Iran Must Not Become the Next North Korea
One nuclear-armed, rogue regime threatening America with annihilation is more than enough.
“North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.” —The Washington Post, Aug. 8, 2017
“Three hours into a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, [Colorado Republican Rep. Doug] Lamborn said the Defense Intelligence Agency, which is under the Pentagon, determined with ‘moderate confidence’ that North Korea has the capability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be launched with a ballistic missile.” —The Denver Post, Apr. 11, 2013
As the story in The Denver Post reveals, The Washington Post’s “breaking news” is anything but. Moreover, the WaPo’s assertion that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) completed its analysis regarding that miniaturization “last month” is little more than a semantical exercise designed to obscure inconvenient reality: Pyongyang’s most dangerous advance in nuclear capabilities occurred on Barack Obama’s watch.
Indeed, when Lamborn made his revelation, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper attempted to downplay it, issuing a statement saying the DIA’s assessment was not the consensus view shared by 15 other intelligence agencies. “DIA has a higher confidence level than the rest of the community on that capability. That’s the difference,” he stated at the time.
Why was the administration reluctant to tell the truth? “The DIA report represented inconvenient facts that threatened President Obama’s North Korea ‘strategic patience’ policy — a policy to do nothing about North Korea and kick this problem down the road to the next president,” explains national security expert Fred Fleitz. “Obama officials tried to downplay the DIA assessment to prevent it from being used to force the president to employ a more assertive North Korea policy.”
No doubt. Yet something even worse occurred during the same time frame:
The Obama administration implemented its deal with Iran, even after it had known about what had transpired in North Korea for nearly three years.
That would be the same Iran with “the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East,” former U.N. weapons inspector Michael Elleman explains.
Even worse? “Most were acquired from foreign sources, notably North Korea,” he adds.
Remember the assurances we got regarding North Korea’s ICBM capabilities? On July 5, 2017, the day after Pyongyang launched its first test, The Guardian cited missile expert John Schilling, who estimated North Korea would be incapable of bombing the U.S. mainland before 2020.
Only 23 days later, everything changed. CNN revealed North Korea’s latest launch was an ICBM “that appears to have the range to hit major US cities, experts say.” Missile defense systems expert David Wright concurred, insisting that “Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago appear to be well within range of this missile, and that Boston and New York may be just within range.”
In short, 2020 became right now.
Highly inaccurate assessments bear remembering with regard to Obama’s assurances that Iran’s breakout time for possessing nuclear weapons was at least 15 years away, as he stated in an August 2015 speech pushing the deal.
Less than a year later, that assertion was revealed to be just as fraudulent. “Key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program imposed under an internationally negotiated deal will start to ease years before the 15-year accord expires, advancing Tehran’s ability to build a bomb even before the end of the pact, according to a document obtained Monday by The Associated Press,” the news organization reported on July 19, 2016.
That was any bomb Iran could build. Columnist Gary Bauer gets to the heart of the far greater threat our nation faces. “If North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons then Iran has miniaturized nuclear weapons,” he warns.
Thus while it’s all well and good to focus on the current threat posed by a seemingly unstable Kim Jong Un, it becomes impossible to ignore the threat posed by a cadre of Iranian mullahs whose level of allegiance to Shi'a Islam’s belief system — one requiring worldwide Armageddon to hasten the return of the Twelfth or Hidden Imam that represents their version of the Second Coming — is impossible to know.
What we do know? Obama administration officials were not only incapable of learning from history, they were willing to risk the lives of millions of innocent people for no other reason than the arrogant presumption that tyrants could be tamed by vapid rhetoric about which way the “arc of history” ultimately bends. Thus, while it is bad enough nuclear North Korea is the result of colossal naïveté on the part of president Bill Clinton and his equally clueless negotiator Jimmy Carter, the Obama administration’s determination to repeat that mistake — based on ideologically induced hubris — is utterly unconscionable.
And they remain utterly unrepentant. “History shows that we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea — the same way we tolerated the far greater threat of thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War,” former national security advisor and serial liar Susan Rice asserts. Rice should tell her former boss. “To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state,” Barack Obama declared on Sept. 9, 2016.
Whether Obama was delusional, or simply telling another lie to mollify an American public long regarded as “stupid” by his administration, it’s clear his judgment with regard to North Korea — and Iran — was fatally flawed.
Yet his assurances regarding Iran remain sacrosanct? Columnist Michael Goodwin notes that all the “sophistry in the world” cannot obscure the reality Obama “didn’t stop the nuclear proliferation to two pariah states that both swear to eliminate America.” Moreover, he takes on “chin-strokers and gatekeepers” for their manufactured indignation regarding Trump’s use of “harsh” verbal warnings, even as they ignore the colossal failures of his predecessor’s actions.
Last Friday, President Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both men agreed a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula is a goal worth pursuing. Thus, Trump remains clear-headed about where the real locus of power for reining in Pyongyang lies.
That clear-headedness must now be applied to Iran. Congress and the Trump administration must address the possibility, no matter how remote, that Tehran can be prevented from acquiring the nuclear weapons. That capability is the ultimate bargaining chip giving rogue regimes the ability to hold the entire world hostage. Nuclear weapons, coupled with the most nihilistic theocracy in the modern world, represents a far greater danger than North Korea.
It is a totalitarian theocracy unintimidated by the mutually assured destruction (MAD) theory more than likely holding Kim in check.
Last Thursday, Trump declared that Iran is not “living up to the spirit” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and that it was a “horrible agreement.” So was the Agreed Framework of 1994. It should be used as a reverse barometer in the administration’s approach to Tehran.
One nuclear-armed, rogue regime threatening America with annihilation is more than enough. Another regime where government-sponsored chants of “death to America” and “death to Israel” are recited every year cannot be allowed to reach the same milestone.
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