 1938 "peace for our time" Munich Agreement. Chamberlain could have said no to Hitler and saved the lives of more than 60 million people, but he didn't. Such is human nature.

Yes, Obama's pact with Khamenei is certain to bring about a Middle East nuclear arms race. Moreover, given the regimes involved, these weapons will be used - that's a promise.

Could a bomb hit the US? Absolutely. Obama's agreement does not prevent Iran from developing ICBMs.  But as John Kerry acknowledged yesterday:

"What happens if, as our critics propose, we just walk away from a plan that the rest of the world were to deem to be reasonable? That could happen. Well, the talks would collapse. Iran would have the ability to go right back spinning its centrifuges and enriching to the degree they want, if they want, if that's what they choose. And the sanctions will not hold, because those other people who deem the plan to be reasonable will walk away and say, 'You do your thing, we’ll do ours.'"

Or in other words, American foreign policy is now being dictated by Russia, China and European corporations hungry for renewed trade with Iran, i.e. Obama has already surrendered.

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