They All Do Nothing

Everyone (meaning the NATO allies, Israel and most of the Arab countries) seems to agree that it is unacceptable for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Shortly after President Bush was re-elected in 2004, he said that Iran would not acquire or develop nuclear weapons on his watch. I chose to take the President at his word, but he has done nothing. And, of course, our European friends did what they do best – talk. They are all talk and no action about a lot of things, including preventing Iran from acquiring WMD. While the Bush administration said don’t do it and the Europeans talked, Iran continued its research and development into nuclear weapons and the missiles necessary to deliver them.

It has been reported on occasion and it is the conventional wisdom in predominately Jewish circles (in which I sometimes hang), that the Israelis would NEVER allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. However, Israeli actions don’t seem to match this rhetoric. I have reached the conclusion that Israel will stand by and let the most dangerous weapons ever developed fall into the hands of an Islamist regime that has as its head of state a man who is crazy even by their standards.

If the Israelis were going to take military action against Iranian nuclear facilities, it would seem logical to do it while they have a friend in the White House. George W. Bush has been the best friend Israel has ever had at 1600 Pennsylvania. President-elect Obama will not be the friend to Israel that Mr. Bush has been (Mr. Obama has been quoted as saying that the United States needs to take a more “balanced” approached to the Middle East peace process. That is code for being a Palestinian sympathizer.)

So why haven’t the Israelis acted. There can be only one of two reasons. Either they are unwilling to act (which defies all logic) or they are unable to act. My bet is, of course, on the latter. After the IDF’s poor performance in the Lebanon conflict in the summer of 2006, it is unlikely that the Israeli military has the ability to successfully end (or to significantly delay) Iran’s nuclear program.

It is amazing that the Kadima government was allowed to stay in power after such a humiliating defeat at the hands of a bunch of terrorists. Evidently, the Israeli public has lost its stomach for casualties just like we have, regardless of the cost of defeat. Should Kadima win the next Israeli election (currently scheduled for February 10, 2009), nothing in Tzipi Livni’s background indicates that she will take a strong stance against Iran. And, nothing that President-elect Obama has said indicates that we will act to terminate Iran’s WMD programs either.

Therefore, we are left with the probability of a nuclear armed Iran with the means to deliver these weapons. Either we have a state to state nuclear attack launched directly by Iran or an Iranian surrogate group (like Hezbollah) does the Iranian dirty work for them. In either case, if you think the financial crisis is a mess, just wait until the bombs go off in Tel Aviv, London or New York.

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