December 7, 2007

NIE and Iran: Time for a reality check...

Ahead of any peacenik comment opposed to my position, imagine for a moment how Israeli’s must feel. If someone down the street publicly indicates that he hates you and, given the chance wants to harm you, adding that when he gets the means he’s going to do it…would you not be concerned about how and when he acquires the means?


With intent, I have held back on posting about the recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran preferring instead, to contemplate the mass of posting and reporting that followed it, to let the dust settle, if you will. To be sure, both before and after its release, it occurred to me that the U.S. appeared to be getting soft on Ahmadinejad even though Iran continued pressing ahead with its program to enter the nuclear club. I know what you are thinking; pressing ahead? Yes, I know, the report spells out that Tehran has halted its nuclear program. However, is that really the case? Well, yes and very much no, indeed, if any judgment were based solely on mainstream media that is, mainstream Liberal media, then most folk would unwisely conclude that the threat ceased as early as 2003 thus those recent comments by the Bush about military action were archetypal administration spin.
Yet it was only just over three weeks ago that, you know who, bragged about how Western resistance had been “defied” and (Tehran) was "one step away from peak of nuclear success."
So let allow me to cut to the chase, we should remain very concerned and both the U.S. and Israel must hold fast on talk of military action if U.N. sanctions and diplomacy fail to prevent Iran from expanding its enrichment program.
Now for the reality check:
  • How confident can we be about the intelligence assessment anyway? Its contributors include no small measure of politico’s and those aligned to Liberal thought. Given the players, it gives reason to be doubtful, a case of cooked intelligence maybe. Said Shabtai Shavit, former Mossad head, “we shouldn't rule out the possibility that often intelligence is being used for political purposes and hidden agendas."

  • Even the International Atomic Energy Agency has taken on a cautious approach in drawing conclusions, “To be frank, we are more sceptical…we don’t by the American position 100% …we are not that generous with Iran.”

  • Broadly, speaking committees that combine assessments from many intelligence agencies cannot be relied upon as a basis for deductions, especially about one as critical as a nuclear Iran.

  • We should distinguish between Iran’s nuclear capabilities and its intentions. The former takes years but the latter can change very quickly. As National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley explains, "Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons if a decision is made to do so.”

  • The NIE only says the program is “paused”, to quote Alan Dowd from FrontPage, “Indeed, if history is any guide, Iran’s nuclear program is probably as dead as North Korea’s was in the 1990’s."

  • The report fails to integrate the broad view of Iranian actions in the region. Its continuing support of insurgents in Iraq tells us much; an Iran that remains defiant and aggressive not, as the report suggests a timid and amenable nation.

  • What the report does not tell us is noteworthy, that it is not difficult to convert a civilian nuclear program into a military one if a nation has the “scientific, technical and industrial capacity” and some highly enriched material. The NIE says “with high confidence” that Iran has the former and we know its trying to produce the latter.

Let us therefore move on from the distortion of the past week and once again embrace the words of Cheney at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy:

"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences. The United States joins other nations in sending a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

American Interests demands that we dismiss the NIE report and realise that Iran is still on a path – direct or indirectly - leading to the production of an atomic arsenal. A nuclear Iran will certainly tilt the adjoining Arab states in the direction of fanaticism and if the world fails to act, Tehran will most certainly be the catalyst for a regional arms race. It would also greatly empower Shi'ite fundamentalism altering the balance of power of the Middle East. Moreover, if it were to happen, how can we ever be certain that a device will not land in the hands of any number of anti-Western or anti-Israel terror groups whom they are aligned with? Make no mistake a nuclear Iran poses a completely unacceptable threat to Israel and the West. Click here and here to read about Ahmadinejad position on the Jewish state.

I also found it alarming that the report was discussed so openly. One cannot help but think that Liberal interests leaked sections in support of their standpoint thus dealing a blow to Bush and undermining the administration.

