Just as you thought the chances of the United
States going to war with Iran were diminishing (largely because our
own Iraqi sock-puppet regime has rejected U.S. accusations that Iran is
directly responsible for American soldiers being killed in Iraq and because
Director-General ElBaradei continues to report to the Board of Governors of
the International Atomic Energy Agency that he can find "no
indication" that Iran now has or ever did have a nuclear weapons program)
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, goes to Israel, presumably
to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of al-Nakba,
but also to discuss "the threat posed by Iran" to Israel.
Do you copy? Iran does not pose a threat to us or our troops in Iraq,
but – in Pelosi's view – may somehow pose a threat to Israel?
True, a "breakthrough
deal" – reached with the help of Arab mediators – had just been reached
in Lebanon between the U.S.-backed government and the Iranian and Syrian-backed
Hezbollah, ending the country's 18-month political stalemate, giving Hezbollah
something of a victory and "veto" power over future government actions.
And, presumably, that is not good news to the Israelis who had already effectively
lost the quasi-war fought two years ago with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
But, never mind that.
According to Haaretz,
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Pelosi that the international community
"needed to take more drastic steps to stop Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear
What efforts to obtain nuclear weapons?
What sections of ElBaradei's (apparently null) reports to the IAEA Board
and to the Security Council – the results of years of exhaustive go-almost-anywhere
(including some military installations) interview-almost-anyone (including some
military officials) inspections – do the Likudniks not understand?
What would it take to convince the paranoids in Israel and elsewhere
that Iran's nuclear programs – which have voluntarily been made more transparent
to IAEA inspections than any other country's – could never produce a
nuclear weapon, so long as those programs are subject to IAEA Safeguards.
Well, according to Haaretz, Prime Minister Olmert "suggested"
that, among other more drastic steps, the US impose a "naval blockade,"
using U.S. warships, "to limit the movement of Iranian merchant vessels."
Now, Iran is already subject to a third "round" of sanctions,
preventing the import into or export from Iran, of goods, many of them commercial
items, totally unrelated to Iran's Safeguarded nuclear programs, imposed by
the Security Council "in order to strengthen a global response to this
serious challenge and threat to international security."
What constitutes a serious challenge and a threat to international security?
Why, Iran's IAEA Safeguarded programs, of course.
The threat to international security of Iran's Safeguarded programs in which
ElBaradei has repeatedly told the Security Council he can find "no indication"
that any materials proscribed by the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons have ever been diverted to a military purpose.
The threat to international security of Iran's Safeguarded uranium-enrichment
program the Iranians were forced to undertake, themselves – mining their own
ore, converting it to "yellowcake," converting the "yellowcake"
to uranium-hexafluoride, developing their own supersonic gas-centrifuge uranium-enrichment
devices – all because President Clinton strong-armed Boris Yeltsin into canceling
the turn-key Safeguarded uranium-enrichment plant the Russians had agreed to
provide Iran, and strong-armed the Chinese into canceling the turn-key Safeguarded
uranium-conversion plant they had agreed to provide Iran.
Don't all members of the UN Security Council know all this?
Of course, they do.
In his report last November to the IAEA Board and to the Security Council,
ElBaradei included the results of his search through Iran's records, going back
decades, said results not in conflict with the justifications the Iranians supplied
for the secretive manner in which they were forced – by "some" Members
of the Security Council – to pursue the civilian nuclear power fuel-cycle, which
both the IAEA Statute and the NPT assure them is their "inalienable right."
In his most recent report
ElBaradei was "able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear
material in Iran."
Even for those nuclear "weaponization" studies – alleged to have been done
for Iran's military, stored on a laptop
computer, allegedly stolen from an Iranian engineer, obtained by Israeli
intelligence, given by our intelligence community to the IAEA – which the
IAEA confronted the Iranians with earlier this year, ElBaradei noted that "the
Agency has not detected the use of nuclear material in connection with the alleged
studies, nor does it have credible information in this regard."
Okay. That should do it. You can study all you want, but you can't make a nuke
unless you've got a dozen pounds of weapons-grade plutonium or about ten times
that much weapons-grade enriched-uranium. The IAEA bottom line is that the Iranians
have not produced, as yet, any of either, nor do they have the
capability, as yet, of producing any of either.
The UN's own agency has verified, time and again, that Iranian nuclear programs
are entirely "peaceful."
So, ordinarily it would be all right for Presidential candidates, such as Barack
Obama, to visit synagogues in this country and declare, as he did last month
in Philadelphia and again this week in Florida;
"As president, I will do everything that I can to help (Israel) protect
itself ... We will make sure that it can defend itself from any attack, whether
it comes from as close as Gaza or as far as Tehran."
But, as Prime Minister Olmert must know, and Speaker Pelosi should have known,
a "naval blockade" – which goes beyond the imposition of "sanctions"
– involves the interdiction and/or seizure of all civil "merchant vessels"
and their cargoes on the high seas. It's an act of war!
Hence, upon Pelosi's return to Washington – perhaps after frantic consultation
with State Department officials – Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elsharri denied
"there was ever any mention of a US naval blockade of Iranian ports."
Well, someone's lying.
So what the candidates for our presidency must make clear to Americans – most
of whom are not paranoid – is actually what they mean when they say will "defend
Will our next president be willing to blockade Iran, to starve Iranian women
and children, to effectively launch a war against Iran because the Likudnik
paranoids, here and abroad, consider Iran's Safeguarded nuclear programs a "threat"