Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I'll Blame It On Iraq

Appearing at an Independence Day Tea Party in the Houston area, Samuel Wurzelbacher declared

I believe we need to spend a little more on illegal immigrants get them the (expletive) out of our (expletive) country, and close the borders down. We can do it.

We’ve got the greatest military in the world and you’re telling me we can’t close our borders- that’s just ridiculous.

In January, President Bush rejected an Israeli request to fly through Iraqi airspace, controlled by the U.S.A., to bomb Iranian underground nuclear facilities. On Meet The Press last Sunday, Vice President Biden, while asserting that Israel is a sovereign nation with a right to attack Iraq, refused to reveal whether the Obama Administration would give Israel the right to fly over Iraq to attack Iran. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reluctant to seek permission, given that it probably would be denied and it's highly unlikely Tel Aviv would undertake such an attack without U.S. authorization.

It's not as if Iran's nuclear program poses no threat. In early June, shortly before the "election" in Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency noted Iran had increased its supply of low-grade enriched uranium by 30 percent to nearly 3,000 pounds since its last quarterly report. The low-grade variety is used in nuclear reactors but

Scientists say 3,000 pounds of low-enriched, or reactor-grade, uranium of the type Iran has would be more than enough to build a single nuclear weapon if Iran were to boot out international inspectors, renege on treaty obligations and further refine its supplies....

The agency (the U.N. Security Council, which has passed several resolutions asking Iran to stop enriching uranium) report also says that Iran continues to deny it access to the heavy-water reactor near the west-central city of Arak and has not yet provided it with design information for a planned nuclear power plant near the southwestern Iranian town of Darkhovin. Iran says that under its treaty obligations, it need not provide such information until just before it introduces nuclear material to a site.

And the BBC reports "The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says he believes Iran is mastering nuclear technology and it wants the option of a nuclear weapon." (Iran wants the option of a nuclear weapon as Sarah Palin has opted out as governor of Alaska in part so she can maintain the option of a presidential run in 2012. No parallel, but never waste an opportunity to tie Iran to an enemy of the U.S.A.) And el Baradei (who has stepped aside as director but supports engagement with Iran) is not to be ignored, given that in early 2003, while Condoleezza Rice was dreaming of mushroom clouds, he warned the world that Iraq did not have an active nuclear program. (Unfortunately, that was pre-1/09, when we had a President who did not believe we were part of the world community.)

Perhaps there would be no Israel and/or American air strike upon Iraqi facilities anyway, given the possibility that some are underground and the likelihood they are scattered. Still, it is sobering that the misbegotten war in Iraq has limited the options of the free world in dealing with a more important nation, Iran. That was headed by genocidal tyrant Saddaam Hussein, who probably would have loved to see bombs rained down on Iran and reportedly was contemplating a "security agreement with the US to protect [Iraq] from threats in the region."

Which brings us back to illegal immigration, which populist liberals everywhere recognize (or should recognize) lowers wage rates and benefits for workers in the U.S.A. More personnel at the border would enhance the effort to stem the tide (temporarily reduced because of recession), as President Obama recognizes. But as for the U.S. military, as Joe the Plumber advocates? Sorry, Sam- it's in Iraq in a war which has proven a boon for terrorism and Tehran.

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