Monday, September 28, 2009

Iran Defies Buchanan

File this one under: I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Our conservative pundit, more trusting of Tehran than Jerusalem, wrote in Tell Israel: Cool the Jets! on July 31, 2009:

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who is wired into the cabinet of "Bibi" Netanyahu, warns that if Iran's nuclear program is not aborted by December, Israel will strike to obliterate it....

America's policy of patience is working....

Why does Israel insist that America has only five months to halt Iran's nuclear program, or Israel must attack?....

Now, Iran's nuclear "production facilities" may be "churning" out the low-enriched uranium of which it has produced enough for one test bomb.

But IAEA inspectors still have their eyes on this pile. None of the LEU has been diverted anywhere.

There is no evidence Iran has built the cascade to raise LEU to highly enriched weapons-grade uranium, or that the facilities even exist to do this. The Iranian regime has declared it has no intention of building nuclear weapons, indeed, that their possession would be a violation of Koranic law.

And the United States has not rescinded its own National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 that Iran, in 2003, abandoned its weapons program.

Israel has been saying for years an Iranian bomb is months away.

Where is the proof? Where is the evidence to justify a new U.S. war in the Middle East to destroy weapons of mass destruction that may not exist in Iran, as they did not exist in Iraq?

That's right. Iran does not want to build nuclear weapons- they said so themselves. And now the news that Patrick J. Buchanan figured he would never read:

The leaders of the United States, France and Britain announced Friday morning they have disclosed intelligence information to the IAEA that confirms an underground nuclear facility has been built into the side of a mountain near Qum and demanded an in-depth investigation.

Iran's decision to start building the nuclear facility years ago, without notifying the IAEA represents a direct challenge to the non-proliferation regime, U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday at the G20 meetings....

Iran did not disclose existence of the facility, 160 kilometres southwest of Tehran, to the IAEA until Monday after Tehran reportedly became aware that Western intelligence had already discovered it.

The size and configuration of the facility is inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear program and the IAEA must immediately investigate it, Obama said....

Iran's letter contains no details about the facility's location, whether operations have started or what type of centrifuges it will use, according to the IAEA.

Iranian officials had previously acknowledged having only one enrichment plant — which is under IAEA monitoring — and had denied allegations of undeclared nuclear activities.

A U.S. official who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity said the facility has 3,000 centrifuges that could be operational by next year.

Given that 3,000 centrifuges is not enough to produce nuclear fuel to power a reactor but is enough to produce material used for a nuclear bomb, it is clear that Tehran's intentions are malevolent.

Darn those paranoid Israelis!

Also on July 31, Mr. Buchanan assured his readers "And when one looks to U.S. and Iranian interests, they coincide as much as they conflict." Someone must alert President Obama, who on Friday declared "Iran is on notice that when we meet with them on Oct. 1 they are going to have to come clean and they will have to make a choice," one of which is to “continue down a path that is going to lead to confrontation.”

The newly-revealed facility near Qom is not expected to be operational for approximately a year and the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon sometime between 2010 and 2015 (inclusive, I presume) holds. Today, though, Iran ominously tested a long-range missile, which could reach Russia, Israel, and U.S. bases in the Gulf. Even before the latest threat, the warning issued by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the United Nations on Thursday was self-evident: "The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

It's not only the former Nixon speechwriter, though his constant attacks on Israel, and occasionally on Jews, harkens back to the 1991 statement of the late William F. Buckley Jr. regarding Buchanan's criticism of prominent supporters of Gulf War I. The National Review publisher wrote in his publication "I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism, whatever it was that drove him to say and do it: most probably, an iconoclastic temperament."

There have been, recently and over the years, plenty of individuals on the left- especially bloggers- reflexively hostile to Israel (and especially to Netanyahu), including the ever-consistent and misguided Juan Cole. Even now, as one administration official told The New York Times, the Iranians "have cheated three times. And they have now been caught three times,” these critics have at least one thing in common with Pat Buchanan: they were wrong- about Israel and about Benjamin Netanyahu. And another thing: they won't admit it.

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