Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has rejected a year-end deadline set by the Obama administration to a nuclear deal brokered through the United Nations:
They say we have given Iran until the end of the Christian year. Who are they anyway? It is we who have given them an opportunity.
Well, Obama’s deadline is a week away. What will he do to back up his words with action against this Hitler-like dictator who will soon have the capability to build nuclear bombs unless we stop him? Obama is a caught between a rock and a hard place. Does he move ahead to organize tougher economic sanctions that are likely to be ineffective without the full cooperation of China and Russia? Or does he authorize aggressive air strikes to take out known nuclear enrichment facilities, or give Israel clear skies to do so? This course will set off a violent chain reaction in the entire region and unite the whole country against the West, giving Ahmedinejad the perfect excuse to quash with force any shred of dissent that remains. I admit that I had naively thought that by working behind the scenes with the dissidents to foment a “velvet” revolution from within would be the way to avoid making harder choices.
But Bill O’Reilly was right and I was wrong. The only viable option that we may have at this time is the one he recommended several months ago - a naval blockade to tighten the vise on Iran’s imports of dual use technology and refined gasoline. To be sure, as I pointed out in my previous blog, this will risk attacks on our ships, the closing of the Strait of Hormuz (interfering with oil shipments and driving up the price of oil through the roof as a consequence) and heightened terrorist attacks in the region by Iran’s proxies.
We will have to plan for strong counter-measures that may then lead to selective bombing, depending on what Iran does. But given the Iranian regime’s intransigence and the existential threat to the world posed by meglomaniac Ahmedinejad’s control of nuclear weapons, the time for setting more deadlines and trying the soft pressure of ineffective sanctions is over. Obama will just have to look his anti-war base in the eye and repeat what he said in Oslo when accepting his Nobel Peace Prize:
I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world…To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.
Now the time has come for Obama to confront evil with actions, not just words.