February 3, 2010
Obama's Strike Three: The Iranian BombBy James Lewis
Three strikes and you're out. Obama has blown two so far, and he's got one chance left when it comes to national security. What will happen if in the next twelve months or so the suicide-preaching fanatics of Tehran explode a nuclear bomb, as they obviously are dead-set on doing? What will happen if Israel tries a preemptive strike? What if the Saudis, Egyptians, and Gulf States then imported a Sunni bomb from Pakistan?
All those countries are unstable and have sizable radical martyrdom groups trying to overthrow their regimes. If a nuclear Iran led a Shiite Axis with Syria, Lebanon, Hamas, and Hezbollah, a tectonic shift would bring radicals to power from Tehran to Lebanon, the worst alignment of America's enemies since Stalin. That is a colossal challenge even to the most competent U.S. foreign policy team. Obama has shown no capacity to deal with national security crises so far. This may therefore be the most dangerous moment since Kennedy's Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. If this White House can't handle huge instability at the wellspring of the world's oil supplies, then every other great power will try to muscle in, including Russia and China. That will be Strike Three.
Strike One was the Fort Hood jihadist, the military psychiatrist who was openly counseling his patients to join the jihad against America. He shot more than thirty unarmed soldiers and killed more than a dozen of them in cold blood, right in the middle of Fort Hood, while screaming "Allahu Akhbar!" This guy gave PowerPoint talks about his beliefs and put "Soldier of Allah" (SOA) on his official military business card. But nobody at Fort Hood dared to stop him because they feared (rightly) that their careers would be crushed by the P.C. Police. That is a perverse and suicidal policy in the U.S. military, and policy always comes from the top. And yes, even the U.S. government has finally acknowledged that the guy was a known jihadist. It was a huge command failure at every level. So far, nobody is known to have been fired yet, which means that the administration is tacitly admitting that turning a blind eye to jihadist maniacs in the ranks is its real policy.
Strike Two is the Nigerian jihadist, the kid who should have set alarm bells shrieking from Lagos to Amsterdam to Detroit before he was ever allowed to board an airplane bound for the United States. This was a dead easy Terror 101 suspect. Failing to nab this guy before he set his pants on fire over Detroit was a huge policy failure. Again, that big a failure had to come from the top. It was a direct consequence of suicidal policy directives, just like the KSM trial in Manhattan, from which the administration is now desperately trying to back off. But where in America are the local authorities willing to hold this trial? Maybe that town in Illinois that wants the employment for its prison? Maybe Death Valley? Maybe...Guantánamo? But no, that would be a huge loss of face for Obama, and the Left would explode in uncontrollable rage. I personally vote for San Francisco, which has done more to deserve the KSM trial than any other place in America. No doubt Nancy Pelosi is happy to do her patriotic duty to preserve Miranda rights for KSM and his friends.
Strike Three against Obama is coming, I'm afraid. It's the Iranian nuclear bomb, now predicted to be ready in twelve months, give or take a few. Nobody wants to see that, but if it happens, it will test this administration to the utmost. An Iranian nuke will finally show the voters whether Obama should ever have been elected. So far the signs are not good.
Jimmy Carter got fired when he failed so miserably in the face of the U.S. Embassy kidnapping by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Carter dithered for more than a year, and the voters drew their conclusions. On the Cold War front, Carter put his trust in the honesty of Leonid Brezhnev, and when the Soviets sensed weakness and invaded Afghanistan, that only added to Carter's aura of failure. Americans voters can be suckered, but in the end they can spot a real loser.
Reagan's most devastating moment in the television debate with Carter was to look at the camera in a kind of humorously hopeless way, and then just say, "There he goes again." Everybody knew what he meant.
We now have another mentally fixated ideologue in the White House. The State of the Union address a few days ago could be summarized as such: (Sigh). There he goes again. It was a rerun of all the other speeches. Even Obama looked bored. Maybe he verbally attacked the Supremes just for the entertainment value alone. The media had to have a headline. He sure didn't make any friends on the Court by violating the Separation of Powers tradition. Any lawyer should know better than to attack the court. They get to make the decisions that last.
Obama hasn't shown the kind of fast footwork that Bill Clinton demonstrated when the voters got disgusted with HillaryCare in 1994 and the GOP took over Congress. Clinton started moonwalking to the right as fast as Dick Morris could make him. He got reelected, but he ended up with a disaster anyway after the Blue Dress revelations. But at least Clinton didn't push his fellow Democrats over the cliff. Obama is asking them to jump and just have faith that everything will turn out OK. It's an interesting "first" in American politics, and we will soon see how suicidal the Democrats really feel when they try to bring ObamaCare back up.
What will determine Obama's own reelection is a Strike Three on the national security front. I think it will be the Iranian nuclear bomb. Here's why.