Frankly, the more Washington or the world dither over what to do, the more progress Iran makes in its enrichment program. In posting on the NIE report, Donald Douglas at American Power concludes, “The ultimate winner is Iran, which can call for reprisals against the West as its leadership continues to work for its ultimate goal of establishing regional hegemony in the Middle East.” However, Ahmadinejad would be foolish if he thinks he is off the hook for the Bush administration is not so easily deflected.

Success in the wider war on terror means taking whatever action may be necessary to put a permanent halt to Iran’s push for nuclear capability; action in whatever shape or form…

Ahead of any peacenik comment opposed to my position, imagine for a moment how Israeli’s must feel. If someone down the street publicly indicates that he hates you and, given the chance wants to harm you, adding that when he gets the means he’s going to do it…would you not be concerned about how and when he acquires the means?

One may be excused for interpreting this post as a call to bomb, more accurately it serves as a call to keep all options open and above all the real threat of military action.

Over to you...

25 comments:

Simmons said...

"I also found it alarming that the report was discussed so openly. One cannot help but think that Liberal interests leaked sections in support of their standpoint thus dealing a blow to Bush and undermining the administration."

Oh please. The government declassified the parts of the report we are discussing; it wasn't leaked by a hated liberal. You can even find it on the internet here.

I do agree with you 100% that we must keep the pressure up on Iran, because they still have the possibility to restart their weapons program.

The significance of this report is not that we can stop pressuring Iran, but 2 other points:
1. Going to war with Iran would be pointless and dumb.
2. Iran is guided by 'cost-benefit analysis'. They're vulnerable to international economic and political pressure.

American Interests said...

simmons: Am aware that the report is on the net, I linked to it withing the post - see 2nd paragraph.

bzzz..what I meant but did not write:

"I also found it alarming that the report was discussed so openly. One cannot help but think that Liberal interests submitted sections in support of their standpoint thus dealing a blow to Bush and undermining the administration."

Of course there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that, my point being that Liberal machinations in unison with intelligence services were seeking to influence political policy-making with their assessment.

As if the aim of the NIE was not to provide the latest intelligence on Iran, moreso "politics disguised as intelligence."

Tapline said...

Otto, Excellent post! I think you were to to the point with your assessment. It wouldn't be the first time a report from intelligence undermined the administration and I venture it won't be the last. stay well.....

American Interests said...

Thanks Tapline...

Jeff said...

Excellent Post. I have serious reservations about the new NEI intelligence estimate of Iran. We need to stay on top of this problem.

heidianne jackson said...

"However, Ahmadinejad would be foolish if he thinks he is off the hook for the Bush administration is not so easily deflected."

how right you are, otto. however, he knows that if he can just hold on and continue to support the left in this country he will have another chance of being ignored and be able to finish his intentions. israel and the aea are right to be skeptical, after all, he's made his intentions clear enough, hasn't he?

http://biggirlpants.typepad.com

Karen said...

Great post. I agree, as far as we (U.S.) are concerned, as long as the uranium enrichment continues the nuclear weapons program is still capable of starting up again, if it truly stopped in the first place.

Many of the 'experts' in the report are documented anti-Bush people who are hell bent to railroad any of his foreign policy decisions. Our State Department has way too many career people with their own agendas to push instead of the country's.

And the intelligence agencies sited in the report? Aren't these the same ones who have been consistently wrong? Aren't they the same ones the liberals love to cite as inaccurate as far as pre-Iraq war intelligence was concerned?

Ortho said...

You're right Otto, it's time for a reality check. The authors of the NIE are anti-Semites who are angling for the destruction of Israel. Their dismissal of the imminent threat posed by Iran reminds me and others of the way Americans reacted to the first reports of the Holocaust.

Israeli Cabinet Minister Yitzhak Cohen argues, "The manner in which the Americans relate to the intelligence report on Iran is similar to the way in which they viewed those reports they received during the Holocaust on railways transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to their death at Auschwitz."

