Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Iran, War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 11:07 am

A gathering of wise men (and woman) has been called by the President ostensibly to discuss the situation in Iraq:

It will be an unusual sight on Thursday in the Roosevelt Room of White House, and deliberately so: President Bush will engage in a consultation of sorts with a bipartisan collection of former secretaries of state and defense.

Among them will be several who have left little doubt that they think Mr. Bush has dangerously mishandled Iraq, ignored other looming crises, and put critical alliances at risk.

The meeting was called by the White House, which sent out invitations just before Christmas to everyone who once held those jobs.

The invitees were told that they were being asked to attend a briefing on Iraq and other issues. It was unclear, one recipient said, “how interested they are in what we are thinking.”

This could be, as some invitees have speculated, window dressing for the President’s continuing efforts to sell the Iraq War to the American people. Or, it could be something much more ominous.

Following on the heels of last weekend’s leak to Der Speigle about our contingency plans to bomb Iranian nuclear sites, this gathering could be one more signal we are sending to the Iranians that we are deathly serious about preventing them from building a nuclear weapon. Since Iran is going to be on the agenda, the President may want to gage what kind of support he can expect from Democratic heavy hitters if he feels it necessary to escalate the crisis, probably within a few weeks.

Key to this strategy will be two individuals respected by the liberal press and Democratic members of Congress; former Secretary’s of State Madeline Albright and Colin Powell.

Powell would probably support toughening our stance in the UN and perhaps even some kind of sanctions regime. Albright is another story. Architect of what she considered a successful nuclear containment policy in North Korea (she blames Bush for the collapse of the inspections in 2002), it is doubtful she would advocate anything outside of that being offered by the European Union’s “Big Three” - Britain, France, and Germany. Those three countries have been negotiating with Iran for almost a year about trying to safeguard their nuclear program and keep the mullahs from processing enough fissionable uranium to build a bomb. The Iranians, of course, have been playing the Europeans for fools as they blow hot and cold on negotiations, all the while continuing to expand their enrichment efforts. The latest offer by the EU - to allow Russia to enrich the uranium - has been rejected by President Ahmadinejad who continues to bait both Israel and the United States, daring us to attack him.

In fact, Ahmadinejad recently made it plain that he feels negotiations with the EU is a waste of time:

In a closed-door meeting with parliament’s Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, Ahmadinejad said that under former presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami Iran had tried to appease Europe.

“On foreign policy, Ahmadinejad said that during the last sixteen years, we adopted a detente policy … but in practice this policy had not achieved anything for Iran,” Kazem Jalali, a member of the committee, told the official IRNA news agency.

By the end of Khatami’s second term in 2004 “we were distanced from the goals of the (1979 Islamic) Revolution and our activity in the Islamic world had been somewhat diminished,” Jalali quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.


Meanwhile, the Iranians appear to be scouring Europe for the hardware to construct a working nuclear device:

The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country’s weapons programmes.
Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with “import requests and acquisitions … registered almost daily”, the report seen by the Guardian concludes.

The warning came as Iran raised the stakes in its dispute with the United States and the European Union yesterday by notifying the International Atomic Energy Authority that it intended to resume nuclear fuel research next week. Tehran has refused to rule out a return to attempts at uranium enrichment, the key to the development of a nuclear weapon.

All of this adds up to a brewing crisis that will require the Administration to make a decision; do we acquiesce and accept an Iranian fait accompli on their building and deploying a nuclear weapon or do we try and use every means necessary to prevent it?

There are things short of bombing that we can do. The UN Security Council would be useful except that both Russian and China - who have both recently signed lucrative commercial deals with Iran - would be expected to veto any sanctions regime or military action contemplated by the SC. And there is the possibility that we could initiate a naval blockade. This would be extraordinarily risky because Iran has been armed by both the Chinese and the French with modern anti-ship missiles. And in the duck pond of the Persian Gulf, our ships would have only minutes notice before one or more of those missiles were upon them. While our anti-missile defense is the best in the world (Aegis Cruisers are designed to protect the battle group in just such a circumstance) they would probably need more time to be effective. I daresay the Navy would be extremely reluctant to undertake any blockade that would put so many ships and men at risk.

It certainly looks like a job for the Air Force. That is, if the President has the courage to buck the left, the MSM, and probably a majority of Democrats not to mention 9/10 of the rest of the world.

And what of all these respected national leaders called to the White House to discuss Iraq and “other matters?” The Democrats in the group (and probably some Republicans) think that Bush has ignored them for 5 years and why should they pull his chestnuts out of the fire now? It’s a fair question and here’s a fair answer; because it is vital to our survival as a nation that on the issue of preventing Iran from getting its hands on nuclear weapons, we speak with one voice. In fact, perhaps the only way to prevent military action against Iran is to convince Ahmadinejad that there is no chance - zero - that they will escape military action by trying to play one faction off of another here in America. We must convince him that he has no choice but to submit to some kind of international inspections regime that will be stringent enough to give us confidence that they can’t circumvent it and build a nuke anyway.

Otherwise, it will be a bombing campaign with risks that I spell out here.

Will factionalism be the death of us all? A significant portion of the answer to that question may be answered tomorrow at a meeting of some of the wisest heads in the foreign policy and defense establishment.


  1. You don’t think that the crux of the crisis in Iraq you speak of here doesn’t have something to do with the Iraqi people electing a parliamant made up of folks who not only want us out of their country, but also are very interested in aligning themselves with the regime in Tehran, do you?

    The most wretched of the many unintended consequences brought about by this incompetent president’s blundering in Iraq has to be the empowerment of Iran. By removing their most dangerous enemy we could very well have given Iran something they have wanted for decades.

    The nuclear excuse is nice and all, but I suspect that the real agenda under discussion will be how to deal with Tehran’s vastly increased sway in Iraq, and how to prevent them from consumating the relationship once we pull our troops out.

    Comment by Billy Sol Cheney — 1/4/2006 @ 8:42 pm

  2. 1. No evidence that Iraqi Shia’s wil “align” themselves with Iran. Absolutely none.

    2. We shouldn’t have gotten rid of Saddam because it empowered Iran? What an idiot.

    3. “Nuclear excuse?” No wonder the American people will not trust idiots like you with our national security. Even your heroes the French are extremely worried about that.

    4. Your amateurish and fallacious analysis is about what I’ve come to expect from lefty trolls here. THe idea that Shia nationalists in Iraq would take a chance of coming under the thumb of the mullahs in Iran is just plain batty and only proves you know jack crap about Iraq, Iran, and the Middle East.

    Comment by Rick Moran — 1/4/2006 @ 9:18 pm

  3. Bonus prediction–if the U.S. does have a go at Iran, it will be staged out of Iraq.

    Comment by Michael L. Cook — 1/5/2006 @ 4:11 am

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