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January 27, 2006

Like I Was Saying

A few days ago, I posted on the impotency of those diplomatically responsible for addressing the threat, very possibly in its Eleventh Hour status, of Iran's producing nuclear weapons and using them forthwith.

Well, columnist Jeff Jacoby is apparently thinking along the same lines as I am,

''It is not on the table. It is not on the agenda. I happen to think it is inconceivable."

That was British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in September, telling the BBC what he thinks about the use of military force to prevent Iran's homicidal theocrats from acquiring nuclear weapons. Last week Straw went further, declaring that even economic sanctions would be an overreaction. ''I don't think we should rush our fences here," he told a conference in London. Much better to turn the whole thing over to the UN Security Council, so long as any action it might take ''is followed without sanction." What he recommends, in other words, is a Security Council resolution with no teeth. That'll fix the mullahs' wagon.

To be sure, not every British politician has been so weak-kneed. Tory MP Michael Ancram has called for Iran to be — brace yourself — expelled from the World Cup tournament in June. Barring the planet's foremost sponsor of terrorism from soccer matches — now there's Churchillian grit. Ancram says it will send ''a very, very clear signal to Iran that the international community will not accept what they are doing." Sure it will. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's rabid president, must break into a sweat thinking about it.

Not to be outdone by Great Britain in the going-wobbly department, Germany's foreign minister assured a television audience Sunday that Berlin ''will refrain from anything that brings us a step closer" to military action against Iran. Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned against ''a militarization of thinking" on how to keep one of the world's worst regimes from acquiring the bomb. ''Rather, we should see that we use and exhaust to the best of our powers the diplomatic solutions that remain available."

In short, we're placing the prevention of a profoundly premature Armageddon in the hands of a bunch of people who would rather not offend the protagonists than take any assertive steps to prevent what we are dependent upon them to prevent.

Fortunately, not everyone is off in Cloud Cuckoo Land when it comes to dealing with Tehran. The acting prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, put his government's position bluntly: ''Under no circumstances, and at no point," he said on Jan. 17, ''can Israel allow anyone with these kinds of malicious designs against us [to] have control of weapons of destruction that can threaten our existence." As the Jewish state has good reason to know, dictators who publicly vow to commit mass murder generally mean what they say — and are generally not deterred by threats of ''diplomatic solutions."

What comes next is anybody's guess, but my own would be that, absenting a preemptive move by the Israelis, the U.S.A. will deal conclusively with the problem.

Jeff Jacoby's column pretty well spells out the situation, and can be read in its entirety here.

Posted by Seth at January 27, 2006 02:04 AM