Motzei Shabbat (after Shabbat)
There’s a painful amount of news that is most decidedly not good, and, now that Shabbat has ended, as I had indicated I would, I’m turning to this.
The primary concern remains Iran and its movement towards becoming a nuclear nation. When I permit myself to focus on this, if truth be told, I find myself numbed by the cold hard truth of a world that does not really care, no matter the words to the contrary.
Without attempting an analysis in detail, I would like to mention the most salient concerns with regard to the Nuclear Summit held in Washington this past week:
With all of Obama’s talk about securing enriched uranium so that it cannot fall into the hands of terrorists, the very nations most likely to turn over materials to such terrorists were not party to what was going on at all or their potential to do immeasurable harm was not addressed.
As JINSA wrote (Report #978):
“What wasn’t on the table was more dangerous than what was.
“The proliferators, the rogues, the nuclear weapons seekers and builders, the countries making overt threats and covert deals-Syria, Iran and North Korea-weren’t in the room. Pakistan, straddling the world’s great divide between Islamic fundamentalist violence and democratic institution-building, insisted on the right to do whatever it wanted with its nuclear material. The relationship between terrorists (including those who seek nuclear material) and the state sponsors of terrorism-many of whom were in the room-was never mentioned.
“…for all the posturing of 47 countries signing mushy, non-binding statements, there are real threats and real threatening countries out there. Securing Canadian fissile material is fine, but China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and North Korea-and their friends-are where the attention of the United States and its democratic friends and allies ought to be focused.”
So no celebrating that we are in a safer world because of the Obama extravaganza.
Neither is the talk of additional sanctions encouraging. There is no reason to believe that the international community is about to embrace sanctions serious enough to truly make a critical difference.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a professor of nuclear physics and a vice president of the European Parliament said:
“Regrettably, the EU’s policy of ‘constructive engagement’ was one of the main culprits in facilitating Iran’s nuclear progress. Now Washington has bought the regime additional time. The Iranian regime knows now that the international community lacks the courage or conviction to confront its nuclear program. Biting sanctions could have and still could work. Engaging the mullahs only had the effect of legitimizing them and extending their brutal reign.”
Then there is pie-in-the-sky Obama, imagining a world free of nuclear weapons, who spoke of all nations needing to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Of course there were eyes turned toward us, with our policy of ambiguity on issues of nuclear arms. Why miss a chance to pressure or weaken us?
The very appropriate response by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in the wake of Obama’s statement on the subject:
“There is no room to pressure Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel has never threatened to annihilate other nations and peoples, while today Iran, and also Syria, Libya and Iraq in the past, all of whom signed this treaty, have systematically violated its stipulations while explicitly threatening Israel’s existence.”
I make reference on a regular basis to the fact that war is looming for us here in Israel. It’s only a matter of time, and a question of what will be sparked first. PA leaders speak of a new intifada or “religious war.” Rockets have begun flying from Gaza again. And, as we know, Hezbollah is more highly armed now than it was before the last Lebanon war.
With news coming out in the last few days, the attention has turned to Hezbollah. It was first revealed on Thursday in a Kuwaiti newspaper (although known by Intelligence here prior to this) that Syria has provided Hezbollah with Scud missiles, which can carry conventional warheads. (Hezbollah says they’re old Scuds that don’t work well, and Syria denies it altogether.) Superior to any armament this terror group (turned faction of the Lebanese government) has possessed until now, the Scuds have the potential to shift the balance of military power, which has been solidly in our favor until now.
In fact, according to the JPost on Friday, “Military Intelligence’s assessment is that Syria is willing to transfer every military platform it has to Hezbollah. If there is something that Hezbollah does not have, it is because it has not asked for it yet.”
This, my friends, has been done under the very noses of the unconcerned UNIFIL forces in Lebanon, put into place by UNSC resolution 1701, which was touted as a diplomatic victory by an airheaded Tzipi Livni, functioning as our Foreign Minister at the end of the Second Lebanon War of 2006. The UN forces, you see, were going to protect us.
You should further understand that the US has been courting Syria, and is in process of placing an ambassador in Damascus again. Last I read, while the US had registered “concern” about the transfer of weaponry from Syria to Hezbollah, a spokesman for the Obama administration indicated, when pressed on this by Senators, that it would be the administration’s choice to continue the process of confirming the ambassador to Syria.
This administration’s approach, you see, is via dialogue, which can be achieved more effectively if there is a permanent representative of the US in Damascus. And we all know how successful this approach is proving to be. With any luck, the Senate will see it differently.
I knew how untrustworthy Dr. Mohammed El-Baradei was a head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He had a hand in the nuclear progress that Iran made because he did not hold that nation accountable.
Now he is considered a prominent contender for the Egyptian presidential elections in 2011. This past week he told the official English website of the Muslim Brotherhood “the Palestinian cause is plagued by Israeli violation of holy Islamic shrines, settlement expansion in Jerusalem and building of synagogues.” He said that “the Palestinian people has no other option but to adopt resistance….Israel only understands the language of force.”