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Obama Accepts a Nuclear Iran
RCP / The Australian ^ | 4/3/2010 | Greg Sheridan

Posted on 04/04/2010 10:31:08 AM PDT by 1066AD

Obama Accepts a Nuclear Iran By Greg Sheridan

US President Barack Obama has decided to abandon any serious effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He is determined instead to live with a nuclear Iran, by containment and, if possible, negotiation.

This is the shifting tectonic plate in the Middle East.

This is the giant story of the past few weeks which the world has largely missed, distracted by the theatre of the absurd of Obama's contrived and mock confrontation with Israel over 1600 apartments to be built in three years' time in a Jewish suburb in East Jerusalem.

Iran is the only semi-intelligible explanation for Obama's bizarre over-reaction against the Israelis.

In the Middle East, today, Iran is the story. It is the consideration behind all other considerations.

Obama has not explicitly announced his new position and he and his cabinet secretaries still make speeches saying they will try to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. But if you look at the statements closely you see a steady weakening of resolve, a steady removal of any threat of any consequence for Iran. Similarly, if you look at the actions of the administration, the sombre conclusion is inescapable.

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Greg Sheridan Iran Barack Obama Hillary Clinton

Benjamin Netanyahu Islamic Republic of Iran Israel United States Jerusalem Washington President Secretary of State Middle East [+] More

Given Iran's missile program, which has no conceivable military use except to carry nuclear weapons, and which can now reach Europe and in due course will have a longer range, the fundamental change in US policy has global security consequences.

It has global security consequences in other ways, as well. It profoundly undermines American strategic credibility, which is the bedrock of whatever global order this troubled planet enjoys.

The troubling realisation that the Americans have given up, or are in the process of giving up, the fight to prevent Iran going nuclear is backed by the best informed security sources in Washington, London, Jerusalem and Canberra.

The bust-up between Washington and Israel only makes sense in this context. Last week, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Obama in the White House, and also met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department. On both occasions, all photographers and all TV cameras were banned. This was a studied humiliation of Netanyahu and all, ostensibly, because Israel announced that in three years' time 1600 apartments would be built in a Jewish neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. Yet the 10-month moratorium on new residential building in the West Bank which Netanyahu had announced in October to effusive US praise had specifically exempted East Jerusalem.

It is inconceivable that Obama would have treated any Arab or Muslim leader with the same considered contempt that he showed to Netanyahu. I speculated last week that Obama engaged in his furious over-reaction in order to pursue personal popularity in the Muslim world, and perhaps to force Israel to make so many concessions that the Palestinians would come back to negotiations. Although these negotiations would not produce a comprehensive peace deal, at least Obama could claim the talks themselves as a victory of sorts.

I still think these were important considerations but there was a much bigger strategic purpose, as well. In 2008, Israel told Washington it was planning to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. Washington talked Jerusalem out of the move, not least by showing its own determination to stop the Iranians.

In those days, senior Americans from then-president George W. Bush down, often said that "all options are on the table" in their determination to stop Iran acquiring nukes. All options explicitly included an American military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. When Obama spoke to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2008, he said he would use "all elements of American power to pressure Iran".

He won a tumultuous standing ovation by using a repetition of a key word to emphasise his determination. He said: "I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon - everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon - everything." That was Obama's equivalent to Bush's "all options".

Obama doesn't talk anything like that any more. In his message to Iran on the Iranian new year a few weeks ago, he reiterated his determination not to meddle in Iran's internal affairs and said the nuclear matter should still be negotiated.

Clinton, in her address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last week, spoke only briefly about Iran, repeating a pro-forma US determination to stop it going nuclear. But there was no mention of all options, everything the US could do, or all aspects of US power. Instead, she said that while sanctions were taking a long time to work out at the UN, it was time well spent, and they would show Iran that its actions had consequences.

But the bulk of her speech was all about the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Presidential and Secretary of State speeches on subjects like this are given a level of attention that wouldn't be out of place in the preparation of a papal encyclical. The sub-text of Obama and Clinton's recent speeches can only be that they have decided that the battle against a nuclear-armed Iran is over.

One thing they are determined to do is to stop Israel from taking its own unilateral military action to stop or retard Iran's nuclear program. Israel has taken this type of action twice before. In 1981, it destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak. And in 2007, it bombed into obliteration a North Korean-supplied secret nuclear reactor in Syria.

