Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Worlds At War

Our World: Accepting the unacceptable

Last weekend the mullahs took a big step towards becoming a nuclear power as they fueled the Bushehr nuclear reactor.Israel’s response? The Foreign Ministry published a statement proclaiming the move “unacceptable.”So why did we accept the unacceptable? When one asks senior officials about the Bushehr reactor and about Iran’s nuclear program more generally, their response invariably begins, “Well the Americans...”
Far from accepting that Israel has a problem that it must deal with, Israel’s decision-makers still argue that the US will discover – before it is too late – that it must act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power in order to secure its own interests.
As for Bushehr specifically, Israeli officials explain that it isn’t the main problem. The main danger stems from the uranium enrichment sites. And anyway, they explain, given the civilian character of the Bushehr reactor; the fact that it is under a full International Atomic Energy Agency inspections regime; and the fact that the Russians are supposed to take all the spent fuel rods to Russia and so prevent Iran from using them to produce weapons-grade plutonium, Israel lacked the international legitimacy to strike Bushehr to prevent it from being fueled last weekend.
BEFORE GOING into the question of whether Israel’s decision-makers were correct in opting out of attacking the Bushehr reactor to prevent it from being fueled, it is worth considering where “the Americans” stand on Iran as it declares itself a nuclear power and tests new, advanced weapons systems on a daily basis.
The answer to this question was provided in large part in an article in the National Interest by former Clinton administration National Security Council member Bruce Riedel. Titled, “If Israel Attacks,” Riedel – who reportedly has close ties to the current administration – asserts that an Israeli military strike against Iran will be a disaster for the US. In his view, the US is better served by allowing Iran to become a nuclear power than by supporting an Israeli attack against Iran.He writes, “The United States needs to send a clear red light to Israel. There’s no option but to actively discourage an Israeli attack.”
Riedel explains that to induce Israel to accept the unacceptable specter of a nuclear armed mullocracy, the US should pay it off. Riedel recommends plying Israel’s leaders with F-22 Stealth bombers, nuclear submarines, a mutual defense treaty and perhaps even NATO membership.
Riedel’s reason for deeming an Israeli strike unacceptable is his conviction that such an operation will be met by an Iranian counter-strike against US forces and interests in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. While there is no reason to doubt he is correct, Riedel studiously ignores the other certainty: A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten those same troops and interests far more. Riedel would have us believe that the Iranian regime will be a rational nuclear actor. That’s the regime that has outlawed music, stones women, and deploys terror proxies throughout the region and the world. That’s the same regime whose “supreme leader” just published a fatwa claiming he has the same religious stature as Muhammad.

A Thought

Let's narrow this down from a world scale to something on the personal level. While we decry the international community for its apparent acceptance of a "Nuclear Iran," do we use the same vociferous denunciation of against the displeasing things in our own hearts? Do we settle for the presence of actions, attitudes, or besetting sins that produce the same death as a nuclear weapon? The Spirit of God has been bringing this point to bear in my heart, causing me to reexamine what has become acceptable...things that have no more business taking up room in my life than Iran having nuclear weapons. We must remember that sin is death...meaning the presence of the unacceptable allows little seeds of death to sprout. If they are not dealt with quickly and severely, that stench of death can spread through every aspect of our lives and character. With the world in such peril, maybe we should do better at sweeping our hearts of death causing agents. Then, and only then, will we be able to stand in the face of the enemy's onslaught and proclaim the truth... "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe."

Jimmy Root Jr
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