The big story in the news is the latest National Intelligence Estimate, and it's leaving a look of glee on the Democrats' faces. For yours truly, it is leaving me very concerned, more concerned than ever before about the Iran situation. It's my opinion that a nuclear Iran is dangerous and unacceptable. If Ahmadinejad gets the bomb, he will use it, and the world will be plunged into a global war. There is no doubt in my mind about this. When I hear liberals say things like "there is no threat" in regards to both Iran and Iraq, I just shake my head in amazement. Saddam was taken out just at the right time. Had he not been, those two nations would be engaged in an arms race that would bring about nothing good. Iran is no different and the latest NIE report does NOT change my mind. In fact, I feel the situation has become much more dire.
Iran has repeatedly told the US and the international community that they were not seeking nuclear weapons. The NIE report shows that they were lying, but the lie has been sugar coated. The NIE says that Iran hasn't been working on a bomb since 2003. Sounds great! But the devil is always in the details. And the details, and the consequences of this report, should have any peace-loving citizen of the world filled with more than a little anxiety.
The NIE states that Iran has not been pursuing a nuclear bomb since 2003. However, it DOES continue to enrich uranium and it DOES continue to pursue nuclear technology for commercial and domestic purposes. It doesn't take a degree in nuclear physics to know that the rate-limiting step in producing a nuclear weapon is the ENRICHMENT of URANIUM. Once that is accomplished, it can be weaponized in a matter of months. The NIE states that if Iran chooses to resume their nuclear program, they could have the bomb as early as 2009.
Of course, these details did not find their way into the mainstream media reports. No, what they echoed was nothing more than 'another US intelligence failure', and the liberals in America couldn't be more gleeful. Funny how those people shunned US intelligence prior to Iraq, but now take the latest NIE report (at least parts of it) to be the equivalent of a holy gospel. But that's another post. At any rate, what's happened with the public release of this report has me most concerned.
Basically, the West has lost all credibility, and all bargaining power. It was going to be difficult to convince the international community to take action against Iran, even something as simple as economic sanctions was an uphill climb as long as Russia and China held their veto power. And now that possibility is all but dead. The West has no chance at convincing Iran to stay away from nukes, and no one knows this better than Ahmadinejad. It wouldn't surprise me if he ordered the resumption of his 'bomb' program the day this report was released. Who's gonna stop him? No matter what our future intelligence discovers, no one is going to take it seriously, making us powerless to pressure Iran away from nukes. For that alone I question the wisdom in releasing this report publicly. But what's done is done.
So now it's time for plan B. I think any effort to pressure Iran is futile, so the US and our allies must begin preparations for what will happen when Iran becomes a nuclear power. We need to continue our efforts at building a missile shield in Europe, and maybe even extend that shield to Israel, for they will certainly be the first target. And the next President must step into office with a clear and distinct plan for what action he/she will take if Iran chooses to use their nukes. Everything from a tactical battle plan, to a PR campaign, to domestic humanitarian response needs to be worked out NOW, before this happens. This may sound paranoid and jumping-to-conclusions, but once this report was released it became clear to me that Iran was going to possess a nuclear weapon within the next decade, and there was nothing we could do to stop it.
I applaud the President for not changing his tone, but I'm afraid that we've moved past that now. I think the right thing to do is to prepare for the reality of a nuclear Iran. And when that happens, those who decided to release this intelligence publicly will have a lot of questions to answer.