It is impossible to know with absolute certainty what Israel's intentions were, or are, for the Iranian nuclear program. But for several years the most senior US officials would agree that a nuclear-armed Iran represented an existential threat to Israel. Iran's rulers, after all, not only deny the Holocaust but have made militant anti-Americanism, confrontation with Israel and even anti-Semitism, defining ideologies of the Iranian state. Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has threatened to wipe Israel off the map. Most analysts believe that for all their extremism, the Iranian rulers are rational actors and would not actually use nuclear weapons. But this is a slender analytical thread to ask Israelis to hang their very lives on. And the danger of Iran proliferating some element of nuclear material or technology to terrorists is much more plausible.

This is where the Obama-Israel dust-up comes in. By so isolating Israel, by irresponsibly unleashing a global wave of anti-Israel sentiment, especially in nations which normally support Israel, Obama has made the possibility of Israel considering unilateral action against Iran much more unlikely. The Israelis would weigh such action very carefully. There are many pluses and minuses. By creating the impression of Israel as a besieged, isolated and reckless nation, which the wildly disproportionate reaction to the East Jerusalem apartments accomplished, Obama has made the potential cost to Israel of action against Iran much greater.

Is it fair to conclude definitively that Obama has decided to give up, except for symbolic and meaningless actions, the fight against a nuclear-armed Iran?

Obama might still change his mind - he is nothing, after all, if not flexible - but that is the inescapable conclusion of his actions so far.

He has set so many deadlines for Iran. Each of them has passed and nothing ever happens. There are never bad consequences for the US's enemies in Obama world, it seems, only for its friends.

Remember, initially, that the Obama administration wanted to wait for the Iranian election in the middle of last year before it exhausted dialogue or went down the sanctions road? Remember then the deadline was September? Remember the proposal for Iran's uranium to go to Russia for enrichment? Remember the revelation of Iran's secret nuclear facility at Qom? Remember Iran's announcement that it intended to enrich uranium up to 20 per cent, a vast leap on the technological road to weapons? Did you notice a couple of weeks ago Iran's announcement that it would build new nuclear facilities?

And where are we today? Now it is April and Obama is still talking in his feckless way about possible UN sanctions. Anything that is passed by China and Russia at the UN Security Council will be weak and ineffective. A serious US administration would have built a critical mass of like-minded countries to impose crippling sanctions on Iran outside the Security Council.

The only explanation that fits with all the facts is that the US administration is no longer serious about stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons. James Lindsay and Ray Takeyh, writing in this month's Foreign Affairs, declare that: "If Iran's nuclear program continues to progress at its current rate, Tehran could have the nuclear material needed to build a bomb before US President Barack Obama's current term in office expires." The Foreign Affairs article, After Iran Gets the Bomb, is important in another way. It demonstrates the drift in the serious discussion in the US. It is no longer a discussion of how to stop Iran getting the bomb, but how to cope with a nuclear-armed Iran.

Here's something else you should know about Iran. US General David Petraeus, in written testimony to congress, has revealed that Iran is co-operating with al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, facilitating the movement of its leaders. The Sunday Times of London recently carried interviews with Taliban leaders who were trained in Iran.

There is no chance Obama will produce a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in his first term in office, which is how he would like to be remembered by history. There is every chance history will remember him for something altogether different, as the American president on whose watch Iran became a nuclear-weapons state. Greg Sheridan is the Foreign Editor of the Australian.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bhoiran; bhomiddleeast; bhonukes; clinton; fifth100days; husseinobama; iran; iraniannukes; israel; obama; proliferation
Not good news.
1 posted on 04/04/2010 10:31:08 AM PDT by 1066AD
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To: 1066AD

Future Historians, Terran and Non-Terran, cite this as the one last political action that enable WWIII and the Nuclear Holocaust to begin.


2 posted on 04/04/2010 10:37:05 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat
Neville Chamberlain expanded the social safety net in the UK but is remembered for the “peace’ he made with Hitler.

Likewise, Barky’s legacy will be the Iranian bomb and its after effects.

3 posted on 04/04/2010 10:41:58 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: 1066AD
Everything 0bama has done has:
A. weakened America
B. strengthened islam
C. attacked Israel
...or some combination of the above.

