So Now We Know: No Plan B For Iran

April 19, 2010 21:06

A leaked memo from the defense secretary reveals the administration has no alternatives to stop Iran’s nuclear push if “soft power” fails. This should be a wake-up call, but we continue snoozing toward Armageddon.

IBD Editorials

President Obama campaigned on the notion that not talking to tyrants was not an option or a workable policy. He said he’d be willing to talk with anybody anywhere to bring peace and relieve tensions. Unlike President Theodore Roosevelt, however, he has been talking softly but forgetting about the big stick.

A memo written by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and unearthed by the New York Times confirms our suspicions that, while the administration occasionally raised its voice on Iran, there in fact existed no contingency plans to use the proverbial big stick if what is called “soft power” didn’t dissuade Tehran from building a nuke.

Gates’ analysis of our Iranian posture was written in January to President Obama’s national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones.

According to the Times report, the memo “appears to reflect concern in the upper echelons of the Pentagon and the military that the White House did not have a well-prepared series of alternatives in place in case all the diplomatic steps finally failed.”

The memo is said to have sparked the development of such contingency plans that are still in the early stages. Meanwhile, Iran continues to enrich uranium toward the 20% purity level and is adding advanced centrifuges while working on warhead designs and the missiles to deliver them.

For our part, we have abandoned contingency plans to deploy ground-based missile interceptors in Poland and tracking radars in the Czech Republic in favor of less-satisfactory substitutes. We are more concerned, it seems, about 1,600 apartments to be built in three years’ time in a Jewish suburb in East Jerusalem.

We talk to thugs while we humiliate an ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the White House.

Obama has said to the thugs of the world, particularly to Iran, that “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Judging by his relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons in response to our futile entreaties, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is responding with a hand gesture of another kind.


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