Friday, January 06, 2006

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.


At 6:35 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The student reformers of Iran were nothing more than a dog-and-pony show the mullahs themselves put on in an effort to prevent America from stopping them when we could have.

Iran already has nukes. They were the first ones Dr. Khan passed the technology on to. They don't even need to test them first; they have copies of the data from the test detonations carried out in Pakistan. Now they are playing for time, trying to build a large and varied enough arsenal that all the defense systems Israel has in place can't possibly catch them all.

A pity... Israel was the first country that resurrected date trees that had been extinct for 2000 years. Who knows what miracles they could have eventually produced.

At 6:54 PM, January 06, 2006, Blogger said...

Neo wrote: Can it be, though, that something about the nakedness of Ahmadinejad's statements

That's the view of Iranian author Amir Taheri. In his 2005 roundup It wasn't such a bad year after all, he wrote:

You may be surprised but I also regard the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the new president of the Islamic Republic as good news. The reason is simple: Ahmadinejad has the courage, some might say recklessness, to cast aside the hypocritical mask worn by his two predecessors, both businessmen-mullahs, in a strategy of deception. He has eschewed taqiyah (dissimulation) and that, believe me, is welcome news. His presidency will force the people of Iran and the rest of the world either to come to terms with the Khomeinist revolution or challenge it in a meaningful way.

At 12:40 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger TmjUtah said...


There's a great discussion going on, along related lines, over at Chester's.

Cusp time, I think.

At 9:10 AM, January 07, 2006, Blogger AmericanWoman said...

I am a regular on GUT (The Guardian's talk board) and Iran is a hot topic. I do think the recent comments by Ahmadinejad have pushed some over the edge (in the right direction) but there are still too many, some AMERICANS as well, who believe that even if Iran wants/has nukes, that isn't a bad thing.

After all, the US had them, Israel probably has them. Why not Iran.

Luckily I don't think Iran can reach the US with their nukes, only Europe and unfortunately Israel.

At 4:12 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Why not Iran... hrm, perhaps because we're going to put 3 nukes into their territory for everyone they produce but can't launch at us in time?

Deterence only works if you already got nukes. And Iran doesn't. Nuke them, and this solves the problem. Don't even need to kill anyone, EMP airburst would do it.

Demonstration execution of some captured terroists in the desert would do it. No one has the guts to apply the solution, so children are going to die. Pretty simple. We can blame the Euros if the US doesn't do anything. Since the missiles hit Europe, and if they hit Israel, Israel strikes back, and we've got rid of Iran.


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