Israel's eloquent PM on Iranian threat....
Bibi--now Israel's second-longest serving prime minister--yesterday joined truly select company, becoming the second leader to address a joint session three times (1996, 2011, 2015). His company: legendary British PM Winston Churchill. Fittingly, one of newly-elected president Obama's first acts was to remove Churchill's bust from the White House. A gift from the Brits, to our lefty president Churchill symbolized Western colonial imperialism. Think of this: Barack Obama reduces the man who did more to save the West from a thousand years of Nazi darkness to a symbol of oppression.
In his 40-minute address Bibi made the strongest possible case that President Obama's proposed deal--at least, in the form publicly known to date, barring felicitous surprises intuitively unlikely to emerge--is a pact far worse than no deal at all.
He began by paying tribute to the plus-side of Israel's dealings with President Obama: security cooperation, intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, our sending aid during Israel's 2010 Carmel forest fire, assisting Israel's Cairo embassy during the 9/11/2012 siege by Islamist mobs, sending more missile defense interceptors during last year's Hamas/Gaza War.
Left out by Bibi were the countless diplomatic slights and endless shoving of Israel into making unreciprocated concessions to the Palestinians & to Hamas; the times the administration outed secret Israeli intelligence/military plans; and a series of broken promises that a given Israeli concession would be the last. Also omitted was the administration's backing suspension of US commercial flights into Israel during last summer's Hamas/Gaza War, and the suspension of routine arms shipments during that conflict to force Israel to disengage.
Bibi compared America's & Islamist Iran's founding documents:
I'm standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America's founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.
Then he noted that Iran & ISIS are Shia & Sunni sides of the same aspirant genocidal coin:
Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.
In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
Then Bibi addressed Iran's winning a novel "right" to enrich uranium:
Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.
The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short break-out time to the bomb. Break-out time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.
According to the deal, not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.
Because Iran's nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran's break-out time would be very short -- about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel's.
And if -- if Iran's work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that break-out time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.
Re Team Obama's unprecedented automatic "sunset provision" Bibi said:
Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don't know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, "If there's no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn't have one." Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that's why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.
But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.
Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it's the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It's a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran's nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could product many, many nuclear bombs.
Iran's Supreme Leader says that openly. He says, Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount -- 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.
Bibi answered Susan Rice's March 2 statement at AIPAC that "no one can make Iran unlearn the scientific and nuclear expertise it already possesses." The Israeli PM countered that a race car driver without a race car, a pilot without a plane, do not pose a threat.
Bibi warned of Iran's ICBM program, not touched by Obama's proposed accord. Of how a nuclear Iran would behave, he asked:
So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse? . . .
Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it's under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?
Why should Iran's radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world's: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
Of regimes in the region Bibi noted:
And many of these neighbors say they'll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own. So this deal won't change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse. A deal that's supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.
This deal won't be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.
If anything, Bibi was, per diplomatic necessity, gentle with our errant, duplicitous president. At AIPAC yesterday, WSJ pundit Bret Stephens went further, where Bibi could not go:
And I say this–I’m almost shocked to hear myself say this–but the deal we are going to strike isn’t that we’ve moved from a policy of prevention to containment: we are actively facilitating Iran’s bid to become a regular nuclear state … By the way, South Korea: we deny them the right to enrich. So, the South Koreans can’t enrich, according to this administration–we’re pressuring them not to enrich–but Iran, because it’s such a marvelous, wonderful regime, in 10 or 15 years, they’re going to get the bomb. We are facilitating this. We have facilitated their ability to maintain client regimes around the Middle East. (Emphases added.)
Back to Bibi, who put it simply: "If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country."
The day before Bibi's speech Obama smeared the Israeli PM with false accusations, levied during a television interview. And asked after about Bibi's speech the president dismissed it as "nothing new." No wonder Bibi felt he could make an open break with Obama; he had little to lose.
Charles Krauthammer made many of the same points as did Bibi in his most recent WaPo column. He adds what Bibi could not overtly say, as to the pending deal:
Consider where we began: six U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding an end to Iranian enrichment. . . .
Such a deal makes the Cuba normalization look good and the Ukrainian cease-fires positively brilliant. We are on the cusp of an epic capitulation. History will not be kind.
The US can make Israel's threat even more credible by following the advice of two expert senior Pentagon officials, and provide Israel with surplus B-52 strategic bombers, retrofitted to be able to carry the 15-ton bunker-busters that can target Iran's deepest enrichment facilities:
[T]here are more than a dozen of the relatively "newest" B-52H bombers-built in the early 1960s-in storage. Some of these should be delivered to Israel. There's no legal or policy impediments to their transfer; they would just have to be refurbished and retrofitted to carry the MOP.
By transferring to Israel MOPs and B-52Hs the administration would send a signal that its ally, which already has the will, now has the ability to prevent a nuclear Iran. Once they are delivered . . . Iran will be put on notice that its nuclear program will come to an end, one way or another.
Alas, there is no indication that Obama, who has reserved especially intense animus for the Jewish state, apparently obsessed with the prospect of a regional condominium partnership with a defiant, still avowedly revolutionary Islamist Iran, will do this.
Bottom Line. Israel's prime minister laid out as no one else could have done the most cogent case for rejecting Obama's ruinous Iran deal. No one in the administration can top this. But it remains to be seen if Congress will step up to the plate and do its part to prevent an imminent diplomatic/security catastrophe. Such a deal would make Iran a member of the nuclear club, and ignite a regional nuclear arms race. And it would induce American allies around the globe to consider their own nuclear programs, as Iran's "right" to enrich irremediably collapsed the existing, already shaky, nuclear nonproliferation regime.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Foreign Policy, National Security, WMD, Nuclear Proliferation, Homeland Security, Conservative Politics