The Enemy of My Enemy

Russia is playing a dangerous game as nuclear supplier to Iran. We cannot separate our Middle East policy from the ambitions of Vladimir Putin to restore Russia as a Great Power. Rick Moran has a blogpost here at the American Thinker in which he bemoans the Russian "assistance" to Iran, the supplying of nuclear material to the Terror Masters. He makes the following statement:

What incentive the Iranians have gotten from the Russians to put away their nuclear enrichment toys and embrace the Bear as a partner in their energy producing reactors is hard to find. They no more want to be dependent on Russian goodwill to run their reactors as they wish to be beholden to the west. The issue isn't bomb making anyway. It's enrichment. And the Russian's move to sell the nuclear fuel to Iran only encourages resistance by the mullahs to western entreaties to halt their enrichment program. And given that what puny sanctions that are already in place are in jeopardy of being withdrawn, Iran is on the verge of a huge diplomatic victory.

Rick is right, but I think this can be carried a bit further. I don`t believe the Russians care a whit about stopping enrichment -- more power to Iran! What the Russians are trying to do is tie the Iranian nuclear program to their apron strings, making Iran a client state in the vein of the Chinese/North Korean relationship. If the Iranians are reliant on Russian uranium, they will not likely bite the hand that feeds them, while willing to bite as many western hands as they have fangs.

This makes them a proxy in Putin`s grudge-match with America; a wildcard nuclear threat capable of blackmailing the United States. One need but read the paranoid statements of Comrade Putin to realize that, yes, he really does think we are in another Cold War, and his actions in
developing new ICBMs and other weapons of mass destruction only support that accusation. That is why he`s selling SS-300 missiles to Iran; he wants to make it difficult for the U.S. to launch an air assault on the Mullah`s nuclear program.

This approach fits with Tsar Vladimir`s plan to make Russia the
world`s energy baron. He is willing to allow Iran to develop its own industry, provided they are beholden to Russia for necessities.

AT contributor Jack Kemp has reported that the Iranians are
busy down in Nicaragua and Venezuela, something that should give our security people pause; the Iranian Shahabob 5 has a range of 2,000 miles, more than adequate to hit targets in the southern United States. It occurs to me that a clever operative would not be so foolish as to directly challenge the might of the United States, but would find a fool to do it for him.

Putin, former KGB master, is a clever operative, and the mullahs' hatred of the Great Satan is infamous. The Arabs had a proverb "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

We cannot continue to compartmentalize our issues as we have been doing; Russia and China are a large part of our general problem. We have tools at our disposal, financial tools that can be used to squeeze the Prince. What we cannot continue to do is allow our erstwhile allies to stab our efforts in the back; Russia should be punished for these actions. It is incumbent on the Bush Administration to make it clear that we will not accept a nuclear Iran, and that any nation that aids and abets in the Iranian quest for nukes will be sorry. We have the economic power to enforce this. President Bush must stop coddling those who actively work against us.