Dec 3, 2008

Are President-Elect Obama And Secretary Of State-Designate Clinton Ready For A Nuclear Iran?

By Joel C. Rosenberg

On Monday, I did a telephone interview with a reporter who asked a number of intriguing and provocative questions. Here are three, with an executive summary of my answers:

1. What is the most serious foreign policy challenge facing the incoming Obama Administration? Without a doubt, the biggest challenge to U.S. national security — and the security of our allies (namely Israel) — is the threat of Radical Islam. Al Qaeda leaders and other Jihadists are actively preaching that Israel is the “Little Satan” and America is the “Great Satan” and both must be annihilated. So are the leaders of Iran, whose brand of Shia Islamic eschatology (End Times theology) is driving them to try to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization as we know it in order to hasten the coming of the Islamic Messiah known as the Mahdi or the “Twelfth Imam.” Such Radicals are actively planning and trying to execute catastrophic terrorist attacks on Americans and Israelis. True, we as Americans haven’t been hit since 9/11/01 here at home, but that’s not because the Jihadists aren’t trying. The fact is, the U.S. and foreign intelligence services have thwarted at least twenty serious terrorist attacks targeting the homeland. The nightmare scenario would be a Radical Islamic group obtaining nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and using them to accomplish their genocidal objectives. Just this morning, the Times of London has a major story noting: ”Iran poses the greatest foreign policy challenge to Barack Obama, the President-elect, with Tehran on course to produce a nuclear bomb in the first year of an Obama administration, a coalition of top think-tanks gave warning yesterday.”

That said, the second biggest challenge we face is this: the rise of an increasingly totalitarian, anti-Semitic, imperialist and violent Russia under Czar Putin. I’m deeply concerned that Russia’s invasion of the democratic Republic of Georgia last summer is a sign of more aggression to come.

2. Are you encouraged by the selection of Hillary Clinton as the country’s next Secretary of State? Unfortunately, no. As I have previously written, I am not convinced that President-elect Barack Obama truly understands the nature and threat of Radical Islam in general or the threat posed by the current leaders of Iran, in particular. His choosing Hillary has not dispelled those concerns. During the Pennsylvania primary, Hillary said on ABC’s Good Morning America: “Well, the question was, if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, what would our response be? And I want the Iranians to know that, if I`m the president, we will attack Iran. We would be able to totally obliterate them. That`s a terrible thing to say, but those people who run Iran need to understand that. Because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic.” It sounded tough and hawkish at the time, and it probably helped Hillary win the Keystone State. But think about her words more carefully.

First problem: she is suggesting obliterating Iran after Iran obliterates Israel. Shouldn’t we be doing everything we possibly can to prevent a second Holocaust of six million Jews, not simply threaten retaliation after that Holocaust occurs?

Second problem: Hillary believes Washington can “deter” Iran from using nuclear weapons, if they obtain them. Is that true? I’m not convinced. Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believe they have been chosen for this moment to usher in the return of the Islamic Messiah by destroying Israel and the U.S. They believe this is their divine destiny. This is why they are feverishly trying to build, buy or steal nuclear weapons to trigger the End of Days. How exactly can one successfully negotiate with much less contain or deter leaders with an eschatology that requires them to obtain and use weapons of mass destruction? Hillary’s fundamental misreading of the beliefs and goals of the Iranian leadership tragically compounds the President-elect’s misreading of the situation. I am praying for them both, and for their other national security advisors. But I am not encouraged by what I have seen so far.

3. What do the terror attacks in India tell us about the next stages in the Global War on Terror? It tells us two things. First, the Jihadists are targeting Americans, Jews and Christians for death and destruction wherever they can find them. No country is off limits. There are no safe havens. The war with Radical Islam truly is a global war and we need all hands on deck in the struggle to defeat the Jihadists. Second, the Jihadists are trying to trigger a nuclear war between India and Pakistan. During my interview with him for Inside The Revolution, former CIA Director Porter Goss urged me to keep my eye on the India-Pakistan conflict and warned this could be one of the next major flashpoints. Seems he was right. Let’s be praying that the Lord would intervene and bring true peace between those two increasingly critical countries.

* On Sunday, Joel will be speaking at Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, along with Lt-General (ret.) Jerry Boykin, former commander of Delta Force. For more information, please click here.