This disturbing development actually dovetails nicely with what Prof. Marek Edelman (the youngest and only surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising) said in an interview with the weekly "Przekrój" when questioned about his support for the war in Iraq. He said that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has nothing to do with Palestinians. Take the Palestinian autonomy. They have no industry, no commerce, no schools, insufficient clean water, no medical facilities. Really, they have nothing which makes a modern society worthy of the name. They do, however, have guns, ammo and explosives aplenty. Which of course means that someone is supplying them with these things (but not with life's basic necessities). This has only one possible conclusion: that someone wants unrest in the region for political and/ or economic gain. Please note that they want UNREST and not for the PA to win. If they wanted them to win, they'd give them tanks, warplanes etc., all those things needed to fight a modern military. Instead they give them toys, baubles to keep them pestering Israel, without posing an overwhelming threat to the latter. At the same time they rely on Israel not to go in and obliterate the PA, using Western fear of political correctness as a weapon against it. Meanwhile, the lack of life necessities is a powerful prod to the Palis urging them to keep on killing "for social justice". Unrest is forever, while a win for one side or the other is a termination of the status quo.
Now, to get back to your article, we have known for a long time that like the Saudis, the Mad Mullahs of Iran have been supplying the PA and as it turns out other terrorists with all forms of arms and money (which was promptly spent on weapons). This means that like the Saudis they have an interest in the PA being a thorn in the side of Israel and of the entire region., most likely to maintain artificially high oil prices and has made Iran very wealthy, since they are the #4 world oil producer. It has also enabled them to become a regional powerbroker and a military power as well. Now, not content with being a grey eminence, the leopard is showing his true spots. The Iranian government feels powerful enough to issue challenges to the West, which it has always done, but also to its immediate neighbors. This means that they feel reasonably confident that they would end up on top, if the whole festering heap of the Middle East were to collapse; as it would during a general war in the region.
A) they have a military capability which is unknown to us ie. being closer to nukes than we think, or/and
B) they are greatly overconfident in their military power and disdainful of any Western military response. This is a bad thing, in particular the latter option. A dilettante confident in his knowledge and skill will actually launch a war much sooner than a professional who is aware of the risks and realities (vide Hitler vs. Stalin). And if the two options both held true, as they might, then a dilettante with nukes is even worse. Of course, we know Iran would lose in the end, but this would involve the entire Western world, and at what cost?
This is indeed horrible news.
Melanie Phillips is running a splendid piece here by former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar,which "reminds us of what a tragic day it was for both Spain and the defence of the free world when the Spanish buckled under the threat of terror and replaced him by an appeasement-minded government. Aznar is one of the few present or former world leaders who really gets it. NATO, he says, needs to articulate a new mission: to combat jihadism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and concentrate its efforts upon fighting terror. Obvious. In pursuit of this aim, he says, it should open its doors to those nations that share its values and invite Japan, Australia, and Israel to become full members".
As you can imagine, many people in Europe and in NATO were shocked by the idea of inviting Israel, although they took as a natural fact the establishment of closer cooperation with Japan and Australia, which indeed is a big change for NATO. Some people from Israel also objected to having Israel as a formal ally in NATO. But treating Israel as if it were not an integral part of the Western world is a big mistake that will affect our ability to prevail in this long war against jihadism. I think it is in our mutual interests to have Israel as a formal ally...
The West cannot fight this radical tide without Israel. Israelis might decide that for their own security they had better follow the traditional policy of relying just on themselves. But Islamic extremism is more a tsunami than a tide, and in front of this powerful force we better stand together. In Europe, more and more people better understand the Israeli position each day. If you agree that the world faces a global threat, it is necessary to organize a strong response to this threat. For me, Israel is a vital part of the Western world. Israel is becoming more and more important to the Western world for stability, prosperity, and freedom...
I don't believe in appeasement against terrorism. I don't believe in negotiation with terrorism. I believe in the necessity to fight against terrorists. It is a very serious mistake to negotiate with terrorism. Terrorists should be frightened and defeated, and this is possible. No other policy exists for me.
It’s not often one hears a member of the political or intellectual class articulate so clearly and unequivocally such a moral, progressive and eminently realistic position.