The NIE is another piece of disinformation from the U.S. "intelligence community." Cohen asks, "How can we rely on the Americans if they publish this report that emasculates what the world explicitly knows regarding Iran, and renders impotent the entire struggle against the Iranians?" Simple answer: we can't.

"Shas minister: Americans' attitude to report reminiscent of Auschwitz"

American Interests said...

Jeff: Thanks, "we need to stay on top" of the matter.

Heidianne: It's not that hard to see is it? Hoping the world looks away for just long enough...Thanks!

Karen: That last sentence of yours rings so true...Thanks!

American Interests said...

Ortho: Thanks for the contribution! I like the term "disinformation" ... and will check that link...

WomanHonorThyself said...

brilliant Otto!...how can anyone of sound mind trust Irannnnnn?..wonderful read my friend..thorough and logical !

American Interests said...

womanhthyself: Thanks Angel, guess you tell I don't trust Ahmadinejad...lol

Aurora said...

Otto, nice comprehensive post. It's amazing to me that the U.S. would take this stance when even the Brits are not taken in by the Iranians. I've added a link to you in a post I did on this topic, in particular your reminder of Dick Cheney's past comment on Iran. As an American myself, I find this really disheartening as I believe that a good share of America's strength lies in the unequivocal support of Israel.

American Interests said...

aurora: Increasingly I find myself believing the same, "that a good share of America's strength lies in the unequivocal support of Israel."

Have you seen the latest cover story over at LiberalPedia...Time that is..

See: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1691625,00.html

Thanks for linking...

DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

Excellent postOtto, I'm with you on this one

Debbie said...

A great article. Just because we believe Iran is still working on it's nuclear weapons program, doesn't necessarily mean we want to go to war with Iran. Some people see the situation as either-or, but that's not the case.

Debbie said...

Oops, Otto, I forgot to leave my URL in my comment. I think Blogger SUCKS for doing this.

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

American Interests said...

dd2: Glad you're with me on it and thanks for coming around...Cheers

debbie: Exactly, it's not about an eagerness to go to war, moreso about preventing a terrorist supporter from aquiring the mother of all weapons.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Don't Forget Rasmussen Poll says 76% of Americans think the NIE 2007is retarded and wrong. Also, military froce is alledgedly what made Iran stop fooling about with weaponization.
Something happened in the covert wars. Something put the 007 in NIE 2007.

Mystery explosions in Iran in 2005 and mystery explosions in Syria in 2007. Mystery raids in Syria - Great Britain and Great Satan launch proxy wars in Iran. Disappearing, dying and defecting Revo Guard commanders, sacking nuke negotiators, installing new negotiators (only to tell UN and EU negotiations are finished).

Did Iran make a Grand Bargain with the Great Satan? Will certain members of Al Qaeda show up in American custody soon - after leaving protected compunds in Iran? Hang on ya'll - it's gonna be wild ride.

Great arti Otto - thank you for sharing.

heidianne jackson said...

in keeping with this theme and the points courtney made - check this out. if you have already seen it, i apologize.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2007/12/019238.php

me: http://biggirlpants.typepad.com

American Interests said...

greatsgirlfriend: Fascinating! I'll do some probing and thank you...

Heidianne: No I haven't seen it..thanks for the links...

PoorGrrl said...

Great post Otto! And thanks for adding my blog, PoorGrrl Zone, to your blogroll. Cheers!

American Interests said...

poorgrrl: No worries and welcome to AI

Paul Champagne said...

Even if Iran had halted its' nuclear weapons program ... they have gone full speed ahead on ancillary programs like missile developement and weapons-grade uranium enrichment. Once they have enough missiles and fissionable material, how soon after they re-start their weapons program till Israel glows in the dark?

American Interests said...

Paul: Thank you and look out for an email I sent regarding problems I have visiting "The Blogway Boys".