by James Lewis
According to a RAND report, the United States and the world have blown the chance to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. Half a year ago, US air strikes and a no-fly zone might have prevented a nuclear bomb in the hands of the martyrdom ideology of Khomeinist Iran. That window has now slammed shut. In about 8 weeks, the RAND report concludes, Iran will have the nuclear material for its first bomb.
RAND Corporation's Gregory S. Jones believes that Iran has produced almost 40 kilograms of uranium enriched near 20% percent. Jones suggests that air strikes can no longer stop Ahmadinejad's rush to nuclear weapons.
It appears that the Obama administration knowingly allowed the optimal window of opportunity against Iranian nuclear weapons to pass. As a result, the world has suddenly become immensely more dangerous.
The slogan "Death to Israel! Death to America!" has been chanted on a daily basis by mass meetings in Iran. It is sheer wishful thinking to believe that after 30 years of daily threats they don't really mean it. The Obama Administration either believes there is no looming nuclear threat, or that it's willing to live with it. But the Saudis and other neighboring countries don't agree.
Thirty years after Jimmy Carter allowed Iran to be conquered by the Ayatollah Khomeini, a proponent of martyrdom war to spread Shiite Islam, Iran has the means to strike countries it has threatened directly, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. Iran's ballistic missile program, with major North Korean help, may be able to reach the United States by 2015. ICBMs only require a flight time of about half an hour.
It is likely that Saudi Arabia and possibly Egypt will import their own nuclear weapons from Pakistan, which is now rushing to build an advanced plant for uranium production. An American nuclear scientist who visited a North Korean centrifuge plant recently reported that the plant he saw was so advanced it could only have been built with Chinese help. North Korea therefore seems to have been working as a Chinese proxy to promote worldwide proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Iran is dominated by a martyrdom ideology. Ahmadinejad was likely involved in mass suicide charges in the Iran-Iraq war, in which boys wearing green plastic "Keys to Paradise" were ordered to drive their motorcycles into Saddam Hussein's minefields. Ahmadinejad is thought to be a "Twelver," a devout believer in the Shiite Mahdi (messiah), who will bring Armageddon to infidels and victory to an extremist sect of Shi'ism.
No nuclear war has occurred in the last sixty years since Stalin's (stolen) atom bomb explosion. Rational nations do not commit suicide. The Iranian Twelver regime is the first openly suicide-promoting regime since the Japanese Imperial cult of World War II. Ahmadinejad is a religious fanatic who claims to have direct conversations with Allah and the Twelfth Imam, a claim that has led to internal struggles between Ayatollah Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard factions. Khamenei recently arrested Ahmadinejad supporters accusing them of practicing witchcraft against the dominance of the religious elite.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor when Khomeini overthrew the Shah, has recently said that Obama's demand for Israel to pull back to its 1949 ceasefire lines was not strong enough. Brzezinski apparently wants greater concessions from Israel.
Newt Gingrich has called Obama's demand "an invitation for Israel to commit suicide." Michele Bachmann has called it "a betrayal" of Israel.
It is now beyond serious doubt that Obama and Carter have empowered the most radical and dangerous forces in the Islamic world.
1. In 1979 Jimmy Carter brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power by undermining the Shah, who was a modernizer and relatively enlightened on issues like women's education. The result is 30 years of a reactionary Islamist regime, the Iran-Iraq war, and now, nuclear weapons.
2. A few months ago Obama publicly pushed Hosni Mubarak out of power in Egypt. The result has been a rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and an apparent breakdown of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. The Saudis are outraged and frightened by the "Arab Spring," which is bringing down regimes all over the Arab world. Pakistan is ready to supply the Saudis and Egypt with nuclear weapons, probably backed by China.
The world has had 30 years to prepare for this moment. Only the United States has the military power to knock down Iran's nuclear industry and impose a no-fly zone that will keep Iranian missiles and aircraft from being launched. Israel is motivated to do it, but cannot sustain a long air campaign. The only option Israel seems to have is to launch its own weapons of mass destruction first.
Dr. Jones' eight-week estimate for the first Iranian Bomb may be off by weeks or months. Nobody can doubt that we will be facing a nuclear Iran some time soon. George W. Bush was mercilessly mocked for launching a preemptive war against Saddam Hussein because Bush did not want to take the risk that Saddam might have WMD's. It now appears that Obama has failed to preempt Iran's nuclear breakout. We will therefore have an opportunity soon to find out what happens when the United States does not try prevent rogue regimes from getting nukes.
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