In today's Wall Street Journal, John Bolton yet again, emphatically restates the obvious into what has become a lonely echo chamber. And while history will look kindly upon him, the same will not be said of American leadership. It escapes me how Bolton can be so measured and deliberate in the face of such crushing impotence. The facts point to a frightening and fatal future.
Iran pursues its nuclear weapons program with malevolent speed and vigor and as its MO, uses "talks" to stall (and the only ones talking are the perm 5, to themselves). Further, Iran's announcement of a new marine weapon came on the heels of another ignored deadline for an Iranian response to a package of incentives offered by six world powers. Incentives?
The Associated Press reported from Tehran, "Iran will not give up 'a single iota of its nuclear rights,' the country's president said Saturday, scornful and smug about an informal deadline to stop expanding uranium enrichment or face more sanctions." Could they be clearer? Here at the New York Sun
If this sounds familiar, it should. The Associated Press and the rest of the press have been reporting on disarmament "deadlines" for Iran now for five years, and Iran has been ignoring the deadlines for just as long, with no appreciable consequences. If a line is reached and crossed and no death results, is it really a deadline?
The first deadline was back in 2003. The deadline was so significant that France and America even agreed on it. "Mr. Villepin said Iran must meet the October 31st deadline that the IAEA imposed or face possible sanctions," Voice of America reported on September 30, 2003.
"Iran Given New Nuclear 'Deadline'" was the headline of an article published on the BBC Web site in September of 2004. It reported on an International Atomic Energy Agency resolution that "imposes an indirect deadline of 25 November." The BBC article quoted an American diplomat as saying "The time for decisive action is approaching." That was four years ago.
The year 2005 brought another so-called deadline — September 3. "In Vienna, Austria, where the IAEA is based, diplomats said Iran faced a Sept. 3 deadline to stop uranium conversion," the Associated Press reported in August of 2005.
There were deadlines in 2006, too. "U.N. Gives Iran Nuclear Deadline," was the headline over an article in the Daily Telegraph on August 1, 2006, reporting, "The United Nations Security Council has given Iran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment."
The next year, 2007, brought more deadlines. "The UN has set today as a final deadline for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment," the Guardian reported on February 21, 2007. The final deadline? Right.
Now, over the weekend, another deadline came and went. On Saturday, Secretary of State Rice said the Iranian envoys failed to give a clear answer. "The Iranians did not give a clear answer. If they don't give a clear answer, then I think we will have no choice but to begin again to prepare sanctions resolutions for the Security Council," Ms. Rice said at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colo. But Ms. Rice added that she did not expect the U.N. Security Council would prepare sanctions until September, ruling out any action in the next few weeks.
Given the history of these diplomatic deadlines, it's no wonder that they don't exactly strike fear into the hearts of the Iranian government. Nor is it surprising that the Israelis are running training exercises for military missions to take out Iran's nuclear sites. What is surprising is that Senator Obama, who appears to be an intelligent man, wants to negotiate with the Iranians. What is he going to do, give them a deadline?
The renewed talk of sanctions is long past its expiration date. Those actions should have been taken two years ago.
With patience of the Pope, Bolton, in his journal op-ed piece explains in painstaking detail, the process, the scientific process by which Iran is acheiving its terrible goals,
First, while the European-led negotiations proceed, Iran continues both to convert uranium from a solid (uranium oxide, U3O8, also called yellowcake) to a gas (uranium hexafluoride, UF6) at its uranium conversion facility at Isfahan. Although it is a purely chemical procedure, conversion is technologically complex and poses health and safety risks.
As Isfahan's continuing operations increase both Iran's UF6 inventory and its technical expertise, however, the impact of destroying the facility diminishes. Iran is building a stockpile of UF6 that it can subsequently enrich even while it reconstructs Isfahan after an attack, or builds a new conversion facility elsewhere.
Second, delay permits Iran to increase its stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) -- that is, UF6 gas in which the U235 isotope concentration (the form of uranium critical to nuclear reactions either in reactors or weapons) is raised from its natural level of 0.7% to between 3% and 5%.
