By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, February 05, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Nuclear Terrorism: What happens when an Islamofascist state gets the bomb and the White House falls into the hands of a president who thinks such enemies can be defeated with diplomacy? We shudder to think.
Related Topics: Iran | Global War On Terror
The director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency on Monday reported that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon within three years. So without military action from the U.S. or Israel against Tehran’s nuclear facilities, whoever is elected president later this year will be left with solving the global problem of an atomic terrorist state in the Middle East.
If that person is either of the two front-runners for the Democratic nomination, it could spell unprecedented danger. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem committed to the magic powers of negotiating a deal with Iran’s fanatical mullahs — and surrounding them are “experts” who agree.
Both candidates favor direct negotiations at once. Sen. Obama’s foreign policy adviser, Susan Rice of the Brookings Institution, an assistant secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, gave a possible preview in a 2004 article in the Washington Post.
“At the bargaining table,” she wrote, “the United States could dangle various incentives the Iranians might find attractive. For instance, in exchange for a full and verifiable halt to Iran’s nuclear program as well as termination of its support for terrorism and anti-U.S. elements in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States could offer to lift U.S. sanctions, normalize relations, pay some Iranian claims against the United States, promote new trade and investment flows, allow Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization, guarantee access to civilian nuclear power or provide regional security guarantees.”
Another Obama foreign consultant, Samantha Power of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, recently advised “refraining from redundant reminders that military force is still ‘on the table,’ which only strengthen the hand of hard-line Islamists and nationalists.”
Instead, she recommended “trying high-level political negotiations.” It’s true, Power allows, “that earlier attempts at engagement have produced few dividends. But what negotiations can do is diminish perceptions of U.S. arrogance.”
Sen. Clinton may be viewed as more hawkish than Obama, but how true is that perception? Her Iran experts, Ray Takeyh and Vali Nasr, recommend “engagement as a means of achieving a more pluralistic and responsible government in Tehran.”
They have written that “to liberalize the theocratic state, the United States would do better to . . . embark on a policy of unconditional dialogue and sanctions relief. A reduced American threat would deprive the hard-liners of the conflict they need to justify their concentration of power.”
Often mentioned as possible secretary of state in a Hillary Clinton administration is Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a supposed hawk who has done his share of huffing and puffing about the Iran threat.
But after last December’s National Intelligence Estimate downplaying that threat, Ari Berman of the leftist Nation magazine elicited a telling comment from the veteran of the Carter State Department. “I thought even pre-NIE,” Holbrooke told Berman, “that there was no justification for a military strike.”
Americans have a lot to consider when they cast their votes this year. Nothing, however, is more important than what man or woman sitting in the Oval Office is more likely to prevent an atomic war in the Mideast or the incineration of a U.S. city by a terrorist sleeper cell.
This year a president could be elected who thinks talk can conquer that threat.
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