December 13, 2007

Iran: Come what may Bush’s actions justified

..."The words of Theodore Roosevelt, remain true today, “Diplomacy is utterly useless where there is no force behind it.” ...

..."if the NIE report were correct then, like Gore before him, is Bush going to Stockholm in 2008 to collect a peace prize" ...

Running contrary to many media reports that depicted the NIE report as a major blow for the President, William Hawkins has put together an interesting piece over at FrontPage. He points out that the administrations hard-line policy was both warranted and successful.

He writes, “Opponents of confrontation with Iran were quick to hail release of an unclassified summary of a National Intelligence Estimate report, Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities. The report concluded that Tehran had halted its nuclear weapons program in late 2003. The Washington Post ran a story with the headline “A Blow to Bush’s Tehran Policy.” The leftist New American Foundation held a snap event on the theme “Iran Policy After the NIE.” It proclaimed, “Today, the administration's Iran policy is in doubt.” Yet two years ago, when there was an NIE that concluded Iran was “determined to develop nuclear weapons,” these same voices cast doubts on the credibility of the intelligence community that had put the report together. So, have the spies changed their minds? Is the 2007 NIE at odds with the 2005 NIE? Or is the issue more complex than the headline writers and partisan pundits want to admit?

If one actually reads the new NIE summary, one finds vindication for the hard-line that the Bush administration has taken towards Iran, up to and including the initial invasion of Iraq. The NIE argues that the reason Iran “does not currently have a nuclear weapons program” is that “the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure.”

Of course, I do not believe the report was accurate, as I have stated my position clearly, I am simply highlighting how critics of the President cannot both at once believe that the report was conclusive whilst asserting that Bush’s policy on Iran is flawed.

“The NIE states, “We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.” This effort had been underway since “at least the late 1980s.” So, why the sudden decision to halt in 2003? What happened that year to send Tehran a message? The capture of Baghdad by U.S. forces that April. President George W. Bush showed he was willing to follow up his earlier characterization of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an “axis of evil” by destroying one of the “axis” regimes.”

“The Bush hard line cannot be called “counter productive” if it has been successful in forcing Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program. Is that not what the objective has been? A successful outcome, even if partial or tentative, should not be abandoned, especially when facing leaders like Ahmadinejad and Kim who have a record of deception and violence. As the new NIE notes, “Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so.” The United States and its allies must continue to tell Tehran in no uncertain terms that it must not decide to build such weapons, and to block Iran from acquiring the specific means needed to build such weapons as long as the country is ruled by an “axis” regime. What one of America’s greatest presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, said remains true today, “Diplomacy is utterly useless where there is no force behind it.”

Meanwhile in news that supports the view that the NIE has it wrong, an Iranian exile has accused Tehran of pursuing its efforts to gain a nuclear device warning that the report was inaccurate. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is the body responsible for exposing Iran’s program said that “they checked back with sources inside Iran after the NIE was released, and those informants reported that work on nuclear weapons was still being pursued at three sites.”

Not surprisingly, Ahmadinejad has refuted the NCRI allegations.

It goes then, that if the NIE report were correct then, like Gore before him, is Bush going to Stockholm in 2008 to collect a peace prize.

Finally, French President Sarkozy reminds us that the possibility of war over this issue is high, if Israel continues to feel threatened.

"The problem for us is not so much the risk that the Americans launch a military intervention, but that the Israelis consider their security to be truly threatened," Sarkozy told Le Nouvel Observateur. "Everyone agrees on the fact that what the Iranians are doing has no civilian explanation," Sarkozy said, referring to Tehran's uranium enrichment work. "The only debate is about whether they will develop a military capacity in one or five years."
Israel considers Iran its number one enemy following repeated calls by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map."


Read the whole piece here...

Further reading:

Iran: No Smoking Gun but Strong Evidence

Iran still poses a threat, says Brown

Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2010

Comments always appreciated...

19 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

Not surprisingly, Ahmadinejad has refuted the NCRI allegations...yup yup!..reality check as u said Otto..great stuff!

Alex said...

And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( samsonblinded.org/blog/we-need-a-respite-from-peace.htm )?

Aurora said...

I'm surprised by Sarkozy's comments since he went off sanctimoniously to Israel a couple of months ago to shake his finger at Israel re: foreign policy. Now he appears to be arguing for Israel (which is what you would expect considering his Jewish ancestry).
Actually since nobody else believes that Iran has halted their nukes program, I'm wondering how America's intelligence could believe it either. This is an organization with access to perhaps the best technology in the world. The whole thing for me is incomprehensible.

Simmons said...

And it's the same hawks how up until a couple of weeks ago had put all their trust in the intelligence community that are now doubting them; face it, it's politics on both sides.

Personally, I had thought Iran was building nuclear weapons, but I didn't believe they actually wanted the weapons - they just wanted the power and influence.

American Interests said...

womanhthyself: thanks angel...

American Interests said...

Alex: Welcome to AI...