As its LEU stockpile increases, so too does Tehran's capacity to take the next step, and enrich it to weapons-grade concentrations of over 90% U235 (highly-enriched uranium, or HEU). Some unfamiliar with nuclear matters characterize the difference in LEU-HEU concentration levels as huge. The truth is far different. Enriching natural uranium by centrifuges to LEU consumes approximately 70% of the work and time required to enrich it to HEU.
Accordingly, destroying Iran's enrichment facility at Natanz does not eliminate its existing enriched uranium (LEU), which the IAEA estimated in May 2008 to be approximately half what is needed for one nuclear weapon. Iran is thus more than two-thirds of the way to weapons-grade uranium with each kilogram of uranium it enriches to LEU levels. Moreover, as the LEU inventory grows, so too does the risk of a military strike hitting one or more UF6 storage tanks, releasing potentially substantial amounts of radioactive gas into the atmosphere.
Iran is pursuing two goals simultaneously, both of which it is comfortably close to achieving. The first -- to possess all the capabilities necessary for a deliverable nuclear weapon -- is now almost certainly impossible to stop diplomatically. Thus, Iran's second objective becomes critical: to make the risks of a military strike against its program too high, and to make the likelihood of success in fracturing the program too low. Time favors Iran in achieving these goals. U.S. and European diplomats should consider this while waiting by the telephone for Iran to call.
The world powers circle jerk. The mad mullahs prepare for the coming of the 12th mahdi. The West, seemingly hardwired for delusion, convinces itself it can live with a nuclear Iran. The fantasy being it will level the nuclear playing field in the Middle East and mirror the nuclear stand off that kept the Ruskies and the Yanks from using their nukes in the last century. But the salve of MAD (mutually assured destruction) is not logical. The state was godless, no religious dogma to cling to. And the Russians wanted to live.
We are dealing with an enemy bent on death, who lives to die for the glory of their god. And yet,despite the close to 12,000 Islamic attacks since 9/11, the homicide bombings, the almost daily arrests of jihadis across the world, we still refuse to accept this. We love life and this love will be the death of us all. It renders us incapable of believing that there are millions of pious fanatics who do no love life.
They didn't believe Hitler when he wrote Mein Kampf. He made his objectives quite clear. Islamic jihad has made its intentions bloody clear. How dare we not believe them? Ahmadinejad has spewed the most violent annihilationist rhetoric. Who are we to toy we mass destruction? It irks me to hear the left whine about "saving the planet" when no threat to the planet exists (it will outlive us all, trust me). But the threat to mankind is dismissively shrugged off.
Ignatius in Sunday's Washington Post reported that Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff " informed the Israelis that the United States would oppose overflights of Iraqi airspace to attack Iran. Apparently The United States reassured the Iraqi government that it would not approve Israeli overflights, after the Iraqis strongly protested any potential violation of their sovereignty". Did we expend all that blood and treasure so that Iraq would be an Iranian satellite? If Iraq is not for us, then who? And to what end was that war? Why would we abandon a staunch ally and the only democracy in the Middle East? Why would we deny Israel the very means to defend itself?
While all this dhimmi "dithering" continues and we stumble towards an apocalyptic storm, there will come a day, an hour where President Bush will face the difficult decision. After the election and before the inauguration of the next President, there will come a moment when he will have to choose to save the free world and stand up to the world's as well as Obambi and co.'s condemnations (although the history books will look most kindly at Bush, if West writes them that is) or he will falter, and the price will be unthinkable.
A nuclear Iran is the end of the world as we know it.
UPDATE: This is, in effect, an act of war: Iran Threatens Strait of Hormuz
Two days after a diplomatic deadline passed for Iran to end the reprocessing and enrichment of uranium, the chief of the country's Revolutionary Guard force is threatening to close down one of the world's most critical oil shipping passageways, the Strait of Hormuz.
The Revolutionary Guard commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, spoke to Iranian reporters after testing a new antiship missile that he said could sink "enemy ships" at a range of more than 200 miles. He said shutting down the Strait of Hormuz would be easy.
They think they have us by the throat.