Thursday, January 12, 2006

How Late Is It?

[All emphases by Always On Watch]

From this evening's update to the Washington Post web site,
"PARIS, Jan. 12 -- The foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France called Thursday for Iran to be referred to the U.N. Security Council for violating its nuclear treaty obligations, saying that their more than two years of negotiations with the country reached a dead end this week when the Iranians resumed uranium enrichment activities.

"In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a similar call. The Security Council must deal with Iran's 'defiance,' she said...."
From today's early edition of the Washington Post, here is the lead editorial in its entirety:

"IRAN'S RESUMPTION of uranium enrichment dramatically narrows the options of Western governments that hope to prevent its Islamic regime from acquiring nuclear weapons. The breaking of seals at its Natanz plant Tuesday directly violated an agreement Tehran struck with Britain, France and Germany in 2004 to suspend its enrichment program; that should end European hopes that economic favors could be exchanged for a permanent freeze. A Russian offer to enrich Iranian uranium has no greater prospect of success: Tehran announced its new, supposedly experimental work before it had responded to Moscow. Notions of a broader 'grand bargain' between Iran and the West have been rendered ludicrous by the rantings of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has denied the Holocaust more vigorously than he has Iran's plans to become a nuclear power. And thanks to better footwork by the Bush administration, European governments no longer have the option of blaming the United States for the failure of diplomacy.

"That leaves the strategy that the United States has been pressing all along, which is referring Iran's case to the U.N. Security Council. Such a referral, which must come from the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, probably won't change Iranian behavior or lead to Security Council action; North Korea has been before the council for three years without result. But having promised that consequence in the event of a resumption of enrichment, European governments must now move forward. To shrink from referring Iran to the Security Council now would strip the West of its remaining credibility in Tehran and all but eliminate the possibility of a peaceful solution.

"As it is, the weak response to Iran's last provocation, the reopening of a uranium conversion facility in August, probably encouraged this week's escalation. European governments issued angry statements and helped pass an IAEA resolution that spoke of bringing Iran to the council at some indefinite time. In the following weeks, however, the Europeans returned to the same negotiating strategy that had already failed, offering to resume talks with Iran and backing Russia's intervention. The Bush administration, too, supported this course, in keeping with its strategy of building a coalition rather than squabbling over tactics with allies. The net result was that Iran's belligerence was answered with more appeasement.

"The mullahs are gambling that the same will happen in this case: that European governments will once again temporize or that Russia and China will prevent any meaningful Security Council action. Even if the Europeans respond firmly, and a resolution is adopted by the IAEA, the latter calculation is probably a good one. Russia, which just signed a $1 billion arms sale agreement with Iran, is increasingly hostile to Western initiatives, and China is a major consumer of Iranian oil. So while the means of the Security Council must be tried, Western governments should also begin fashioning a policy of sanctions and containment for Iran that can be applied by a coalition of the willing. That should be coupled with a more concerted effort to support the large part of the Iranian population that yearns to free itself from repressive clerical rule. If there is to be a credible alternative to military action against Iranian facilities -- or the concession of nuclear weapons to a regime that openly advocates wiping Israel from the map -- now is the time for Europe and the United States to agree on it."
The above editorial is entitled "Iran's Nuclear Challenge." A better title might be "Iran's Nuclear Threat," although all indications are that Iran no longer has the nuclear bomb nor the capability of making one--yet.

The detonation of a nuclear weapon would change the world order. How far down the road are we to that horrific possibility?

Iran Watch, which has been chronicling events since December 18, 2005, deals exclusively with the threat from Ahmadinejad.


At 1/12/2006 7:42 PM, Blogger Mike's America said...


You are invited to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the first Inauguration of President Ronald Reagan, January 20, 2006.

You're welcome to use the image from the post in any manner you see fit and to invite any others who may wish to participate.

At 1/12/2006 7:47 PM, Blogger Dan Zaremba said...

My guess would be that some kind preemptive action against Iran is being prepared as we speak.
In many ways the comments coming form the politicians are beyond the probing stage.
How exactly it’s going to end up it is hard to predict.
At this stage I wouldn’t see a full scale war but several strikes on different targets from different directions.
It all depends on how clearly the US administrations can see the problem.

At 1/12/2006 8:00 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

I shudder when I remember that the window-licking moron from Massachussetts that ran against President Bush in 2004 offered up as an Iran policy to just give the Iranians highly enriched uranium to see what they'd do with it.

At 1/12/2006 10:26 PM, Blogger City Troll said...

"If there is to be a credible alternative to military action against Iranian facilities -- or the concession of nuclear weapons to a regime that openly advocates wiping Israel from the map -- now is the time for Europe and the United States to agree on it."

There is NO credible alternative to military action against Iranian facilities... The only thing that will stop this madness is to cripple their ability to do it.