Can you cite something -anything- of substance that he’s done that doesn’t fit A, B and/or C?

4 posted on 04/04/2010 10:50:57 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 437 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

The calamity that will ensue will change the earth forever. Trust that the Lord will return as he did this day lo those many years ago.


5 posted on 04/04/2010 10:51:32 AM PDT by Shady (The Fairness Doctrine is ANYTHING but fair!!!!)
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To: 1066AD
He not only accepts it, he applauds it. He has the same objective as the Iranians.
6 posted on 04/04/2010 10:57:44 AM PDT by Ukiapah Heep (Shoes for Industry!)
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To: 1066AD
.
He is determined instead to live with a nuclear Iran

You'd have a hard time convincing me this wasn't his plan all along. The creep is a stinking traitor from Day One.

7 posted on 04/04/2010 11:01:07 AM PDT by Touch Not the Cat (Where is the light? Wonder if it's weeping somewhere...)
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To: SandRat

Which Gulf State do you think will be the next start a nuke program? It could be one heck of a show until it blows up.


8 posted on 04/04/2010 11:06:14 AM PDT by Red Dog #1
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To: Red Dog #1

Turkey or Eygpt.


9 posted on 04/04/2010 11:08:58 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: 1066AD

0bama accepts a nuclear Iran, but not Israel building subdivisions in its own land.

That pretty much sums him up, doesn’t it?


10 posted on 04/04/2010 11:14:15 AM PDT by ScottinVA (RIP to the country I love...)
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To: Red Dog #1

What Middle Eastern government do you think will be the first to use a nuke? I’m betting (and hoping) on Israel if Iran gets too close for comfort.


11 posted on 04/04/2010 11:15:07 AM PDT by Terry Mross (Founding Fathers.....grave....rolling over.)
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To: SandRat

This is the equivalent of “War Gets the Green Light” from WWII era when the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Non-Aggression Treaty between the two countries. On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland and 6 weeks later had conquered that country.


12 posted on 04/04/2010 11:16:52 AM PDT by DownInFlames
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To: 1066AD

Seriously, who did not see this coming.

Obama is a stage setter. Momma Nutsy is plain crazy.
The rest are just rats, acting like rats.


13 posted on 04/04/2010 11:23:44 AM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (demonicRATS... taxes, pain and slow death. Is this what you want?)
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To: 1066AD

He’s got no choice because he announced in advance that he was not going to do anything except talk. And talk did not work.


14 posted on 04/04/2010 11:24:50 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: 1066AD

Who is Obama?? but the Joke of the earth and someone to be laughed at nothing more.


15 posted on 04/04/2010 11:30:54 AM PDT by Cheetahcat (Zero the Wright kind of Racist! We are in a state of War with Democrats)
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To: 1066AD
I suspect that Obama is not just a leftist appeaser, but an active collaborator with expansionist Islamist regimes. He doesn't have to be talking to their intelligence services. He is a sympathizer and supports Islam against the West in his instinctive reactions.
16 posted on 04/04/2010 11:40:04 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: Red Dog #1

They have ALL already started in one way or another.

They know they can no longer depend on America.

Many Muslims, as the world, are beginning to doubt and even fear the child-king’s true agenda which is, at this time, still not quite clear.


17 posted on 04/04/2010 11:43:14 AM PDT by 240B (he is doing everything he said he would'nt and not doing what he said he would)
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To: 1066AD
Maybe now American Jews will reconsider voting for these bastards.

But I doubt it.

18 posted on 04/04/2010 11:55:49 AM PDT by ItsForTheChildren
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We are such pussies these days. I am so ashamed of our government.


19 posted on 04/04/2010 12:06:45 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (This nation, of the people, by the people, and for the people has perished from the land.)
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To: Red Dog #1
Which Gulf State do you think will be the next start a nuke program?

With Hugo Chavez's nuke ambitions, will Venezuela offer to front such Gulf states' research, to make it all a joint effort, saving money in the meantime while proliferating the heck out of it? All this since Obama seems to be in favor of reducing the disparity between the US and other powers.?

