The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The NIE Doesn't Change a Thing

A new report, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) says that Iran halted its nuclear weapons in 2003. The report has elicited many different responses from the White House, world leaders, political analysts, and the Iranians themselves.

Bush insists that the report is nothing but a "warning signal" about the regime's continued danger and remains firm in the conviction that the report offers no reason for the U. S. to change its policy toward Tehran:
"We know that they're still trying to learn how to enrich uranium. We know that enriching uranium is an important step in a country whose desire it was to develop a weapon. We know they had a program. We know the program was halted. I think it is very important for the international community to recognize the fact that if Iran were to develop the knowledge that they could transfer to a clandestine program, it would create a danger for the world. And so I view this report as a warning signal. It's a warning signal because they could restart it."
That sounds like sound thinking to us. We certainly wouldn't be changing our minds about Iran because a report clearly defined as an "estimate" says they STOPPED its nuclear weapons program. Isn't that a reason to watch them even more closely and make sure they don't try it again?

Well.....not according to the Democrats. Rep. Rham Emanuel (D-IL) thinks it's time we stop basing our policy toward Iran on "hype and fear". Of course, the bottom line here is the accusation that Bush has been wrong all along and that Iran has never been a threat. Diplomacy, says Emanuel, is the key.

Then there's the ever clueless Harry Reid (D-NV), who never misses an opportunity to attack the Prez with both barrels. He had this to say:
"President Bush's heated rhetoric on Iran, including comments about a potential World War III, is even more outrageous now that we know the intelligence community had informed him that it believes Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program four years ago. This is the latest in a long line of inaccurate and misleading comments that got us into the Iraq war to begin with. They further diminish the credibility of a President with a dangerous record of overstating threats."
Opinions varied among conservative and liberal columnists also. The Chicago Tribune editorial advised the world to keep its eyes open and offered this warning:
"It (Iran) could have the capability to build bombs in a matter of a few months once it produces enough highly enriched uranium, experts say. Here's another sentence in the report that won't help you sleep at night: "We assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so."
Then there is Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan, who is sure it is now time to talk to Iran. He admits that negotiations will first appear to be a sign of weakness on our part, but "there is a good case for negotiations."

We have to wonder if Kagan has seen the videos of Ahmadinejad shaking his fists in the air and rallying the crowds to chant "Death to Amerika!" How do you "open up talks" and negotiate with a man who openly calls for our destruction and expect to reach an agreement or even to trust anything that comes out of his mouth?

Europe now needs to decide if they're going to opt for trying diplomacy on a nutjob or give the U. S. the full support it needs in order for the sanctions against Iran to be effective. They are already expressing worry about the impact of the report and weighing their options.

As for Ahmadinejad, he was all smiles and openly gloating as he demanded that Bush apologize for accusing them of covertly building weapons of mass destruction. His spokesman, Gholamhossein Elham told reporters:
"U.S. officials have so far inflicted much damage on the Iranian nation by spreading lies against the country and by disturbing public opinion. Therefore, they have to pay the price for their action."
No doubt they're hoping that the NIE will rob Bush of at least some credibility, which will give Iran more leeway in dealing with other nations while continuing their enrichment program.

At the risk of being labeled "war mongers', we candidly admit that -- with a volatile leader hell-bent on destroying Israel and with proven capability (albeit several years away) to produce enough uranium and plutonium to develop a nuclear bomb -- Iran should be kept under a watchful eye and on a tight leash. And we should remain ready and militarily able to render them helpless if and when our worst fears are realized.

Besides.....there is one more thing in the NIE that cinches our opinion and lends credibility to Bush's assessment of the threat posed by Iran. Although the report expresses "confidence" that Iran has stopped trying to build nuclear weapons, it clearly endorses sanctions against the country....until the year 2015. We should keep that in mind before drawing a final conclusion.
Two Sisters From the Right, 12/05/2007 04:25:00 AM |