Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bolton For Bomb'n

John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., is saying that the time for imposition of sanctions on the Iranian regime is near over and the time for lift off from the carriers is almost here. This story is getting zero play in the U.S. press, but its the lead on the U.K. Telegrasph.

The ball really is in the European court now. They face every bit as much danger from a nuclear armed theocracy in Iran as do we. But the Europeans are Iran's biggest trading partners. I think it is time to demand that the Europeans end their trade - or we can end it for them with a blockade of Iranian ports, which of course would itself be an act of war.

In either event, the Iranian economy is in a shambles at the moment, and on top of that is a very restive population which Ahmedinejad is attempting to control by turning up the repression. That is a classic scenario for revolt and revolution. Significant sanctions could in fact not only stop the Iranian march towards a nuclear weapon, but they could also lead to regime change - the textbook solution. A military strike might invoke a nationalist fevor that would see the theocracy through their economic crisis. Thus, the first choice has to be getting Europe to act with their long term interests at heart - for once. The only viable second choice is war.

At any rate, Bolton makes similar arguments for one last round of heavy sanctions and an attempt at regime change, then to war:

Iran should be attacked before it develops nuclear weapons, America's former ambassador to the United Nations said yesterday.

John Bolton, who still has close links to the Bush administration, told The Daily Telegraph that the European Union had to "get more serious" about Iran and recognise that its diplomatic attempts to halt Iran's enrichment programme had failed.

Iran has "clearly mastered the enrichment technology now...they're not stopping, they're making progress and our time is limited", he said. Economic sanctions "with pain" had to be the next step, followed by attempting to overthrow the theocratic regime and, ultimately, military action to destroy nuclear sites.

Mr Bolton's stark warning appeared to be borne out yesterday by leaks about an inspection by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of Iran's main nuclear installation at Natanz on Sunday.

. . . Mr Bolton said: "It's been conclusively proven Iran is not going to be talked out of its nuclear programme. So to stop them from doing it, we have to massively increase the pressure.

"If we can't get enough other countries to come along with us to do that, then we've got to go with regime change by bolstering opposition groups and the like, because that's the circumstance most likely for an Iranian government to decide that it's safer not to pursue nuclear weapons than to continue to do so. And if all else fails, if the choice is between a nuclear-capable Iran and the use of force, then I think we need to look at the use of force."

President George W Bush privately refers to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has pledged to wipe Israel "off the map", as a 21st Century Adolf Hitler and Mr Bolton, who remains a close ally of Vice President Dick Cheney, said the Iranian leader presented a similar threat.

"If the choice is them continuing [towards a nuclear bomb] or the use of force, I think you're at a Hitler marching into the Rhineland point. If you don't stop it then, the future is in his hands, not in your hands, just as the future decisions on their nuclear programme would be in Iran's hands, not ours."

. . . Such a strike would only be a "last option" after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed but the risks of using military force, he indicated, would be less than those of tolerating a nuclear Iran. "Imagine what it would be like with a nuclear Iran. Imagine the influence Iran could have over the entire region. It's already pushing its influence in Iraq through the financing of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hizbollah."

. . . But his is still a highly influential voice and Mr Bush remains adamant that he will not allow Iran to become armed with nuclear weapons.

The Pentagon has drawn up contingency plans for military action and some senior White House officials share Mr Bolton's thinking.
Read the entire story here.


billm99uk said...

Well if the rest of the EU's response to Britain's request for help in the recent hostage crisis is anything to go by, I imagine complete inaction along with a few gallic shrugs is the only response you're going to get...

scott said...

I do not know. The situation is finally at crisis stage, I think. If Sarkozy is willing to take a strong stand, I think that Merkel will join in. There is a much more realistic chance of getting the type of sanctions needed today then there was but a month or so ago when the EU completely snubbed Britain on the Iran UK-hostage issue.

billm99uk said...

You may be right, but I'll believe it when I see it...


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