Collecting Interest on The ‘Peace Dividend’
Vol: 36 Issue: 24 Friday, September 24, 2004
Collecting Interest on The ‘Peace Dividend’
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharaz continues to rattle sabers, threatening [again] to react ‘most severely’ if Israel strikes any of its nuclear facilities.
“Israel is always a threat not only against Iran, but all countries in the Middle East,” said Kharazi, (whose country explicitly rejects Israel’s right to exist). “Be sure that any action by Israel certainly will be reacted by us most severely.”
The Iranians have every right to expect an Israeli strike against their facilities. Although Jerusalem has been warning the Western powers for a decade, somehow, Iran’s nuclear ambitions seem to have caught the whole world by surprise, so to speak.
Nevertheless, U.S. and Israeli officials are talking of possible military action even though some believe it’s already too late to keep Iran from going nuclear (if it chooses).
“We have to start accepting that Iran will probably have the bomb,” says one senior Israeli source. There’s only one solution, he says: “Look at ways to make sure it’s not the mullahs who have their finger on the trigger.”
After Iraq, calls for regime change without substantial evidence of weapons of mass destruction are going to fall on deaf ears.
Especially as long as the Democrats continue to conduct business as if the best thing that could happen would be for America to lose another unpopular war.
But Iran was not the only country whose secret nuclear ambitions hummed along while the Democrats and Republicans continued to battle over who won Election 2000.
And if anybody points out to the DNC that Election 2000 was four years ago, they are making it clear that they are not intimidated by time.
American partisans have yet to reach a concensus as to whether America lost the Vietnam War thanks to George Bush not making some Alabama National Guard meetings or because of John Kerry’s antiwar activities.
It is MUCH too early for the partisans to decide who lost Iraq, let alone make plans to lose a new war against Iran.
Besides, Iran isn’t the only country with nuclear ambitions. There is that other war we didn’t win [but didn’t lose] against the North Koreans that still has to be dealt with. But instead of dealing with a POTENTIALLY nuclear North Korea, say, in 1994, the North Korea of 2004 is a sure-enough nuclear threat with both the nuclear warheads and the missiles necessary to carry them half-way around the world.
Arms control specialists are increasingly alarmed by Brazil’s efforts to do precisely what Iran is doing: use centrifuge cascades to enrich uranium with a couple of key differences.
Unlike Iran, Brazil has never signed the NPT’s Additional Protocol, which gives expanded inspection rights to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
And unlike Iran, Brazil is not letting the IAEA examine its centrifuges. If the Brazilians go through with their program, it’s likely to wreck the landmark 1967 treaty that made South America a nuclear-free zone.
Israel, which has long regarded Iran as a more dire threat than Iraq, is making thinly veiled threats of a unilateral pre- emptive attack, like its 1981 airstrike against Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor.
“If the state decides that a military solution is required, then the military has to provide a solution,” said Israel’s new Air Force chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Elyezer Shkedy, in a newspaper interview last week.
“For obvious reasons,” he added, “we aren’t going to speak of specifics.” U.S. defense experts doubt that Israel can pull it off. Iran’s facilities (which it insists are for peaceful purposes) are at the far edge of combat range for Israel’s aircraft; They’re also widely dispersed and, in many cases, deep underground.
But America certainly could do it and has given the idea some serious thought. “The U.S. capability to make a mess of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is formidable,” says veteran Mideast analyst Geoffrey Kemp. “The question is, what then?”
According to a report in Newsweek, the CIA and DIA have war-gamed the likely consequences of a U.S. pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. No one liked the outcome. As an Air Force source tells it, “The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating.”
As Bill Clinton assumed the Oval Office, the Soviet Union had just collapsed, bring with it cries of ‘peace and safety’ as it sunk in that the Cold War was over and the only remaining superpower on earth was the United States. The Soviets spent themselves out of existence trying to keep up with the Reagan-inspired arms-race and eventually collapsed.
America, having spent its way out of nuclear war with the Soviets, turned to what Bill Clinton called ‘the peace dividend’ and found all kinds of creative ways to spend it on other things.
After ten years of spending cuts, the superpower that defeated the Soviet Union is struggling to win the peace in Iraq, while facing the twin nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran with neither the military nor intelligence capacity it had a decade ago.
Writing of the signs of the times for the last days, the Apostle Paul warned;
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)