John on February 12, 2009 at 9:35 pm
Little more than a year after U.S. spy agencies concluded that Iran had halted work on a nuclear weapon, the Obama administration has made it clear that it believes there is no question that Tehran is seeking the bomb.
In his news conference this week, President Obama went so far as to describe Iran’s “development of a nuclear weapon” before correcting himself to refer to its “pursuit” of weapons capability.
Obama’s nominee to serve as CIA director, Leon E. Panetta, left little doubt about his view last week when he testified on Capitol Hill. “From all the information I’ve seen,” Panetta said, “I think there is no question that they are seeking that capability.”
The language reflects the extent to which senior U.S. officials now discount a National Intelligence Estimate issued in November 2007 that was instrumental in derailing U.S. and European efforts to pressure Iran to shut down its nuclear program.
In this case, backstory is everything. In case you missed it, I wrote here about how Mohammed ElBaradei won the Nobel Peace Prize for opposing Bush and denying what Obama now admits is obvious. Over at Mere Rhetoric, there’s an excellent primer on the history of that bogus NIE. Enjoy the links to angst-ridden liberals, who were generating over-heated prose about this back in 2007. But Obama’s own quote on the bogus NIE is hard to beat:
Iran continues to be a threat to some of its neighbors in the region, so they’re still funding Hamas, they’re still funding Hezbollah, and those are things we have to be concerned about. But it is absolutely clear that this administration and President Bush continues to not let facts get in the way of his ideology.
What’s priceless about all of this is the extent to which the Democrats have had reality completely inverted. It’s not that they just were wrong, it’s that they were diametrically opposite the truth. And yet, even as they did so, they continued to brazenly accuse the other guys of not letting facts get in the way.
Well, here are the facts: Iran is building a bomb. Iran has been building a bomb for several years. Everyone who ever said otherwise is/was an idiot. Oh, and the guy who had it right all along…George W. Bush.
So needless to say, with Bush gone and their guy in charge, the rules have suddenly changed. Democrats were ready to stroke-out over the President’s saber rattling when said President was a Republican. Now that Obama’s in, well…he simply says the exact same thing George Bush has been saying all along and — magically! — it sounds different to the newly minted hawks on the left. Add it to the list of foreign policy ideas Obama has adopted directly from Bush — the flexable timetable for withdrawal, rendition, possible use of “torture” in certain circumstances — pretty much the whole ball of wax the left was screaming endlessly about the last four years. To this observer, it looks as if the left has finally begun to make peace with reality. I guess that’s good. Better than the alternative anyway.
Category: Foreign Affairs |