Gates Greenlights Iran's Bomb; Israel/USA Imperiled

April 17, 2009

            Given the great focus on Tax Day and the April 15th Tea Parties held across the nation little attention has been paid to a major story regarding American policy toward Iran's nuclear weapons program.

            Yesterday Mark Levin, radio talk show host, discussed an article in the Los Angeles Times which gave this description of remarks made Monday by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at Quantico, VA:

"Reporting from Washington -- Amid increasing suggestions that Israel might attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned this week that such a strike would have dangerous consequences, and asserted that Tehran's acquisition of a bomb can be prevented only if 'Iranians themselves decide it's too costly.'

"Using his strongest language on the subject to date, Gates told a group of Marine Corps students that a strike would probably delay Tehran's nuclear program from one to three years. A strike, however, would unify Iran, 'cement their determination to have a nuclear program, and also build into the whole country an undying hatred of whoever hits them,' he said."

Well, the cat is definitely out of the bag now, and it is pretty clear that the Obama Administration will take no military action to stop the Iranian weapons program.

            First, Gates's observation that the acquisition of an Iranian bomb can only be prevented by Iranian action really runs up the white flag while defying reality.  The United States surrounds Iran with air bases in the Gulf States, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  We can also have naval assets in the region on command.  The U.S. has tactical bombing capabilities second to none in the history of warfare, and the Secretary of Defense says that?  Either he thinks he's running the Meals-on-Wheels program for Arlington, Virginia, or this country has wasted a whole lot of money on planes, ships, and related gizmos.

            Second, contrast Gates's thinking with that of Israel in 1981 when it bombed Saddam Hussein's nuclear program out of existence.  Sure, Saddam kept trying, but he never built a bomb: the damage was irreparable.  A successful attack could buy us decades.

            Third, Gates's psychobabble about Iran living in "undying hatred" of the nation that ends their nuclear program seems completely wrong.  If you were an Iranian what would you prefer -- Israel bombing your nuclear program with conventional weapons or Israel retaliating with nuclear weapons after the ayatollahs have flattened Tel Aviv?  Iranians must know that every day their leaders have nuclear weapons would be a day their lives and the continued existence of the Persian civilization would be in grave danger.  Hillary Clinton was correct when she observed that an Iranian nuclear attack would lead to annihilatory retaliation.  Millions of dead.

            Finally, these comments indicate that American cooperation with an Israeli preemptive strike is unlikely.  In fact, it appears the Obama Administration will do all it can to prevent Israeli action.  Instead, the administration is going to try to persuade Iran that the political cost of a weapons program for Iran will exceed its value, and that is an argument the Iranians have already rejected.