Friday, April 28, 2006

The UN finds its spine

Well, not the UN just yet, but the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday that Iran had enriched uranium and persists with related activities in its nuclear program in defiance of the U.N. Security Council.... The finding set the stage for a showdown in the U.N. Security Council, which is expected to meet next week and start a process that could result in punitive measures against the Islamic republic.

Good. This means the UN will have to take some sort of action.

Iran's reaction was to continue painting targets on itself.

Just before the report was released, Iran's president said the country "won't give a damn" about any U.N. resolutions concerning its nuclear program.... Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said no Security Council resolution could make Iran give up its nuclear program.

The great thing about Iran is the clarity. Oh, there's the question of whether their intent is for peaceful or military use. But that's not much of a question, since they were caught redhanded with a secret enrichment program and have hardened their nuclear sites against attack. You don't really need to do that if you're just pursuing electricity.

No, with Iran there are none of the uncertainties that surrounded Iraq's WMD program. Iran is pursuing nukes, they admit it, and they're daring the world to do something about it. They didn't even bother responding to the Security Council demands for information, a direct diss of the organization.

If the Security Council is to remain relevant, such defiance cannot be tolerated. The question now comes down to what sort of punishment Russia and China will permit -- and whether that will be enough to dissuade Iran from its pursuit. Because that's the bottom line. Try every diplomatic option first. And I mean every diplomatic option. But the only acceptable outcome is for Iran to abandon its nuclear program. We cannot accept a result short of that and call it victory.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous maxtrue said...

You sound a bit like McCain. The problem underlying both Iraq in 2002 and Iran in 2006 is Russian and Chinese foreign policy. Recent reports include Russian advanced missile sales to Belarus that may be intended for Iran. Remember the cruise missiles the former government of Ukraine sold to Iran for back engineering? We forced Ukraine to give back Russian weapon systems and curtail offensive ones, not help Iran. The sale of air defense systems to Iran is blatantly counter productive. To build a reactor while Iran threatens to give technology to Sudan and offers to sell its missiles cheaply to all who oppose the US must have a cost for the Russians and Chinese. Today's US report on terrorism ranks Iran as the greatest global threat. It is not far fetched to consider terrorist 747s. Iraq had similar EAST WEST problems preventing peaceful resolutions. Imagine removing Saddam now with thousands of French, Russian and Chinese nationals rearming Iraq. What would the cost be compared to the present mess?

The UN today also reaffirmed its role to enforce human rights and prevent through intervention the genocide and oppression of "global" citizens, This was resisted by China and Russia. Let the UN now be the showcase for the possibilities of consensus and international enforcement. Will it allow a member that publicly declares its intention to exterminate another member go unpunished and acquire nuclear weapons? McCain is already up and running on this issue. China and Russia will bear the burden of arming radical Islam if they continue in their attempt to thwart the Western Hegemony upon which their economic growth depends. Left to their own lunacy, these two powers would arm the Mullahs AND Saddam with WMD (like we did?) in an attempt to secure oil and trade. Critics on the Left should wake up and see the real instigators of global disorder with diplomacy balanced on the thread of consensus and fear of US pre-emption. It is also interesting to note that the dangerous transfer of technology to Iran by Russia was formalized by the Clinton administration in an effort to keep Russian military technology out of the Western markets. There is plenty of blame, but we should consider McCain in his focus on our former adversaries. They were the force (with France) in preventing a peaceful resolution in Iraq. In the coming weeks we will see to what extent consensus and the UN can enforce Western Hegemony which is the true pillar that keeps such an international body afloat.

4/28/2006 11:01 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Agreed that Russia/China are the underlying problem. I've made that argument in previous posts on Iran, pondering what we can offer economically or diplomatically to gain their cooperation in specific instances such as Iran.

But that's short-term. Long term we must answer the question "How are we going to handle Russia and China?"

4/29/2006 1:53 PM  
Anonymous maxtrue said...

I might start with the fact that high growth and Western markets (imports and exports) are what Russian and Chinese officials KNOW are required for domestic stability. If trade becomes an issue, which McCain suggested it will be, then the US with Europe on board has some real clout. I noticed the administration did not make much of the intelligence reports that indicated Russia gave Saddam our battle plan.

In Serbia and in Iraq, Russian technology was most likely responsible for the F-117 getting an early and expensive retirement. GPS jamming was also blamed on errant missile strikes. We must pull the veil off recent Russian tests of maneuverable warheads and advanced mobile missile deployment. No wonder 75% of our military hardware procurement is still going towards building a counter force to China. This underlies the spit in the military. Both sides have a strong case for different transformations of our force. Money not withstanding, both should be rigorously pursued. Let's put more facts into media spin for a start. We must demand it from all those highly paid armchair generals on cable news.

Russia does not want to be sanctioned by Europe. The West prevented Romania, Ukraine, Poland and others from acquiring enrichment capabilities and wmd programs after the Soviet’s fall. We could easily show the Russians that chaos in Central Asia isn't good for energy pipelines. We could take a tougher stand on Chechnya and Russian NGO bans. We could sit down with terrorists who attack Russia and give them venue (just kidding). We can come down hard on Belarus.

There is much we can cost Russia for blatant obstructionism. And we can offer carrots. Russian leadership in G9 should be questioned publicly. China has a similar host of sticks including Japan's willingness to rearm and deploy missile defense systems. Asia is not too thrilled with Chinese hegemony or resource hording. Their growth rate exceeds their promises to the West and the energy to sustain it. I would ask China why it is building new ICBMs to point at us as well as their plans for weapons in space. Already their civil liberty violations are alarming Europe. They know their judicial system deploys torture and their ability to buy foreign corporations is limited by their governmental control of those Chinese corporations wishing to buy US assets. Sudan is a great energy supplier to China LOL and Viet Nam after all these years wants US investment in its energy sector having obtained little from China since the fall of Saigon. Boy, were we wrong on that domino.

I suggest we really begin to threaten these options quietly at first, but firmly. As Russia goes, so goes China. We need consensus from our allies more than ever and Iran will be far more important to the future of hegemony than Iraq bungling. Those are my thought now. I'll be back with better ones. It is interesting that the Russian military is divided over the wisdom of helping Iran two to three years The media in the US and Europe must push the facts regarding the role China and Russia is playing globally in damaging the ability of consensus to peacefully moderate radical behavior. Democrats must recognize the hypocrisy of their actions instead of claiming the US is no better. We shall see.......

4/29/2006 3:11 PM  
Blogger muddpony said...

Maxtrue.....
Very well said and very informed. While your points are valid, I would avoid casting a blanket of accusation on the U.S. simply because the U.S. is the ONLY nation actually acting on and against global events. The one saying that holds true here is..."If your're not making mistakes, you're not doing anything"

China will not last. Opression + over-population + isolation = STAGNATION !

America could use a lesson in ruthlessness, or better put, a lesson in self preservation. We have the upper hand so let's use it. Why do we care so much about our "image"? Those judging our actions have little care for our viability, survival, or future. China, Russia, the Middle East, & Europe are wishing for our demise in one venue or another. We need to act like China..... work towards supremacy and collude with whomever is necessary. No regrets.

4/29/2006 5:57 PM  

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