The most pressing question for the world today is which atomic state will be the second nation in history to use nuclear weapons. Will it be Iran in its much-publicized threat to “wipe Israel off the map” in a “single storm”? Will it be Israel in a preemptive strike using nuclear-tipped bunker-busters? Will it be a suicidal North Korea launching ballistic missiles at South Korea, Japan, Hawaii, or Washington State? The most likely nuclear prospect is that Iran, whether directly or by proxy, will assume that tainted honor, and that Israel will necessarily retaliate, becoming the third nation on the active nuclear roster.
Perhaps an equally pressing question is why the world’s major chanceries should have allowed the situation in the Middle East to deteriorate to such a degree that a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel has become a distinct possibility. The three largest members of the European Union, France, Germany, and Britain, have been engaged in negotiations with Iran since October 2003 without having made the slightest dent in Iran’s determination to acquire an operational nuclear arsenal — one, let us recall, that it has promised to use.
Sanctions have been feeble and ineffective. Timelines for resolution have been constantly moved forward while Iran marches inexorably toward nuclear capability. Russia and China are demonstrably abetting the Iranian project and the United States, especially under Barack Obama, in its timid and indeed pusillanimous response to the issue, behaves almost as a silent partner.
Aside from the Russians and the Chinese, who are practicing a particularly short-sighted version of realpolitik and whose intransigence is to be expected, the Americans intermittently and the Europeans consistently have implemented a policy toward the Middle East that appears entirely counterproductive, one that almost seems intended not to resolve but to exacerbate the state of affairs in the region. What they have put on the table is the road map to war.
The folly of bankrolling the Palestinians to the tune of billions of dollars to no beneficial effect, thereby contributing chiefly to offshore accounts, arms buildups, and a condition of professional mendicancy, appears not to have dawned on the ostensibly benighted donors. The international backing for UNRWA, whose real mandate is to perpetuate the manufactured refugee problem and to provide logistical and moral support to Hamas, continues apace. The ignorant or disingenuous attempt to portray the Palestinian and Islamic carnival of terror as motivated by despair, frustration, or exploitation only ensures that it will persist. The diktats leveled at Israel to compromise its security without reciprocity, to cede territory and shrink its borders to a state of indefensibility, to surrender its capital city, and to refrain from answering unprovoked attacks upon its civilian population, argue another agenda apart from the declared intention to establish conditions for a “lasting peace.” For it is patently undeniable that no Israeli concession has ever resulted in anything but escalating hostilities and mounting depredations. This is a fact that only the dead — or the brain-dead — are unable to perceive.
As for the ongoing “negotiations” and “dialogue” with Iran, these have led absolutely nowhere since day one and can no longer be taken seriously. Six years of utter futility would have had some impact on the Western mind — by which I mean primarily, though not only, the European mind — were it not bent to some other purpose. The Western reluctance to punish or incommode the Iranian mullahcracy for the violence it unleashed upon unarmed citizens protesting the 2009 rigged elections also speaks volumes. It seems reasonable to infer that Iran as it is presently constituted may serve a clandestine function.
Chirac, Schroeder, Robinson, Solana, Kouchner, Pillay, Ban, Carter, the Clintons, Zapatero, Stoltenberg, Calmy-Rey, Brown, Miliband, Blair, and now Obama, along with their ministerial colleagues and like-minded, highly placed officials, commissioners, civil servants, diplomats, and friends, cannot be casually described as congenital imbeciles. These are people with university degrees, with reasonably good IQs, with considerable experience in international relations, with a dexterous ability to manipulate language, and with an enviable shrewdness in managing their own fiscal and electoral interests. Yet in their economic and political policies, their diplomatic comportment, and their reading of the geopolitical text, they give every indication of being retarded from the egg.