President Obama along with the heads of Great Britain and France made a statement that they have INTEL that Iran has the facility up and running to enrich uranium and that the facility has no international inspection regime over it and that the worst must be suspected. France announced that Iran has until DEC 2009, after the German elections, to come clean on its activities and open up for inspection. Of course al Qaeda is already threatening Germany that it is not supine enough to al Qaeda's liking and that they better elect an appeasement and withdrawal government and get out of Afghanistan. The 'or else' is implied.
Iran doubled down on the reactors and they have two such plants.
Someone came in a day late and a plant short, that being the IAEA. They missed an entire enrichment facility in Iran and now we find out about it. I should think that building such a thing might just be a little obvious and that the IAEA would have had a clue some years previous to this.
Cause for worry, no?
But let me take up a position that I do not sponsor, do not believe in, because it is one worth doing, at this point. I will take up the Leftist position on Iran and now put forward the same, exact outlook that they took on Iraq. Fun will not be had.
Say that the Devil made me do it.
First off is that INTEL is so unreliable as to be useless. When tyrants bluster about sophisticated technology, it is just that, bluster. Really they are oppressed leaders of oppressed Nations and can't help but cry out to just gain attention. They need our 'help' not our confrontation because, you know, all those spooks and spies lie all the time to get their way on foreign policy. President Bush was one of the following or all three, depending on who you listened to on what topic and when:
A) A dunce who couldn't think his way out of a paper bag.
B) A fool who would believe anything that the CIA and other leaders put in front of him.
C) An evil genius looking to rule the world.
Ahmadinejad is just like Saddam in this in that he has said multiple, different things in order to gain attention and their missiles can only take regular, everyday, common warheads that they hand over to Hezbollah. Plus he says this is for making nuclear fuel AND nuclear medicines, and who would lie about those things, right?
Second is that the US is the oppressor. We put sanctions on Iran when they took our Embassy staff captive against all forms of International Law but, hey, that was decades ago before many on the Left were even born. Its HISTORY. Ok, the armed group Hezbollah has killed US and French soldiers looking to help Lebanon out, but that was HISTORY TOO! And Iran has been tied in with the Hezbollah attacks in Argentina because Iran's friend, Syria, wanted advanced missile and nuclear technology from it. But that... well that was in HIST... oh, wait that was 1994. Can't be history. Still we put on sanctions and CAUSED all of that, its OUR FAULT if they want high tech weapons. So we should end the sanctions, no harm will ever come to us because, you know, the past is history.
Third is that there are no, real, WMDs in Iran. No one has seen them, therefore they don't exist. And trying to say they are building them and just need the radioactive material is WARMONGERING. That's oppression! If we would just be NICE to them they wouldn't be so BAD. Probably tyrannical to their own people, yes, but we can help END THAT by GIVING THEM MONEY. If we did that we could get some access to their facilities, just like we did with the oh-so-nice USSR, no? Oh, wait... well... still giving money is a lot better than war! Having to pay Danegeld is always the best way.... We don't ever need to be worried about Iran actually trying to attack us and that they did that to our Embassy which IS considered sovereign territory under international law doesn't mean they broke international law! And electing one of the people who took part in the Embassy invasion and hostage taking as the head of the Nation doesn't mean that Iran is scoffing at international law!
Fourth is that it is all a plot to get Iranian oil. Everything is a plot. On the part of the US and Europe and Iran is just responding naturally to plots against it. Its our fault. No blood for oil!!!
Fifth is that these white leaders... errrrr.... Imperialist Leaders....ahhhhh.... semi-white capitalist sycophants? Hmmmm... that works! Semi-white capitalist sycophant running dogs (yeah RUNNING DOGS, lets see them respond to that!) of BIG OIL don't care about those funny people in Iran and are just out to exploit them and their natural resources and enslave them to have to work for a living! Yeah, that's the ticket!
The above are the Devil's Advocate positions put up by the individuals and groups who derided Bush and operations in Iraq, amended lightly for Iran. I count them as the message of the SLA: Semi-conscious Liberation Army.