Obama's resolve isn't steadily weakening as the article says, but rather, since Zero's passed his healthcare timebomb, he's simply willing to let down his guard about his Islamofascist goals, imagining that he's ready to further paint "right-wing extremists" into a corner, causing their fringe to turn violent, at which point he'll be able to crack down further and hard, cementing his control of US society, even as the latter crumbles.

It's Barry's way of managing the decline of the US.

HF

20 posted on 04/04/2010 12:16:11 PM PDT by holden
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To: 1066AD

Let’s hope Israel will soon take care of business. If they don’t, Iran’s first use will not be Tel Aviv, but New York or Washington D.C. . .


21 posted on 04/04/2010 12:28:19 PM PDT by Art in Idaho
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To: 1066AD
Obama has never been flexible on socialism, anti-Americanism, or pacifist isolationism. Ever. And he never will be.

There is nothing new here and no change in policy. Drift and inertia ensuring that Iran gets nukes unopposed has been the policy of the entire west and of Israel for a decade and counting. None of them have the courage to withstand a week of news coverage of a crisis with Iran, let alone the blood and guts of an actual confrontation. All any of them have ever been concerned about, is somebody else getting the blame for the inaction all have been practicing.

But it is a fool's errand. They are all useless cowards. To the last eunuch.

22 posted on 04/04/2010 12:28:29 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: Art in Idaho
Israel isn't going to do a damn thing. And hoping for somebody else to do our own duty is beneath contempt.
23 posted on 04/04/2010 12:29:32 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: Vermont Lt
X actly...
24 posted on 04/04/2010 12:30:22 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: 1066AD

Well who didn’t see this coming? I have an idea how about we pull all our troops out of the middle east and let Europe and Russia deal with the Islamic fascists on THIER door step? Europe mostly and Russia always oppose us in the middle east, so let’s see how they like having nuclear armed radical Islamics for neighbors.


25 posted on 04/04/2010 1:03:50 PM PDT by jpsb
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To: Art in Idaho

NAH...they will NOT hit NY or DC....they have too many allies there...


26 posted on 04/04/2010 1:07:42 PM PDT by goodnesswins (The PLANTATION Party is at it again (the DEMS) ....trying to make slaves of everyone)
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To: 1066AD

He knows he need not sully his pacifist soul because Israel, Saudi Arabia et al will take care of the business.

He is after all but a cowardly street thug who knows hoe to bully but not to fight.

Bibi called him out and he ran to supper


27 posted on 04/04/2010 1:09:06 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Ostracize Democrats. There can be no Democrat friends.)
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To: bert
He is after all but a cowardly street thug who knows how to bully but not to fight.

That's for sure....;o)

28 posted on 04/04/2010 1:10:27 PM PDT by Niteflyr ("Just because something is free doesn't mean it's good for you".)
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To: 1066AD

This is not just obammys fault. G.W. Bush had the opportunity to take out this threat and left it for obammy.
Had G.W. done it 6 years or so ago it would have been much easier to do so too.


29 posted on 04/04/2010 1:52:55 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (Just say NO to RINOs. (FUBO))
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To: null and void

http://www.whitehouse.gov/EasterEggRoll/

I couldn’t get this to fit in those catagories...

But I am still trying...Gimme some time...


30 posted on 04/04/2010 2:31:57 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus sayin')
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To: stevie_d_64

Fails the “of substance” test.


31 posted on 04/04/2010 2:33:54 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 437 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: null and void

Well, yer right...I was shooting from the hip there...

It was a timing thing...You know the big egg roll thing tomorrow...Obviously a landmark event that will tie up most of his day there at the White House...

Keep him from possibly doing “more” damage and away from the desk in his office...

At least for a day...He may make up for it on Tuesday...

;-)


32 posted on 04/04/2010 2:39:40 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus sayin')
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To: 1066AD
There is no chance Obama will produce a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in his first term in office, which is how he would like to be remembered by history.

Carter is remembered for giving away the Panama Canal. I think 0bama will be remembered for leaving Israel to the vultures.

33 posted on 04/04/2010 3:01:53 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (STOP the Tyrananny State.)
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To: null and void

Ohhh, here’s something that just popped up...Might be interesting...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2486537/posts


34 posted on 04/04/2010 3:04:33 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus sayin')
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To: stevie_d_64

Thanks!


35 posted on 04/04/2010 3:07:17 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 437 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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