President Barack Obama may grant Iran’s 55-year-old President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s wish of a New World Order by joining Israel sometime after the Nov. 6 election and end Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons. Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, Ahmadinejad called for a “new world order” to end the U.S. and Europe’s “trampling on the rights of others.” Known for his fiery rhetoric, the Iranian president spoke to the U.N. for the last time with his eight-year term ending this year. Unable to control his mouth, Ahmadinejad raised eyebrows in 2005 pandering to the Arab street saying he’d like to see Israel “wiped off the map.” During the waning days of the Bush administration, Iran ramped up its production of enriched uranium leading to the current stalemate leaving conservative 62-year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call Iran an “existential threat.”
Netanyahu has heaped all kinds of pressure on the White House to get Iran to stop enriching uranium. While no one, including the CIA and Mossad, knows for sure whether Iran is working on a nuclear weapon, Iran’s failure to comply with U.N. inspections leaves Western powers believing Ahmadinejad is up to no good. When former President George W. Bush attacked Saddam Hussein March 20, 2003, Iraq also rejected U.S. inspectors. During a two-year run up to the Iraq War, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice all insisted Saddam had a biologic and nuclear weapons programs. When the U.S. military scoured Baghdad and vicinity after toppling Saddam April 10, 2003, they found no evidence of suspected weapons of mass destruction. Barack must not make the same mistake.
Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 25, Obama said the U.S. will “do what it must” with respect to Iran’s nuclear program. Despite counter-warnings by Ahmadinejad about a deadly Iranian response, Obama warned Iran to cease-and-desist on its nuclear program or face more than the current U.N. oil embargo. Ahmadinejad has played a dangerous game of chicken with the U.S. since the Bush administration, making public announcements about Iran going nuclear. Had Ahmadinejad not threatened Israel, the world might have tolerated Iran’s nuclear program without today’s slow-motion train wreck. Netanyahu has been making contingency plans for years to hit Iran’s above-and-below ground nuclear sites. Because many of Iran’s enrichment plants remain deeply buried underground, some military experts fear a tactical air strike would have limited success.
Ahmadinejad views the U.S. and Europe as picking on the Persian nation. He’s oblivious to his threats on Israel or his heavy-handed approach to the Persian Gulf. Persian generals routinely threaten to close down the Strait of Hormuz blocking oil tankers in-or-out of the Gulf. “The history of mankind is marked with failures,” Ahmadinejad told U.N. delegates. He lambasted the U.S. for killing “millions of people in U.S.-led wars in Iran and Afghanistan,” and the “throwing of [Osama bin Laden’s] body into the sea,” showing sympathies to “Zionism,” proclaiming “how beautiful and pleasant our lives and the history of mankind would have been “ without the U.S. Though probably delusional, Ahmadinejad knows the U.S. has done more to advance civilization, encourage peace and prosperity and promote the dignity of humankind than any nation in world history.
Walking on thin ice, Ahmadinejad has pushed the White House to the precipice of another Mideast War. Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, the U.S. has unfinished business with Iran since the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei seized the U.S. embassy Nov. 4, 1979 and kept 52 U.S. hostages captive for 444 days, releasing them the day the late President Ronald Reagan took office Jan. 20, 1981. Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme religious leader Ali Khamenei don’t get that any U.S. attack would not confine itself to Iran’s underground nuclear sites. U.S. air forces supported by a carrier battle group in the Gulf would have to take out all of Iran’s air defenses, air force, navy and land army capability. No U.S. general would risk damage to a carrier battle group without paralyzing Iran’s offensive capability. If Iran pushes the nuclear issue to the brink, the U.S. will ultimately seek regime change in Tehran.
Pushing Iran close to the abyss, Ahmadinejad plays a dangerous game of chicken with Obama. While the 52-year-old Obama prefers to resolve disputes diplomatically, the time is approaching when he will have to make a fateful decision on Iran. “Make no mistake,” said Barack. “A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations and the stability of the global community,” putting Ahmadinejad on notice that the clock is ticking. When Ahmadinejad returns to Tehran, he needs to talk with Khamenei about the very real prospects that a war with the U.S. would mean regime change. No U.S. or joint military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities could exclude Iran’s air defenses, navy and land army. Before Iran deludes itself into a confrontation with the U.S., it should reconsider its nuclear program.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.