Thursday, June 18, 2015

'Entropy on a scale not seen in centuries'‎ - Clifford D. May



by Clifford D. May


Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav

Expanding on his remarks in written testimony, Flynn emphasized that Iran's increasing ‎capabilities should be viewed in light of its intentions. But the White House, he said, has refused ‎to "acknowledge the frequent warnings from our intelligence community, especially defense ‎intelligence, regarding the hegemonic behaviors of the Islamic Republic of Iran."


Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (ret.) served 33 years in the U.S. Army. Being named President ‎Obama's director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012 was the culmination of his career. ‎He thought his job was to relate facts, not fables. It soon became clear that his superiors didn't ‎agree. ‎

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and ‎North Africa. Rep. Ted Deutch is the ranking member. Last week, they invited Flynn to testify. ‎They -- and anyone else concerned about the threats facing America and her allies -- should think ‎hard about what he told them.‎

Most pressing is the nuclear deal with Iran's rulers that the president is attempting to conclude by ‎the end of this month. Flynn warned that it is shaping up as "not a permanent fix but merely ‎a placeholder. The 10-year time frame only makes sense if the administration truly believes the ‎Iranian regime will change its strategic course." And that, he said, can only be characterized as ‎‎"wishful thinking."‎

Iran's rulers continue to claim that whatever nuclear research they are conducting -- in facilities ‎buried under mountains and at military installations -- is exclusively for generating electricity and ‎other peaceful purposes. But they also are developing missiles -- presumably not as a means for ‎keeping air conditioners humming in kindergartens. The missiles they possess today can reach ‎targets throughout most of the Middle East. The missiles they will possess tomorrow, Flynn ‎predicted, "will include ICBMs capable of attacking the American homeland."‎

He is puzzled by the fact that Iran's missile program has been excluded from the negotiations: "I ‎don't see how delivery systems (missiles or sophisticated guidance) can be excluded from any ‎‎'deal.' Reach is as important as force, just as in boxing."‎

Expanding on his remarks in written testimony, Flynn emphasized that Iran's increasing ‎capabilities should be viewed in light of its intentions. But the White House, he said, has refused ‎to "acknowledge the frequent warnings from our intelligence community, especially defense ‎intelligence, regarding the hegemonic behaviors of the Islamic Republic of Iran." In other words, ‎Iran's supreme leader and his Islamic Revolutionary Guards clearly mean to extend their ‎theocratic empire throughout Middle East.‎
Flynn told lawmakers -- more tactfully than I am about to -- that Obama's policies ‎are failing not just vis-à-vis Iran but also vis-à-vis the Islamic State group and al-Qaida. The death toll ‎in Syria since a civil war began there in 2011 and in Iraq since the U.S. withdrawal the same year ‎is over 200,000 with no indication that the carnage will end any time soon. Libya and Yemen are ‎in chaos. Russia, China and North Korea are taking advantage of what they perceive as American ‎fecklessness. One could go on.‎

Not only isn't Obama asking his advisors for an alternative policy, "anyone who ‎proposes one," Flynn told Congress, "is immediately exiled from the establishment."‎

He knows whereof he speaks. He was -- assuming I've read the evidence correctly and I'm ‎confident I have -- forced out as military intelligence chief last year for refusing to toe the ‎administration's line that the "tide of war" is receding and that the terrorists are "on the run." ‎Echoing those memes would have been a career booster but it would have been dishonest at a ‎time when he and other top intelligence officers were well aware that the conflicts initiated by ‎those claiming to fight for the global triumph of Islam are spreading, intensifying and ‎accelerating.‎

The White House insists that if Iran signs a nuclear agreement and then proceeds to violate it, ‎U.S. intelligence will not be blindsided. As someone who knows what America's spooks can and ‎cannot do, Flynn is skeptical. He cited a recent Defense Science Board study concluding ‎that "creative missile and nuclear proliferators" have the upper hand "in the cat and mouse game ‎they are playing with the United States and the international community."‎

Not long ago, Obama was saying that no deal with Iran would be preferable to a bad ‎deal with Iran. Were that proposition were still operative, the American side would walk unless ‎Iran agreed to "open up all of its facilities, scientific, military, and current nuclear facilities, for ‎international inspections."‎
Iran's rulers have been saying they will never do that. The most they may permit is "managed ‎access" which lets them decide where inspectors go and when. Would that give them an ‎opportunity to hide what they don't want inspectors to see? The question answers itself.‎

The president and his supporters say if we don't go along with Iran's terms for an agreement the ‎consequence will be war. Flynn told Congress that a range of other options should be ‎considered and he suggested key components of some of them. His main point, however, is that ‎‎"we face a very radicalized element in the likes of Islamic extremism, Sunni and Shia." That ‎leads him to this tough conclusion: "The administration's refusal to state what we can plainly see ‎is beyond irresponsible."‎
He worries that unless there is a shift, the result will be "entropy on a scale not seen in centuries. ‎We would have no way of anticipating risk, much less managing or containing it. Delusions ‎abound these days, but anyone who can argue for an ICBM- or nuclear-capable Iran is more a ‎pyromaniac than pragmatist."‎

If Flynn's warnings have begun to resonate on Capitol Hill, I would expect a solid majority ‎of members of Congress -- Democratic and Republican alike -- to vehemently oppose any ‎agreement with Iran based on "wishful thinking." But perhaps that's just wishful thinking on my ‎part.‎


Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a ‎columnist for The Washington Times.

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=12899

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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