the Bomb and Bush
By Tony Blankley
Do you remember back a few months when it was reported
that the CIA had determined that Iran was probably 10 years away
from being able to develop a nuclear bomb? It was in all the papers,
and it made almost everyone feel much relieved. It certainly put
those hothead alarmists and warmongers in our places. We had been
citing Israel's assertion that by the spring of 2006, Iran could
have the bomb.
time flies. This week, ElBaradei, the chairman of the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Israel's assessment to the
British liberal newspaper, The Independent, and stated that if
Teheran indeed resumed its uranium enrichment in other plants,
as threatened, it will take Iran only "a few months to produce
a nuclear bomb."
mind, ElBaradei is not some wild bomb thrower (so to speak). He
is the same diplomat who the Bush administration recently, and
unsuccessfully, tried to block from being re-appointed chairman
of the IAEA because he was insufficiently assertive and too inclined
to understate the danger of nuclear development in Muslim countries.
ElBaradei's brief lapse into forthright candor, he is still a
true diplomat -- in the worst sense of the word. After agreeing
that Iran's nuclear bomb was only months away, he went on to explain
that, on the other hand, any attempt to resolve the crisis by
non-diplomatic means would "open a Pandora's box, there would
be efforts to isolate Iran; Iran would retaliate; and at the end
of the day you have to go back to the negotiating table to find
for those of you with unnaturally long political memories, you
may recall all the way back 10 months to January 2005, when President
Bush stated in his State of the Union address that Iran would
not be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon. It was a flat assertion,
with no qualifiers ("The Iranian regime must give up its
uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing").
And he went
further. He concluded his peroration with the inspiring words:
"And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for
your own liberty, America stands with you." That statement
was taken in the press around the world, and especially on Iranian
websites, as a call for regime change in Iran.
a few months later, the people of Iran elected by a large majority
Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- a radical Islamist and a suspected
leader of the gang who took and tormented our diplomats in Teheran
is not a cuddly figure. He has threatened to restart Iran's nuclear
program -- and sneered at American warnings against such action.
He was undiplomatic enough to tauntingly assert that we don't
have enough troops to stop him (apparently, he forgot about our
Air Force. I hope we haven't). He also proclaimed his objective
to wipe Israel off the map -- and called any Muslim against such
a project a bad Muslim.
us to Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act One, Scene Five, line 189 (Hamlet's
last soliloquy of Act One): "The time is out of joint. O
cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right!"
Act one, Scene five: The ghost of Hamlet's father demands that
Hamlet "revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."
just as Bush in the State of the Union quickly responds: "Haste
me to know't, that I with wings as swift as meditation or the
thoughts of love, may sweep to my revenge."
father's ghost informs him that his murderer is Hamlet's uncle,
the new king: "the serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown."
Hamlet to doubt and fear and cursing that he was ever born "to
set it right."
George Bush sit, fretting in the White House that soon, dreadfully
soon, he will have to act to reclaim his honor and his bold words
that Iran shall not possess the bomb? Is he agonizing over whether
the world will be better off with a nuclear or non-nuclear Iran?
Does he know it must be de-nuclearized -- but curse, Hamlet-like,
that it is his job to do it?
But I suspect that W is not "Hamlet," a tragedy; but
resolute, "Henry V," a history, as he said to his troops
before battle: "Once more unto the breach, dear friends,
once more; Be copy now to men of grosser blood. And teach them
how to war For there is none of you so mean and base That hath
not noble luster in your eyes. I see you stand like greyhounds
in the slips, Straining upon the start.
game's afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry God
for Harry, England and Saint George."
Or we could
follow El Baradei's advice and negotiate with a hell-bent for
leather fanatically led nuclear Iran, even as we have been unsuccessfully
negotiating with a still non-nuclear Iran. It might work.
On the other
hand, you could ask the ghost of Neville Chamberlain how that
worked out for him in 1939.
2005 Creators Syndicate