Like one of those cartoon characters who run right off the edge of a cliff and just keep treading air — but you know it can’t go on that way for long — the Obama administration keeps looking for ways to pretend that Iran’s nuclear bomb program is no immediate crisis.
President Obama has extended his hand to Tehran’s uranium-loving mullahcracy, wished them happy new year, brushed aside their role in arming terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, hung back when they murdered protesters in the streets of their own capital, and placed his bets on the bizarre premise that Iran can somehow be sweet-talked out of its nuclear bomb program. Until his hand was forced last week, he kept quiet for months about Iran’s additional hidden uranium enrichment facility on a military base near Qom. In deciding to make history by becoming the first American president to chair a meeting of the UN Security Council, he swept aside any specific discussion of Iran (or North Korea) and — despite a try by French president Nicolas Sarkozy to insert some reality into the session — marked it down as a triumph that all 15 members paid lip service to the utopian and currently irrelevant dream of a world without nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, Iran keeps barreling toward the bomb. If this doesn’t add up to confrontation, it’s because the U.S. keeps backing off, which gives Iran a chance to go further… and further… and we get closer and closer to the moment at which, yes indeed, they’ll have those bombs. At that point, any confrontation would no longer be about stopping Iran from getting the bomb. It would be a confrontation with a nuclear-armed armed Iran. Anyone see a problem with that?
Which brings us to a line from President Obama that I’ve been marveling over since last week. In The Wall Street Journal on Friday, in an article mentioning the talks with Iran now scheduled for Oct. 1, Obama was quoted saying that Iran will have to choose between giving up its nuclear program or continuing — here’s the line — “down a path that is going to lead to confrontation.”
Let’s look at that locution again (boldface mine). ”Down a path that is going to lead to confrontation.” So… by this description, Iran need not worry about confrontation right now. Iran is not yet even on a path that already leads to confrontation. Iran is merely traveling along a path which at some point is “going to” lead to confrontation. With lines like that rolling out of the White House, the mullahs would be mad not to keep going — right down the thruway to the bomb, while Obama is still poring over the paths on his roadmap.