Skip to comments.Unaddressed Proliferation: Preemption, take II.
Posted on 06/21/2004 9:14:35 AM PDT by xsysmgr
John Kerry finally got something right. In a recent speech in Florida, he said, "...the greatest threat we face today [is] the possibility of al Qaeda or other terrorists getting their hands on a nuclear weapon." But how he proposed to deal with this threat demonstrated an ignorance of the jihadist threat and a naive faith in the U.N. that are simply breathtaking.
Kerry's plan boils down to three points. He proposed a Gorian "lockbox" for nuclear weapons and materials, established and enforced through the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency. Second, he would create an international coalition to halt all production of enriched uranium and plutonium for use in nuclear weapons, including presumably future American production. Third, Kerry would buy "legitimacy" for this initiative by reducing America's nuclear arsenal, and by stopping President Bush's initiative to build new small tactical nuclear "bunker busters" that have the ability to reach deeply buried terrorist WMD.
Kerry said that a "nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable." But he and the Blixiecrats of the IAEA aren't sure that the Iranians are really trying to produce nuclear weapons. This despite more than two decades of crude lies and deceptions by Tehran. Kerry wants to "call [the Iranians'] bluff" by offering to provide them with all the "...nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they can't divert it to build a weapon." If they refuse, he thinks, we'll know they're up to no good. We already know that. And what Kerry doesn't understand is that Iran isn't bluffing: It's deceiving.
Kerry is ignorant willfully or otherwise of the deep roots of nuclear jihadism. Zulfiqar Ali-Bhutto, Pakistan's leader in the early 1970s, created the foundation for today's nuclear jihad. Bhutto considered it his mission to provide the Islamic world with a counterweight to what he described as the nuclear power of the Christians, Jews, and Hindus. Pakistan never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and developed its nuclear weapons outside its restrictions. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, Pakistan has been the world's worst proliferator of nuclear weaponry.
Since Ali-Bhutto's time, the jihadist movement of which the Tehran regime is a prime mover has adopted his dogma that achieving nuclear weaponry is a religious obligation. Osama bin Laden has said just that, as have some Iranian leaders. When the "father" of the Pakistani bomb, scientist A. Q. Khan, was revealed to have clandestinely helped Iran, Iraq, and Libya with their nuclear programs, he was pardoned by President Musharraf and allowed to keep the wealth he amassed by helping rogue nations pursue their nuclear ambitions. According to a report from the London-based Asia Pacific Foundation think tank, "Khan could not have acted alone, or without the knowledge of the Pakistani military." The APF report goes on to say, "Ever since Pakistan embarked on its military nuclear program in the 1970s, the entire project has been closely controlled by the military, and Pakistan intelligence agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had been handling many clandestine transactions relating to the acquisition of nuclear and missile capabilities...." One report said that the Iranian nuclear-weapons program has been and still is supervised by Pakistani military and intelligence officers. (President Bush's failure to do more with Musharraf to open the Pak nuclear program to inspection and to take control of his so-far uncontrolled intelligence and army factions is a much more important failure than anything Kerry has pointed out.)
The diplomatic maneuvering Kerry proposes has already been tried by the Bush administration, and it has failed. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty but has thwarted the IAEA's half-hearted efforts to inspect its nuclear sites. Just last year, the mullahs agreed to a tough inspection regime, which the IAEA touted as a great success. But the Iranian kakistocracy was violating the accord before the ink was dry. Russia continues to help construct the Iranian nuclear plant at Bushehr, while other nuclear facilities at Arak and Netanz (where uranium enrichment is probably going on) as well as other deeply buried and hardened sites are all apparently engaged in developing and building nuclear weapons. Just last week, the IAEA retreated again, admitting to having accused Iran falsely of hiding its acquisition of 150 magnets used in uranium enrichment. Meanwhile, Iran has according to another statement by IAEA head Mohamed el-Baradei sought to acquire about 100,000 such magnets clandestinely. (Other reports last week indicate that Iran's nuclear facilities are again greater in number than disclosed, and hidden from inspectors). The only thing the U.S. can count on is that the IAEA will remain inert while Iran joins the ranks of nuclear powers.
Kerry's ideas are dangerously wrong. First, because the Islamist nations have adopted the theory that obtaining nuclear weapons is a religious obligation, no treaty or voluntary inspection plan will prevent them from pursuing their nuclear ambitions. (And making another deal with Stalinist North Korea, as Kerry also proposes, must fail. Who ever heard of a Stalinist regime living up to a treaty obligation?) Moreover, by preventing the development of deep-penetrating tactical nuclear weapons, Kerry would give up the best military means of destroying the weapons and the places where they are being built. All of the terrorist nations learned the lesson of the 1981 Israeli strike on the Iraqi Osirak reactor: None will leave its nuclear sites open to easy air attack.
Were we to follow Kerry's path, we would trust the U.N. and the IAEA to prevent Islamic terrorists from obtaining nuclear weapons. By trusting the U.N., and attempting to make more treaties to talk Iran and North Korea out of their nuclear-weapons programs, we would give them more time to achieve their goals. The IAEA has proven itself a watchdog that never barks. Treaties and diplomacy that aren't based on military compulsion are useless against these rogue states. North Korea has already announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Iran has threatened to as well.
The latest reports on Libya's nuclear disarmament demonstrate another huge hole in Kerry's plan. Though Libya is cooperating in its own disarmament, a shipment to Libya of nuclear materials has disappeared. From where it was coming or of what it was composed, no one seems certain. But it's a fair guess that those who are helping the jihadists achieve their dream of nuclear power would know.
There is, in truth, little likelihood that anything will stop the advent of nuclear terrorism. But President Bush has a policy that has a better chance of succeeding than any other. His Proliferation Security Initiative in which eleven nations (even France) have joined to interdict shipments of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons is diplomacy founded upon military force. It is succeeding, one seizure at a time, in many parts of the globe. Underlying it is the policy of preemption which we need to implement now, not later, to prevent Iran from graduating from the status of terrorist regime to nuclear terrorist regime.
NRO contributor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think.
I propose a better solution:
1) Only the US and its preferred allies may possess nuclear weapons. 2) US nukes shall be under control of the president, provided that president is a republican. If a democrat becomes president, then control of US nukes shall be given to a commitee headed by the last republican president,along with control of the armed forces. Under no circumstances shall a democrat president be given control of any military forces or weapons.
Kerry is a fool. That's why the Iranian regime would like him to be the next president.
Jed Babbin's always good.
Thanx for posting.
Wanna lower real estate/housing costs in America's coastal cities?
Once a nuke goes off in the belly or on the deck of a ship or on the docks, folks will head for the hills pronto.