If the Left had any consistency, honesty or courage, those are the things they would be saying about President Obama and the situation in Iran. I know that because I've heard them all brought up as multiple 'reasons' or 'root causes' in similar venues about Iraq, just put down the Embassy bombing and such to the fact that Saddam would not keep his agreements under international law after the First Gulf War, and that his funding of Palestinian terrorists, handing out processing techniques to al Qaeda that showed up in Hekmatyar's organization in London and in Afghanistan under the Taliban are the rough equivalents to the far cozier and deeper relationship of Iran and its founding of Hezbollah.
I mean if the Left actually BELIEVED those things then Barack Obama is one of many things:
A) A dunce being dazzled by more sophisticated leaders on the global stage.
B) A fool who will believe anything handed to him by these operators.
C) Naive in thinking that Iran means any harm to the world or anyone on it outside of Iran, save for some nasty incidents that really were just an indication of how oppressed Iran is.
D) Corrupted already by 'the system'.
E) Evil Genius, save that he couldn't sell a used health plan to anyone save the far Left who wants a total government take-over of everything, immediately, for our own good.
F) Being used by 'the powers that be' , lied to by international leaders who are trying to make him the sock puppet for their oil needs, and by Ahmadinejad who is playing back and forth on the 'do we or don't we, double or nothing' game just like Saddam did. Because, really, Iran, Russia and China are much better places than France, Great Britain or the US.
Or all of them. The SLA has never been all that coherent on things.
One - Iran is a threat and a demonstrated one since the Embassy take-over. They have never apologized for that nor offered those who take part up to the US to be tried under our laws for those crimes committed on US soil at our Embassy compound.
Two - Iran is a continued threat in using an extra-national private war organization called Hezbollah to attack targets on land and at sea without warning. The list of Nations that have a Hezbollah presence is long, and even limiting it to those they have attacked still leaves you with most European Nations, a scattering of North African Nations, Argentina (if not others although tracking them out of the TBA is damned hard), the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and a few other places less savory in the old 'stans area of ex-Soviet Republics in Central Asia. For its sea-based attacks Hezbollah is a piracy operation, and by funding those Iran is also culpable for those actions under its auspices.
Three - Iran has funded 'insurgencies' in Iraq and Afghanistan with literal tons of equipment captured that have been manufactured in Iran: missiles, bombs, machine guns, explosively formed projectiles, IED components, uniforms, radios... a long, long list of training and equipment. It meddles in the politics of Iraq via Moqtada al Sadr and endorses violence in Iraq, save when al Sadr gets cold feet and needs to run for 'religious training', no doubt with AK-47s and RPGs.
Four - Iran has had nuclear weapons ambitions very close to its founding during the Cold War, when nuclear weapons were seen as 'legitimizers' for playing in the arena of Super-Power politics on an international scale. After that they just want to destroy Israel and threaten their neighbors. The first was pure hubris, of course, but not to be discounted as a starting point. The latter two have driven Iran and Iraq under Saddam, especially during their 1980's war that killed millions on both sides and saw Saddam deploy nerve gas and Iran deploy children on the battlefront. Iran, on its end, formed a close alliance with Syria that had long range missile technology, has not signed on to the Chemical Weapons convention, has tried to get enrichment facilities for its phosphate deposits so as to extract uranium from them, gulled the Swedes into selling them such a plant, had started on a bio-weapons program, and has the manufacturing and technical expertise to know the WMD issues... if not the cash to carry them out. Iran has that cash. The Israeli's bombed the attempted start-up of a Syrian/North Korean processing site for getting enriched uranium beyond 'yellowcake' concentrations. There is some expectation that Iran has shared technology with Syria in that venue. So both are proliferating WMD technology. Further Iran took part in the AQ Khan network which has workable uranium bomb designs and schematics. Also that networked served to funnel Chinese, North Korean and even some Japanese nuclear technology into the network, with Japan having Mitutoyo sell 10,000 separators on the black market in violation of all international agreements Japan signed up to.
Five - Iran doesn't give a damn about international law. It breaks treaties, proliferates WMD technology, serves as a trans-shipment point for various black market networks (including such things as heroin, cocaine, and small arms to various Hezbollah organizations), encourages black market work by Hezbollah operations, and has sought to extend power and influence via Hezbollah into The Balkans, South America, Africa, Europe proper, SE Asia, and even into North America. The North American operations run by the late Imad Mugniyah incorporated such things as tobacco tax fraud, banking fraud, black/grey market dealings, car theft (if the reports are to be believed), and shipping drugs across North America via Mexican drug gangs. Each of those have cases in the US and Canada to back them, although the car theft part is harder to ID as part of the larger Albanian ex-pat criminal organizations that Iran semi-cooperates with. They do similar with Russia, with shipments of cocaine from Hezbollah in S. America showing up in St. Petersburg (Russia) in 20 ton lots. That ain't chicken feed.
