by Jerrold L. Sobel
Within the next 48 hours Russia will begin fueling up the reactor at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear facility and will complete a project first started in 1975, four years prior to the Islamic takeover of the country. Regardless of the spin, both here and abroad, this is an untenable situation, whether the West wishes to recognize it or not; this is Hitler reoccupying the Rhineland. If the United States allows these fanatic crazies an operational ability to produce weapons grade plutonium on their own, all bets are off. A deadly pandoras box will have opened and the inevitability of nuclear war throughout the Middle East within two to five years may be a conservative estimate.
In March of this year, Secretary of State Clinton visited Moscow to voice strong U.S. objection to this project. The Russians listened intently to her admonitions but for all intents and purposes, gave her a jar of homemade caviar, a bottle of vodka and sent her home. They did however issue a statement reassuring the world that Iran had signed a pledge to ship all spent uranium fuel from the reactor back to Russia eliminating any chance it could be used for weapons. For some reason, I just don’t feel reassured.
Trumping the likelihood of weapon potential is the political victory the Ayatollahs will have achieved if this project is left to stand. Thus my re-occupation of the Rhineland analogy. If one reactor, why not three? or seven? Keep in mind the Bushehr reactor has nothing to do with the advanced nuclear program underway that has prompted both the U.N. and the United States to impose, what so far have proven to be meaningless sanctions. Sanctions which are laughable since many countries such as Turkey, Venezuela, and Brazil amongst others have pledged to counter in the event of shortfalls. Likewise, the bearded ones running this theocracy could care less if Joe Mohammad is inconvenienced by having to wait an hour on a gas line or go without heating oil for his home. What they do care about is their professed goal, the annihilation of Israel and all the Jews in it. Unfortunately, the means to accomplish this has incrementally moved forward to where this rogue nation will actually produce its own fissionable material. In terms of weapons grade production created at this plant, the amount is minimal but the political implications are great. In no uncertain terms Iran has fired a shot across the bow of the U.N., the United Staters, and most directly at Israel.
This low yield reactor is a political gambit more than a military one. it’s an in your face taunt telling the world, “our nuclear program is here to stay, what are you going to to do about it?” No doubt, this is a dilemma for Israel. With Iranian clients Hezbollah and Hamas armed to the teeth, Syria and her client Lebanon supporting the terrorists, and questionable American support under the Obama Administration; within hours, the government of Israel must decide if it’s time to cut the snake off by the head now, or deal with it later
For people that look to history attempting to forecast the future, one can only imagine how many times during the occupation of France in the 1940’s, while languishing in Buchenwald concentration camp, the deposed Prime Minister of France, Edouard Daladier regretted not stopping Hitler on March, 7 1936. This was the date the fascist Nazi tyrant boldly remilitarized the Rhineland. At the time France, in alliance with Great Britain was a great military power. Conversely, weak from the restrictions placed upon her by the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was both weak in men and material. Then too, as now, a line was crossed, there was a fork in the road. To it’s own detriment France took the road of appeasement when the path to war was the appropriate choice. Now as then, in face of an insidious fanatical foe, the West defers its own interest to an ineffectual, biased world body; then, the League of nations, today the United Nations. As Churchill famously stated at the end of the the Great War, “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They got war.” Does history often repeat itself? As Sarah Palin might say, You betcha.
As the United States and the free world run around the U.N. and at conferences, wasting countless months ironing exact verbiage hoping to enlist Iranian supporters Russia and China to climb on board; undaunted, Iran pushes ahead. At this point, relatively weak and militarily no match for Israel or the United States, but with bravado and determination the Iranians continue their diplomatic feigning and feinting act; using the age old tactic perfected by the North Koreans of first adhering to international demands then withdrawing that adherence, all the while strengthening their capabilities and becoming diplomatically more brazen each day. Sound familiar?
So what’s next, now that most reasonable people agree the sanction policy is a bust? More sanctions? Place an embargo on water pipes? More than likely our post nationalist president will do what his political grandfather Neville Chamberlain did; nothing. His advisors will misadvise him with disingenuous drivel such as, “we can live with a nuclear Iran.” “We can contain them.” Unless this trend is soon reversed, a nuclear Iran will control the Straits of Hormuz through which the bulk of oil flows to a glutinous West. A lot sooner than later, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria will most likely enter into what will have become a full fledged arms race between the Shi’a and Sunni branches of Islam. And one should always keep in mind that next to a Jew, they hate each other the most. Which brings us to Israel.
In the midst of all this nuttiness, unless you are an Israeli, it’s almost easy to forget the Jewish State is the only one with a horse in this race. Geopolitically her present position is untenable. Sworn to her destruction, Iranian client Hamas incessantly keeps Israel on edge with rockets from Gaza. In the North, another Iranian client now recognized as legitimate members of the Lebanese government, Hezbollah, threatens Israel along the boarder with Lebanon. Add these factors to a bunch of maniacs, sworn to her total destruction, headed soon to possess nuclear weapons; but not yet having them. Netanyahu must think hard and fast, perhaps now is the time for war; sooner rather than later. Factored into his decision; for the first time in her existence a majority of Israelis no longer trust in the political or military support of an American Administration. An Administration which would likely offer less abutment during a second term of office when Jewish American votes would no longer be needed.
So here’s the rub. As the dark clouds of an inevitable war gather, does Israel embark upon this conflict prior to Iranian nuclear capability? Or should she wait for “crippling sanctions” to somehow force the Ayatollahs to abandon their nuclear weapons program? One thing for sure, Iran has crossed a line. The only question is how will the West, the United States, and most particularly, Israel respond to it?