Another intelligence leak--of a different sort
I was surprised to see this story in Wednesday's Guardian.
It's about another intelligence leak--they seem to be quite popular nowadays, don't they? But this one, unlike the others, isn't about a failure of the Bush or Blair administrations, and doesn't reflect poorly on them. Actually, it's about something that plays into their hands, by undermining the hopes of those who believe that reasoning and negotiation with Iran can effectively keep its nuclear ambitions in check.
The leak consists of a report that has amassed evidence that Iran is planning a nuclear future that includes nuclear weapons, and not just a peaceful reactor. Is there anyone naive enough to have doubted that, even before this report? Well, my guess is the answer is "yes;"probably much of the Guardian's readership would have fallen into that camp, which is why the publication of this leak in that particular venue is quite stunning:
The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programmes.
Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with "import requests and acquisitions ... registered almost daily", the report seen by the Guardian concludes.
The warning came as Iran raised the stakes in its dispute with the United States and the European Union yesterday by notifying the International Atomic Energy Authority that it intended to resume nuclear fuel research next week. Tehran has refused to rule out a return to attempts at uranium enrichment, the key to the development of a nuclear weapon.
To what do we owe this possible change of heart on the part of the Guardian's editors? Could it be the case that Iran's President Ahmadinejad may have actually overplayed his hand in such a way that even European leftists can no longer deny that the man is a dangerous madman with the destruction of Israel on his mind? According to the Guardian:
Governments in the west and elsewhere have also been dismayed by recent pronouncements from the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has said that Holocaust denial is a "scientific debate" and that Israel should be "wiped off the map".
I've written about Iran's plans and about Holocaust denial before. These days there's no denying that overt anti-Semitism, or anti-Semitism cloaked in the guise of a certain sort of mindless and virulent anti-Zionism, are both very popular in Europe.
Can it be, though, that something about the nakedness of Ahmadinejad's statements has caused at least a certain number of Europeans who are not flagrantly anti-Semitic to stop and think about what's actually happening in Iran today, and to relate it to the Holocaust? I would like to think that the bold outrageousness of Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitic rhetoric has touched a nerve, and that most Europeans who don't actively desire a second Holocaust can recognize the emanations coming from Iran from previous bitter and shameful experience, closer to home.