Momentum in the Mid-East

If the Bush Administration told you that Iran is developing WMD would you believe them? After all it could all be a deception, an excuse to start a war against Iran, just as the left accuse Bush of having done in Iraq. But, Iran has officially confirmed that it is developing enriched uranium, after twice being caught out by the IAEC. And furthermore, the IAEC, the EU and the UN have warned Iran to stop this process, that is contrary to its international obligations (also sounds familiar from Iraq). So why should we believe the Bush Administration? But, if Iran is indeed doing this, then the world will not take any action, only the US can take the lead in bringing sanctions against Iran.

A similar situation exists with regard to North Korea, where the Bush Administration has used the 5-power talks, including China and Japan, in order to bring pressure on N. Korea, rather than get into a direct confrontation with a very unpredictable regime that could easily send rockets containing uranium (dirty bombs) into S. Korea, and which has already sold rockets to Iran.  Given Bush’s handling of the post-9/11 and Iraq situations, where he refused to be deflected by the opposition of our traditional allies, such as France and Germany (?), and our new allies Russia and China (??), it would seem that Bush is capable of handling these terribly dangerous situations. Can anyone see Kerry really doing this, is there any evidence that he can? Is there any evidence that France would be more cooperative with the US under Kerry, unless he allows Jacques Chirac to direct US policy? To allow US policy to depend on a wide coalition of allies would be tantamount to accepting inaction in response to any threat.

On Iran, Kerry would certainly waiver and declare that there is no conclusive proof that Iran has WMD’s. On N. Korea, Kerry wants to have direct talks, thus giving in to Kim Sung Il’s demand. And on Iraq he would probably declare the whole “adventure” “a wrong policy in the wrong place at the wrong time” and withdraw US forces, leaving Iraq in a civil war between the weak interim Government and the well armed pro-Saddam and terrorist forces, and between the Shia and the Sunni.  So under Kerry the whole situation in Iraq and the Middle East would likely go into melt-down.

If given a second term the Bush Administration is likely to follow up the recent UN and Congressional criticisms of Syria over its occupation of Lebanon, and bring sanctions against Damascus. If this is done it will be a salutary action, showing that Bush does not intend to lose the momentum, but will press the advantage, that brought Qaddafi of Libya around. If they believe that Bush is for real, and they have every reason to do so, Assad of Syria, and his allies the Mullahs of Iran, will be taking a very careful look at their policy of supporting terrorism and ignoring the US and the international community. If the momentum is lost with a new and less hard-nosed Kerry administration then we can predict that the anti-Western forces in the Middle East will first celebrate, and then renew their anti-Western policies with renewed vigor.

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