Tuesday, Sep 29 2009
The missile launches this past weekend has considerably raised the stakes on a possible invasion of Iran by at least Israel, and perhaps the U. S. The Sunday (9/27) Christian Science Monitor (Boston MA) outlined the expose of the secret nuclear facility by the US Government. What followed could almost have been scripted.
First, Israel's PM Netanyahu immediately called for an attack on Iran and destruction of the plant--along with any others they may possess. Try to remember that Israel also had hidden nuclear weapons for years, but they are the good guys. Netanyahu and his Foreign Minishter Lieberman did a number of interviews where they demanded literally the destruction of Iran, and tried to suggest that even Muslim nations supported their position. That might refer to their puppet Abbas, but not many more.
Then members of the US House and Senate got into the act, with the less-than-intelligent Speaker of the House Pelosi calling for 'crippling sanctions' - dutifully reported in Haaretz, but not extensively in our own media.
The Monitor suggests that an Israeli invasion or extensive bombing, with associated risks, is not very probable. Other media suggests a different reality. Many, at least, suggest that tougher sanctions and closer cooperation on those sanctions among nations must br tried first. Telegraph.co.uk suggests that Netanyahu could not get concurrence from the senior members of his cabinet for such an action. They also quote the Israeli Chief of Staff Ashkenazi as saying that a peaceful solution could still possibly be found. Those are interesting words from the Israeli Military. His words were interesting: "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, had "to know that he can end his days like Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi" – implying that he had the choice to renounce nuclear weapons in the manner of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya or be ousted like Saddam Hussein in Iraq."
Here in the US, the politicians were all over the Sunday morning news shows and the media.
Nancy Pelosi started the action with this press release:
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today concerning revelations that Iran has built a covert facility for uranium enrichment:
“Iran’s effort to conceal a major nuclear facility sends a clear signal that the regime has not worked in good faith to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and around the world.
“One of the strongest pillars of America’s national security is non-proliferation, and I commend President Obama for standing with fellow leaders to condemn this development and call on Iran to cooperate in our pursuit of a world free of weapons of mass destruction.
“An Iran with nuclear weapons is simply unacceptable. It is a threat to the region, to the United States, and to our allies across the globe. Iran must take the necessary steps to demonstrate its willingness to live as a peaceful partner in the international community. And we must use the tools at our disposal – from diplomacy to sanctions – to stop Iran’s march toward nuclear capability.”
Howard Berman (D-CA), the house Foreign Affairs Chairman followed quickly with this missive:
Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement concerning the news today of Iran’s second uranium enrichment facility:
“The news that Iran has been secretly constructing a second uranium enrichment plant is deeply disturbing and casts a heavy shadow over the negotiations scheduled for next week. Iran's intention to build nuclear weaponry and its efforts to disguise that intention could not be clearer now -- and we have no idea what other aspects of its nuclear bomb project it may be working on in secret. There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Iran has been lying to the international community for years about its allegedly peaceful nuclear intentions. Today’s news reinforces my determination to bring the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act before the Foreign Affairs Committee for consideration next month.”
Hillary Clinton chimed in with her two-cents worth as well:
"The Iranians must present convincing evidence as to the purpose of their nuclear program. We don't believe that they can present convincing evidence, that it's only for peaceful purposes, but we are going to put them to the test," Clinton told CBS' "Face the Nation." She added, "Don't assert it, prove it. ... They can't say anything because they've said that for years, but they can open their entire system to the kind of extensive investigation that the facts call for."
"If we don't get the answers that we are expecting and the changes in behavior that we're looking for, then we will work with our partners to move toward sanctions," Clinton added.
Hubby Bill Clinton, the Fotrmer prez, is blaming it all on the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy."
What's the bottom line here---probably that there will not be an immediate attack--not because Obama is opposed to it, but because Netanyahu cannot get consensus in his own cabinet, and most nations are willing to wait until they hear from iran at the Security Council meeting on October 1st.