At 1/13/2006 7:03 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

"While discussing the petition to Congress, I prophesied, by virtue of the holy Priesthood vested in me, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that, if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government, and God shall damn them, and there shall be nothing left of them — not even a grease spot." - Joseph Smith, "prophet."

At 1/13/2006 9:10 AM, Blogger LA Sunset said...

Not having access to the hard intelligence and only able to rely on my instinct, it must be close. Why else would the EU-3 be worried anough to take this, to the SC? In recent years, the European community hasn't been overly concerned about it, at least not enough to want to take it beyond the dialogue/negotiations phase.

But what worries me is this:

Europeans are notorious for procrastinating in the area of taking decisive actions, to prevent wars and other conflicts. Now they are worried, now they are ready to act. Which makes me think it could be pretty late, in the game.

At 1/13/2006 12:18 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Always good to remember that our biggest threats are economic since we became a major debtor nation.

Unless a nuke changes the world order, that is. If Iran were to launch a nuke, there would be economic impact as well.

But I agree that the state of indebtedness is very seriously dangerous. I equate it with running on borrowed time.

At 1/13/2006 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it not now obvious to everyone that the IAEA MUST be de-chartered and scrapped? Why anyone thought they could peacefully "share" nuclear technology and not have any mechanism for enforcement against violators of the conditions under which the technology was to be shared is beyond me. Just look at Korea, India, and Pakistan for recent examples of their failure to control the technology.

It's long past time to withdraw from the UN. For before we know it, Sudan, et al, will be getting a leg up on their nuclear weapons programs from the "atoms for peace" program.

And it's high time a French Mirage (or Airbus) responded to "Iran's Nuclear Challenge"(I wonder if I can buy one on e-bay?). Let Iranian "Intelligence" figure out where it came from.


At 1/13/2006 1:07 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Hello, Farmer! A few years ago, my debate class tackled the resolution "That the United Nations should be abolished." I see that you would want to be on the affirmative team.

At 1/13/2006 2:44 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Brainless Beamish, the book of Revelations is in the New Testament.

Yes, I know. And the Joseph Smith "prophecy" about Congress being reduced to a "grease spot" if they didn't give in to his terrorist group's demands in eastern Missouri is in a volume of the Mormon cult's History of the Church.

Color me skeptical of Mormon prophecy interpretations.

At 1/13/2006 2:49 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

One of the central planks of my Presidential campaign platform is to withdraw the United States from the United Nations and make it a capital crime to suggest we have diplomatic relations with any nation that claims to be a member.

At 1/13/2006 3:17 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Way to go Beamish, we're in the shits and you shudder to think that we'd be in the shits if a Dem were in office.

The Democratic Party was formed in the early 1800s for the sole purpose of dismantling the US Constitution and putting as many American citizens to death as possible. So, yeah, I'm opposed to Dems. Fucking fascists.

But Kerry exudes a kind of stupidity that goes far beyond the minimal requirement for seriously considering voting for a Democrat, a kind of stupidity I call "Massachussetts stupid." This is the kind of stupid that forces someone to say things they know full well have nothing in common with reality, like "The Bee Gees rock!" or "How can we ask Iran to not make nuclear bombs with the uranium I want to give them if we have nuclear bombs?"

At 1/13/2006 5:33 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Check your American history, Ducky.

The Ku Klux Klan were the Democrats who were the Copperheads who were the Anti-Federalists. The "Democrats" have been on the losing side of history for so long that they spitefully cling to any anything that comes along that passes a good chance of destroying America.

There's your "end times" party.

At 1/13/2006 5:48 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Beamish your anti mormon diatribes are exposing how foolish you are.

To who? Kool-Aid drinking Mormons? Come on, Samwich. I'm just trying to talk you out of the tree.

One day you may stand up in court as living proof that there are more horses asses in this world than horses.

I'm sure that a city called New Jerusalem will pop up in western Missouri and people will remember it having been there for the past 150 years will happen first. 'Coz Joseph Smith's pet rock said so.

The Dinosaurs are now "grease spots" and you don't know squat about the "clock" the stars and planets are, nor have you any idea as to what "time" it really is, nor are you the "Celestial Time Keeper".

That will prove to be your folly, no one else's.

Ah, so Mormon prophecies with specific Earth calendar dates are really on Kolob time? So it's like, still 1844 AD on God's home planet?

At 1/13/2006 6:14 PM, Blogger Dan Zaremba said...

Indebtedness is only bad if you cannot pay it off.
Otherwise it is the creditor who gets hurt not the debtor should anything drastic happen. ;-)

At 1/15/2006 8:00 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I, too, worry about spreading our forces too thinly. Dependence on OPEC is not in our favor, but Congress doesn't seem willing to take the steps to reduce that dependence. Also, we need to develop alternate sources of energy. Do you see that happening to any significant extent?


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