As those Evil Meanies George W. Bush and Richard Cheney kept saying over their eight years in the White House, there is one and only one strategic danger to the world from terrorism -- the kind of danger that kills cities and nations. That is the control of nuclear weapons by a terrorist regime. The Left has done its damnedest to fuzz up the meaning of the word "terrorist," but a terrorist is one who will kill innocent civilians for political gain -- not accidentally, but with malice aforethought. Nuclear weapons are a terrorist's dream weapon because they kill indiscriminately, and they terrorize everybody.
That ultimate danger of a terrorist with nukes has waxed and waned. In 1981 the Israelis took out Saddam Hussein's Osirak reactor because they (correctly) thought it would mean a terrorist regime with nukes if it was allowed to go ahead. Two years ago, they did exactly the same with a secret Syrian nuclear plant whose very existence was denied by the CIA. Meanwhile, defensive systems are getting better fast, and we now have Aegis-equipped naval vessels around the world. Every one of Iran's neighbors is arming up with anti-missile defenses. But nobody wants to test them in a real confrontation.
So far the world has lucked out and been able to postpone the explosive mix of a terrorist with nukes. That is why we invaded Iraq (they had a warehouse full of uranium yellowcake, but that didn't count as a "nuclear weapon" to the Left, so the press lynched George W. Bush for invading poor Saddam's national torture chamber). Still, that was the real reason George W. Bush had no choice but to knock over Saddam. The fact that the CIA had its facts wrong means nothing, because the CIA always has its facts wrong. The CIA has failed to predict every single nuclear weapon since Stalin's A-bomb.
Bush and Cheney had to assume the worst case for Saddam's nukes because responsible adults do exactly that in such situations. If cops are faced with a man with a gun, they have to assume the worst even if it turns out to be a toy gun. The Left always assumes perfect knowledge, which never exists in the real world, because the Left lives in wishful fantasy. Then they spins the facts to make themselves look good. Serious people stop doing that kind of stuff after elementary school.
Just this week, we found out that Madeleine Albright's magnificent negotiating success in getting North Korea's Kim Jong-Il to stop making plutonium meant nothing, because Kim just pursued the enriched uranium route instead. After all, he didn't sign a treaty saying he would stop enriching uranium, did he? But the media didn't tell you about that one. To the Left, Madeleine Albright is still a fount of peace and wisdom, not like those Evil Neocons. The Left truly has a childlike understanding of the world, which is why they get the really big con artists like Obama. Scammers have to go where the suckers are. Obama's a pretty good con artist, but he believes (wrongly) that he is immune from getting conned himself. He is his own biggest mark. It's a great lesson in human frailty, but I'd feel a lot better if it were just in a movie or a Broadway musical. Reality should be left to adults.
The cold light of day has a way of shocking us out of wishful dreams. That Day of Reckoning will come as soon as Iran gets its first nuclear device. Even Obama's messianic dreams of peace and love have by now turned to fairy dust. Those deep bows to the Emperor of Japan and the King of Saudi Arabia made no difference at all, other than making Obama look like a fool to the world. Like Alice in Wonderland, this White House can believe seven impossible things before breakfast. They've tried and tried to "negotiate" with the Persian rug-sellers in Tehran, and they've been suckered over and over again. It would be funny if it weren't so boring. But we've seen this gag too many times, and every time another Democrat president slips on the same banana skin, it becomes a yawner. Only the possible results keep us glued to our seats.
Nobody believes that the ripple effects of an Iranian nuke can be contained. North Korea is surrounded by saner nations like South Korea, China, and Japan, but Iran is right next door to Saudi Arabia (where the 9/11 hijackers came from), Iraq (with its own Shiite and Sunni suiciders), Afghanistan, Kuwait (remember the First Gulf War), and forty percent of the world's oil. This says nothing of Israel, the country the Arabs love to hate, but which they secretly hope will rescue them from Ahmadinejad.
The Left also loves to hate Israel, and in its ignorance it likes to fantasize that everything would be peace and love in the Middle East if only those Jews weren't stirring up trouble. Well, let's pretend for a second that Israel didn't exist. In that case, an Iranian nuke would still panic the Saudis, the Egyptians, and the Gulf States because the mullahs are Shiites who have hated the Sunnis since the 10th century CE. There was some dispute about Mohammed's cousin and son-in-law Ali and the proper line of descent of Allah's last and only true Prophet. That was a long time ago, but only twenty years ago, that ancient quarrel helped to kill a million people in the Iran-Iraq War.
If Israel did not exist, an Iranian bomb would still cause the Saudis and Egyptians to telephone their friends in Pakistan to send over some nukes, quick. That has already been happening -- rumor has it that the Saudis helped to finance the Pakistani nuke for that very reason, in case they needed one quick. So the Gulf will be bristling with nuclear weapons because Ahmadinejad spends half his time bashing Israel and America and the other half threatening his Arab neighbors. Ayatollah Khomeini sent Iranian pilgrims to trigger riots during the Hajj pilgrimage. Militant Shiites really believe they are the true lineage of Mohammed and are therefore entitled to the whole shebang, all the territory, Muslims by the millions, virgins, oil, and all.
