Extending Our Nuclear Umbrella

On her recent trip to Thailand, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made several statements that taken together should concern every citizen of the Western World. First, she said, “We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment: that if the US extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it is unlikely Iran will be any stronger or safer.” She then went on to say that, “The Iranians won’t be able to intimidate and dominate as they apparently believe they can once they have nuclear weapons.” emphasis added.

The Secretary of State is apparently saying that because it is a foregone conclusion that the rogue Iranian regime will obtain nuclear weapons, the United States must extend its nuclear umbrella to Israel and the other “friendly” Persian Gulf Arab states. If this is true, we are all in grave danger. The United States must take all actions necessary to prevent Iran from developing (or obtaining) nuclear weapons.

Mrs. Clinton’s (and the Obama Administration’s) belief that the extension of our nuclear umbrella will somehow calm the fears of those in the Middle East is incorrect. And, unfortunately, her assumption that the extension of our nuclear umbrella to that region will deter Iran’s use of nuclear weapons is fatally flawed. The reason our extension of our nuclear umbrella to our Western European allies during the Cold War was successful was because the Soviets could be deterred by the certain knowledge that we had the power and the willingness to destroy them, if necessary (the exact term was mutually assured destruction or “MAD”). As Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told his Chinese counter part, Mao Zedong, “The US may be a paper tiger as you call it, but that paper tiger has nuclear teeth.”

The Islamists who run Iran do not possess the rationality of the former Soviet leaders. They believe that they are fulfilling a Koranic prophecy and are being dictated to by Allah. They do not care if Iran is destroyed in an Israeli or US retaliatory strike, just so long as Israel is destroyed too.

The fundamental flaw in the Obama Administration’s thinking toward Iran comes from the President himself. President Obama does not understand the nature of the adversary that we face. By stating in his Cairo speech in June that under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the right to develop nuclear power, Mr. Obama conceded that the Iranians have the right to go nuclear. This is despite the fact that Iran is the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism.

For some reason, the President of the United States (and, by extension, his entire administration) feels the need to coddle the Islamic extremists who currently control Iran. Whether it is continuing the folly of stating that he wants to meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or refusing to speak out in support of those protesting the results of the Iranian presidential election for fear of meddling or refusing to allow his Secretary of State to say that the Iranian government is an illegitimate regime, the President is showing our enemies that the United States will not act to protect its own security, let alone that of its allies.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton are putting the Israelis in a position where they will have to act alone. Since Mr. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that he intends to wipe Israel off the map, the Israeli government cannot sit back and allow Iran to develop the weapons that can destroy their entire population.

The security of the entire Western World is at stake. The President and the Secretary of State should have a better understanding of our enemies before they extend our nuclear umbrella. If they don’t, that umbrella has far too many holes for it to make any difference.

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