Mideast: Years of a growing nuclear threat plus recent developments are converging to signify that the time for waiting is over. Either the United States, or the Israelis backed by the U.S., must act against Iran.
'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose," the Book of Ecclesiastes says. "A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embracing ... a time of war, and a time of peace." With the intensification of the greatest threat to the world since that of nuclear-armed communist domination in the last century, it has become a time to refrain from embracing and instead reluctantly gather the stones of pre-emptive self-defense.
The hand-flung desert weaponry familiar to Moses and Christ has given way to laser-guided explosives delivered from above, and these sophisticated instruments have the ability to neutralize Iran's nuclear web, dispersed widely within its borders and, in the case of many of its components, well buried.
It would be a massive operation to thwart a massive threat, and it might not succeed in destroying every target. But we would do well to remember the words of President Reagan to the nation on the night of our bombing of Libya's terrorist facilities in 1986:
"There is no security, no safety, in the appeasement of evil. It must be the core of Western policy that there be no sanctuary for terror. And to sustain such a policy, free men and free nations must unite and work together."
Reagan made it clear he had "no illusion that tonight's action will bring down the curtain on Gadhafi's reign of terror. But this mission, violent though it was, can bring closer a safer and more secure world for decent men and women."
He noted that "we Americans are slow to anger. We always seek peaceful avenues before resorting to the use of force — and we did. We tried quiet diplomacy, public condemnation, economic sanctions, and demonstrations of military force. None succeeded."
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Our "tough diplomacy" and economic sanctions aren't succeeding in dissuading Iran from building the bomb, any more than peaceful methods succeeded against Libya a quarter-century ago. Even the Frankensteins in Russia who supplied the parts for the Iranian nuclear monster now say they're disturbed at their handiwork.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a gathering of ambassadors in Moscow on Monday conceded that "Iran is moving closer to possessing the potential which in principle could be used for the creation of nuclear weapons."
Moscow's admission comes at a time when much of the world is beginning to recognize the magnitude of the threat of an Islamofascist state possessing weapons of mass destruction. In a Pew Research poll of 22 countries last month, a majority in 16 of the states preferred a military strike over tolerating a nuclear Iran. In the U.S., 66% preferred a strike, while 24% objected to it.
In Egypt, 55% supported a military strike on Iran, while 16% opposed it. In Jordan, the figures were 53% to 20% in favor.
So even Mideast Muslims understand the danger to themselves — and they understand that their supposed great enemy, Israel, is likely to be the power to rid the region of that grave danger.
So do Americans. IBD/TIPP polls have consistently favored Israeli military action, and did so again by a 56% to 30% margin in last week's survey (see chart),
The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, warned Tuesday that the Iranian proxy Kataib Hezbollah might try attacking U.S. soldiers as they leave the Iraq this summer.
And appearing before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Reza Kahlili, the defector who claims to have infiltrated Iran's Revolutionary Guards, warned: "This is a messianic regime. There should be no doubt they're going to commit the most horrendous suicide bombing in human history." Quoted in the Washington Post's SpyTalk blog, Kahlili said, "They will attack Israel, European capitals and the Persian Gulf region at the same time."
Amid all this, Tehran this week announced the postponement of local elections to 2013 to "save costs." That underlines how unfree the nation is and what an opportunity was lost a year ago when huge popular demonstrations were held against the regime established by the Ayatollah Khomeini, overthrowing the U.S.-allied Shah 31 years ago. We should have strongly supported Iran's freedom fighters.
What are we waiting for now? Unless "free men and free nations," as Ronald Reagan exhorted, "unite and work together," it will eventually be, as the scribe warned, "a time to weep" — for millions of victims of nuclear terror.