By Gordon Prather
November 3, 2007–A couple of weeks ago, Russian President Putin made a historic visit to Iran, nominally to attend a summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran.
The summit, itself, resulted in a number of â€œmilestoneâ€ agreements, including one prohibiting other countries (such as the United States) from using â€œin any circumstancesâ€ territory or facilities of any Caspian Sea littoral state (such as Azerbaijan) for â€œuse of force or aggressionâ€ against another (such as Iran).
And if that message wasnt clear enough, Putin also met privately with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, declaring afterwards in a joint press conference that â€œIran is an important regional and global power.â€
Putin also took the opportunity to tell the world that he had seen no â€œevidenceâ€ Director-General ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency hasnt even found an â€œindicationâ€ that Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Therefore, Russia would go ahead and complete the IAEA Safeguarded nuclear power plant at Bushehr.
Talk about pinning the tail on Bushs donkey with a nail-gun.
But, protested Bush, who had just been told by Putin that he wouldnt even be allowed to launch a â€œsurgicalâ€ attack much less another war of aggression against Iran from our â€œtemporaryâ€ air base in Azerbaijan,
â€œWeâ€™ve got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel.â€
(Thats a lie, of course. Ahmadinejad has never made such an announcement.)
As Bush must know, even if Ahmadinejad wanted to merely effect regime change in Israel much less destroy the country he couldnt. Irans President is not even in time of war commander-in-chief of the Iranian armed forces. Or even of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which Condi-baby has just designated to be somehow involved in â€œnuclear proliferation.â€
Of course, in time of wars declared by our Congress, our President is the commander-in-chief of our armed forces. And Bush believes or acts as if he believes our Congress has declared war on anyone Bush â€œdeterminesâ€ to be a terrorist or on any state Bush â€œdeterminesâ€ to be a supporter of terrorists.
So, quoth Bush,
â€œIâ€™ve told people that, if youâ€™re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them (the Iranians) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.â€
Its frequently difficult sometimes impossible to make sense of Bushs pronouncements.
But apparently, Bush recently told Russian President Putin that World War III could result not because Iran allegedly has nukes with which to allegedly attack Israel, or not because Iran has the capability of making the fissile material absolutely necessary for making nukes with which to allegedly attack Israel, or not even because Iran allegedly wants to make nukes with which to allegedly attack Israel.
Taking Bush literally, all it will take for the Israelis or the United States to attack Iran, risking WWIII with the United States and Israel on one side and Russia and China on the other is some indication that some Iranians know how to make a nuke [.pdf].
Now, Putin has frequently expressed his opposition to the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons. But, Putin has repeatedly expressed his support for the â€œinalienable rightâ€ (guaranteed by the NPT) to the use of atomic energy by the Iranians, for peaceful purposes, to be verified by the IAEA.
The Israelis on the other hand have repeatedly expressed their outrageous view that the capability of enriching the Uranium-235 content of large amounts of natural uranium to any level is tantamount to having the capability to make a nuclear weapon.
Are they serious?
Well, back in 1981 Israel â€œtook outâ€ Osiraq, a French-built IAEA-safeguarded research reactor, apparently because they had concluded that Saddam Hussein expected Osiraq in lieu of the Tooth Fairy to miraculously leave a few nuclear weapons under his pillow.
Since 1991, thanks to the IAEA, the whole world has known that Saddam began his quest for nuclear weapons as a direct result of the Israeli raid on his IAEA Safeguarded research reactor.
Here are excerpts from UN Security Council Resolution 487 condemning the Israeli pre-emptive strike.
â€œFully aware of the fact that Iraq has been a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons since it came into force in 1970, that, in accordance with that treaty, Iraq has accepted IAEA safeguards on all its nuclear activities, and that the agency has testified that these safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date;
â€œStrongly condemns the military attack by Israel in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct;
â€œCalls upon Israel to refrain in the future from any such acts or threats thereof;
â€œFurther considers that the said attack constitutes a serious threat to the entire IAEA safeguards regime, which is the foundation of the non-proliferation treaty.â€
Now, Bush the Younger has apparently adopted the equally idiotic and outrageously inflammatory view of the Israelis about Irans IAEA Safeguarded programs.
Nevertheless, it was something of a surprise when Zogby Americas latest poll of likely voters revealed that 52 percent â€œwould support a US military strike to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.â€
Worse still, according to Zogby, 53 percent believe it is â€œlikelyâ€ that the United States will be â€œinvolvedâ€ in a military strike against Iran before the next presidential election.
Its too bad Zogby didnt phrase the first question this way;
â€œGiven that the IAEA continues to verify that Iran is engaged in the pursuit of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, as is their â€œinalienable rightâ€ as a signatory to the NPT;
o Would you support a US or Israeli strike in violation of the UN Charter against Irans IAEA Safeguarded nuclear facilities, including the nuclear power plant nearing completion by the Russians at Bushehr?
o Would you support such a strike even if it resulted in World War III, with US-Israel on one side, and Russia-China-Islam on the other?â€