Six - Iran is run by a group of individuals who are old, about one-deep in leadership, and who have a fantasy ideology about the end times and the 12th Imam. They also want to blow Israel off the map, bring harm to the US (the Great Satan) and generally get their belief on how Islam should run the world as an operational idea. Israel has a small unannounced but widely known defensive nuclear arsenal: you attack the with nukes and you can say good-bye to the world.
Seven - The money is on Iran having one or more nuclear processing facilities with the sweet possibility they are also using some small amount of Syrian help, and possibly giving better processing technology to North Korea.
Eight - Gazprom told the Russian government a couple of years ago NOT to invest any money into the petroleum/gas infrastructure of Iran. China pulled out of a $10 billion support deal for the Iranian petroleum infrastructure. All international analysis in those sectors points to a Nation ruining their natural resource exploitation system and that now must import not only refined gasoline, but even simple natural gas from outside their country. The infrastructure of Iran is being driven into the ground as bad or possibly even worse than Saddam did by not repairing his infrastructure: at least that needed wholesale replacement due to there being no infrastructure to repair. Iran is not so lucky and will need a retail replacement with each and every single part analyzed and replaced before it all implodes in the next five years or so. Want a real oil shock? Iran can't meet its export agreements and hasn't for years now. It is a net IMPORTER of natural gas and refined petroleum products. I disagree with Dick Morris on these points, and deeply: he has gotten the direction and amount of flow of natural gas and refined petroleum products wrong, and is still thinking in 1990's terms on Iran. Russia supports Iran for its own reasons, mostly getting paid for the stuff they have already done there, some for geopolitics against the West, some for the natural gas fields and oil fields in Iran that Russia could run better than Iran can at the moment.
When you add these things up you get an Iranian government (and I do hope the Iranian people can bring this baby down) that is: tyrannical, imperial, aggressive, expansionistic and dictatorial with a lovely dash of fantasy ideology thrown in to give the thing a piquant stench. Plus its eggshell economy is about to implode. I'm not too fond of the damned government and hope that the Iranian people can find the path to liberty and freedom and get rid of it. Unfortunately they are on their own in doing so: the US has given active and vocal support of their despotic government and not even a bone to those actually laying their lives down to free their fellow countrymen.
That is a black mark against America.
A deep stain that shows how callow we can be, as a Nation, to disdain supporting those who fight for freedom and liberty in all venues, even just in rhetoric.
Pushing 'health care' when there are nuts trying to get WMDs is a pointless exercise: when you are part of a WMD attack, no health insurance in the world will pay for that. Especially if you are dead.
You want WMD Life Insurance on that, instead. Good luck in finding it after the last couple of days.
To me the Left went certifiably nuts when they could not understand that there are Levels of Confidence with all INTEL and that no INTEL is 100%. To restate: there is no INTEL that is deemed 100% accurate with confidence. You may have a high level of confidence, say 90%, but that is not 100%. If you want 100%, you must invade and find out for YOURSELF on the ground what is going on. We have to trust these analysts as they are, surprisingly, conservative and don't like to step beyond their level of confidence in anything as it can come back to haunt them for the rest of their lives when they are WRONG. That is why you do NOT put political pressure of ANY sort on INTEL: the analysts must be given leeway to operate in an environment so they can weigh what is known, what they can't know and what they are trying to infer and political views get in the way of that no end and you wind up with faulty INTEL work. I don't like political pressure on INTEL from the POTUS and I don't like it from inside Agencies trying to run their own agendas, but that is something I have looked at multiple times elsewhere and will not further that here.
We cannot run a Nation or our relationships with others on good wishes and hoping for the best, because THAT is also a fantasy ideology and doesn't deal with the way people actually do things and why. Trying to imply motives is mind reading. What people do and comparing that to what they say then allows you to derive the truthfulness of what they say by what they do: it is evidence based analysis. It is prone to have levels of confidence. That sucks. That is how the real world works. If you don't like it, then please move to an alternate reality where that does work. Trying to bring that reality here will get us all killed.