Now that the Wikileaks reveal widespread Arab support for the military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities to be put on the table, the time has come to reassess United States policy toward the Ahmadinejad regime.
Even if Israel freezes settlement building, the Palestinians come to the negotiating table and an agreement is reached about borders, refugees and Jerusalem, there will still be no real peace in the Middle East - if Iran continues on its determined path toward developing deliverable nuclear weapons. Despite noble efforts by the United States to bring Israel and the Palestinians to the peace process, the inability to achieve a real peace will be largely the fault of the deeply flawed American policy toward Iran.
|Bishehr: Iran's Nuclear Power Plant (now operational)|
Nor would a nuclear Iran limits its mischief to Israel. Now that it has obtained medium range ballistic missiles from North Korea, it might feel adventurous enough to export nuclear terrorism to other parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. President Barak Obama understated the threat when he said that a nuclear Iran would be “a game changer.” It would be unmitigated disaster, threatening world peace, putting an end to any hope of nuclear non-proliferation, and engendering the greatest arms race in modern history.
The fault for this disaster would be equally shared by the Bush and the Obama Administrations. Under George Bush’s watch, the United States issued its notorious National Security Estimate of November 2007, which essentially denied that Iran was seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
|nuclear weapons facility at Qum|
The Obama Administration appears to have taken any military option off the table, relying instead on its enhanced package of sanctions. Secretary of Defense Gates has been explicit about this and the Iranians have been listening. It makes absolutely no sense to take the military option off the table, even—perhaps especially—if one is reluctant to deploy it. As George Washington taught us in his first address to Congress: “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” Israel’s Prime Minister echoed President Washington when he recently said, “The simple paradox is this: If the international community, led by the United States, hopes to stop Iran’s nuclear program without resorting to military action, it will have to convince Iran that it is prepared to take such action.” What is it that American policymakers don’t seem to understand about this self-evident proposition?
The Biblical prophet cautioned “peace, peace and there is no peace.” This tragic prophecy will become a sad reality if Israel and the Palestinian Authority make great sacrifices in an effort to bring peace to their people, only to see that peace shattered by a short-sighted American policy that allows Iran to hold a nuclear sword of Damocles over the entire region.