Sometimes suicidal fanatics learn to act with greater sanity. Khrushchev reportedly feared that Stalin would set off a nuclear war over Berlin, and decided with Beria to take out Comrade Stalin once and for all. But when Khrushchev took over in the Soviet Union he led the world to the nuclear brink in 1962 with the active connivance of Fidel Castro, who wanted nuclear missiles in Cuba. Under Khrushchev the Soviets backed off, as Stalin might not have done. The U.S. backed off, too, but then Americans have never had a suicidal ideology.
Hitler would not have backed off in his last year or two, if nuclear weapons would have opened his way to Gotterdämmerung. Tojo would not have backed off if Japan had owned nuclear weapons. Those people truly believed in an ideology that glorified death for the cause. Dying for the Emperor was honored and glorified in Imperial Japan, which is why tens of thousands of soldiers chose that option when the moment came. Some brainwashed Germans volunteered to get blown up on the Eastern Front, just as French soldiers volunteered a hundred years earlier to die for the eternal glory of the Emperor Napoleon. It happens. Martyrdom ideologies are not unusual in human history.
The Left has been telling us that the Khomeini cult in Tehran couldn't possibly be so suicidal as to trigger a nuclear war. But we've seen plenty of brainwashed jihadist idiots who make the choice to die for Allah and eternal orgasms in Paradise. What we haven't seen so far is those brainwashed idiots being equipped with nukes. That's the meaning of the Iranian nuclear weapon, and everybody with their eyes open knows that.
This excludes most of the American Left, and specifically the fantasymongers of Obamaland. By shutting their eyes, the Left always makes the world much, much more dangerous. Reagan solved the hostage crisis just by getting elected president. The Ayatollah crowd knew the jig was up and released their American hostages even before the inauguration. They figured that Reagan would treat hostage-taking as a formal act of war, which is how it has been interpreted for centuries. Even Khomeini didn't want to pay that price. So rationality finally came to Tehran when the United States started to act like a great power. If there are no consequences, your average international thug will push the limits just as far as they will stretch.
So why will Iranian nukes be Obama's Strike Three? Because he's painted himself into a corner, exactly the way Carter did. Carter was stuck and impotent in the hostage crisis. After all, Khomeini had spent most of his life in France, where he had lots of opportunities to study Western socialists like Jimmy Carter, and he had come to understand their world-class gutlessness...just like Lenin understood the kinds of suckers he was dealing with in the West, whom he was able to control for Soviet propaganda and espionage. Ahmadinejad was Khomeini's runner boy during the hostage crisis, and he later became an official torturer for the Ayatollah, fought in the suicidal attacks on Saddam Hussein's artillery in the Iran-Iraq War, and survived it all to become one mean little...
The American people are not blind. We know about Iran's missiles, which can now strike thousands of miles from Tehran. We know about their suicidal ideology. We are not in doubt about the chant we've heard since Carter's reign of incompetence, "Death to Israel! Death to America!" American voters are not as easily suckered as Obama and the Democrats.
The Arab media occasionally speculate that Israel is bound to strike Iranian nukes before they become a threat to Mecca. But that won't happen. Israel can conduct strikes on Iran and hit a lot of targets. They cannot hit all the dispersed and hardened sites that might contain nuclear materials, personnel and weapons. They would not even want to, because radioactive fallout might reach Saudi Arabia just from the nuclear reactor at Bushehr. And Israel does not have the capability for a long-term air, ground, and naval campaign to really grind down the whole nuclear machine in Iran.
The only military solution requires the United States, working together with Arab nations and some NATO elements, to pulverize that hardened industry. By now somebody must have explained that to Mr. Obama in those Harvard Law seminars he likes to conduct.
Meanwhile, the Iranian program gets closer and closer to its target. There is a point of no return. Once they have enough plutonium or enriched uranium, they can disperse it to a thousand hardened sites in the mountains. After that, nobody will be in charge anymore. If the regime breaks down, any terrorist with a shovel will be able to dig up enough fissionable material to make his own dirty nuke. All it takes after that is a truck full of fertilizer to provide the explosive.
We may have passed that point of no return already; but there's no way to be sure. When the Iranians explode that nuke, the time for debate will be long gone. Israel is not going to knock out the nuclear danger the way it did in 1981.
In the next twelve to eighteen months, we will see if the Bush-Cheney prediction comes true. At that point, every sane person in the world will see the failure of the Appeasement Policy of 2010. Obama's name will go down with Neville Chamberlain as a man who brought predictable disaster, while singing the sucker-tune of peace in our time.
If it's not a domestic terror attack, Obama's Strike Three will be the Iranian bomb. There aren't any other Armageddon regimes at this time, storming their way to nukes with the intention to use them. The role of statesmen is to make sure such near-death crises never even occur. So far, every Democrat since Carter has failed that basic test, and the Obamanoids are the most delusional ones so far. No wonder Rahm Emanuel wants to get out.
Hold onto your horses; this is going to be one rough ride.