The West’s budding mediators don’t understand why the conflict even exists so how can they possible think to end it. The Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not just about misinterpretations…the whole problem swings back to the Palestinians and supporting Arabs who only want victory for themselves. Does one really think that a two nation state would appease them? It might, but only as a step toward “victory”, that is, Israel's vanishing from the world atlas. And lets not forget that Arab political affairs relies on the continuing conflict to garner support in order to pursue power, think Hamas…

What do I think about the peace process?

aurora: The best technology in the world means little if one's agenda is guided by self defeating politiking...thanks for commenting!

simmons: "Power and influence" that I/we don't want them to have ... How can one engage in any approbations for a leader who has publically said, "Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation" ... "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm" ... Israel must be "wiped off the map"...

Ahmadinejad has at times, sounded like a oppressor...how can we trust...how can we be comfortable with the gain of power and influence associated with a nuclear state?

Karen said...

The NIE continues to lose steam, the more it is exposed. No serious person believes Iran has stopped anything. Or, if they did, in 2003 as alleged, it was because the U.S. went into Iraq. Like Libya, Iran may have been shaken up a bit. We just don't know. And, neither do the agenda driven appeasors in the CIA and the State Dept.

Tapline said...

Well, Putin is going to continue to build the site in Iran that I guess they stopped earlier. They are also delivering nuclear fuel. It is my understanding targets must be struck prior to this fuel arriving because of the spread of radiation if it is in the site. Soooooo! I guess we wait and see what happens....I do not think it will be too long. stay well....

American Interests said...

Karen: Exactly! Thanks for your comments

Tap: Yea, looks like the Russians are proceeding with assistance and supplies, it's going to get interesting...Thanks

Debbie said...

“Diplomacy is utterly useless where there is no force behind it.” ...

That statement is absolutely true. There must be some consequences if diplomatic promises are not kept.

Great article and I agree with you.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Simmons said...

Otto: I never disagreed that Iran having nuclear weapons would be unacceptable...

I just don't believe they expect to be able to create nuclear weapons. The Iranians are smart enough to understand that Israel, let alone the United States, would never let them have nuclear weapons.

I can clarify what I said though:
I didn't believe they actually expected to be able to build the weapons - they just wanted the power and influence of the appearance of building one.

heidianne jackson said...

so true, otto. the more i read the nie report and about the nie report (and how it came to be) the more i don't think it's wholly accurate. appears to have been written, at least in part, to try to futher discredit bush. no other country in the world believes it to be accurate.

in keeping with that, so what if it is true? iran admits that it continues to enrich uranium - supposedly in a manner that is NOT related to nuclear weapons development. whatever.

once they have mastered centrifuge enrichment, how big a step is it to step up from 5% enriched to 95% enriched uranium? as near as i can tell (and admittedly i am no nuclear physicist), the only difference is the amount of time required to produce a given amount of 95%-enriched uranium.

it is wholly conceivable that iran could stockpile minimally-enriched uranium (which would be completely legal in accordance with non-proliferation treaty) until it has an amount large enough that would enable them to produce enough uranium of weapons-grade for several warheads.

and at the same time, iran could resume covert weapons development, or acquire a warhead design from abroad. russia? china?

i beleive that china may be the most relevant in scenario such as this. think about it: once they have amassed enought minimally-enriched they would be able to either circumvent international monitoring or withdraw from the npt altogether - or both. either way a rush to produce weapons-grade uranium would be imminent.

great post otto. valid points all.

http://biggirlpants.typepad.com

Conservative Chic said...

Otto, I always come away from your sight with a more educated view of things and something to ponder. I'm definitely not all that knowledgeble about certain foreign affairs and welcome your insights on it.

As far as the NIE, I don't buy it. I think Iran is just as big a threat as it ever was. Maybe if there is any accuracy to it, it is because it coincided with the pressure and interest in Iraq. I agree,it very well could be another way to discredit Bush.

Great post!!

http://jennsjourneyasaconservativechic.blogspot.com/

Paul Champagne said...

I forsee a radioactive Iran in the future ... a pity since it could have been avoided with a little backbone.

American Interests said...

Debbie: Glad you agree

simmons: It's understood, thanks. Have added "thoughts on the World" to my blogroll...

heidianne: Thanks and your points are noteworthy

jen: just as your site leaves one with something to ponder as well...thanx

American Interests said...

paul: Hmmm, hope it doesn't come to that...thanx for coming by...

Jeff said...

The possiblity of an Israeli mass airstrike is getting more and more likely. While we Americans are debating, most of the real close inside sources are telling us time is running out. Iran will have a nuclear bomb soon unless something is done. This is as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. Iran should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. If we don't act the Israelis will. And rightfully so.

The NEI is at best an intelligent guess affected by politics. There is little doubt in my mind that the U.S invasion of Iraq caused a serious "pucker factor" in Iran. They stopped enrichment because of the oldest motive of all: fear. It's hard for anti-Bush people to admit the war in Iraq had a positive impact. Iran is our long term problem and we need to prepare ourselves for it. Most of all, we need to do someting about it. How about we begin with some serious sanctions. If we can't get the world community to go along then we look for a Coalition of the Willing and proceed with the military option.

WomanHonorThyself said...

hey Otto!..the comments are my last post got accidentally deleted..lol.yikes..you can re-post hun if u like!.:)

American Interests said...

jeff: One things certain, if the players behind the NIE report thought its findings were going to sweep the issue under the carpet they were deluded...

Womhthyself: No doub't would have annoyed ya!