We told you so, and now there’s only one response — and it isn’t Ron Paul’s.
Was it only eight years ago that John Bolton, speaking at an American Spectator dinner, told us that Iran had been lying about its nuclear weapons program since 1981?
I thought it was longer ago but Wlady Pleszczynski, my long-suffering friend and editor, once again came to the rescue. The date was Wednesday, November 12, 2003.
So for eight years — almost to the day — between Bolton’s admonition and this week’s UN report that Iran was on the threshold of developing a nuclear weapon, the West has been earnestly deluding itself while Iran relentlessly pursued its atomic ambitions.
All through the Bush years, there was one round of sanctions after another and dire warnings to Iran that it would be more “isolated” if it not cooperate with the “international community.” The mullahs are evil, not stupid. They benefited from the steady stream of aid — and nuclear assistance — from Russia. The shopkeeper nations of Europe and too many others made it safe for Iran to mock the American protestations.
China and Russia tittered to the press and opposed the sanctions, sometimes no more seriously than we pushed the resolutions for them.
Willful blindness toward Iran’s nuclear weapons program, first fashionable among the intelligentsia, soon became an identifying characteristic of not only the international elite but also of the old Blame America First crowd. We now even have a Republican presidential contender among the latter. Ron Paul has asked that with other nations having nuclear weapons — China, India and Israel — among them, why Iran wouldn’t want nuclear weapons. He apparently sees no difference between a nuclear Israel and a nuclear Iran.
Perhaps the perfect symbol of this gibbering international class is the Nobel Committee. In its 2005 Peace Prize award announcement it said the prize, awarded jointly to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei, was “for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.”
ElBaradei was Iran’s apologist, its explainer-away, and its living shield against international consequences for its actions. Under him, the IAEA was purblind, denying that whatever it saw added up to a nuclear weapons program.
On March 20, 2006, I warned that President Bush’s policy of relying on the UN to block the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions would have an inevitable effect. I wrote then, “The President is in the process of putting the UN in control of the Iran nuclear issue. This will result, in all probability, in allowing Iran enough time to achieve nuclear weapons.”
In November 2007 we were given the risible 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which informed us that our intelligence community had “high confidence” that Iran had quit any steps toward nuclear weapons development in 2003 and had not resumed it.
Now, two years after ElBaradei retired, we have a new IAEA report that confirms more than what we knew and all of that which we suspected. Iran is on the brink of developing a nuclear weapon, and possibly the ability to deliver it.
The IAEA report released this week concludes, based on information provided by ten nations and gathered in its own investigation, that Iran is close to achieving its nuclear ambitions.
The report concludes, among many other things, that:
• Going back to the 1980s, Iran has been conducting undisclosed uranium enrichment, including the separation of plutonium.
• Iran has been acquiring “nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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