Over the past couple of months I’ve been astounded by the stock market’s rise. Some of my reasons for doubt are outlined by Nouriel Roubini in Forbes. But my biggest worry isn’t any of those. Nor is it just that “the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed,” as Pravda warns (!). It’s that a Middle East war now seems inevitable.
Caroline Glick links the North Korean nuclear test to Iran, and notes the implications for Israel:
THE OBAMA administration’s impotent response to Pyongyang’s ICBM test last month and its similarly stuttering reaction to North Korea’s nuclear test on Monday have shown Teheran that it no longer needs to even pretend to have an interest in negotiating aspects of its nuclear program with Washington or its European counterparts. Whereas appearing interested in reaching an accommodation with Washington made sense during the Bush presidency, when hawks and doves were competing for the president’s ear, today, with the Obama administration populated solely by doves, Iran, like North Korea, believes it has nothing to gain by pretending to care about accommodating Washington.
This point was brought home clearly by both Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s immediate verbal response to the North Korean nuclear test on Monday and by Iran’s provocative launch of warships in the Gulf of Aden the same day. As Ahmadinejad said, as far the Iranian regime is concerned, “Iran’s nuclear issue is over.”
There is no reason to talk anymore. Just as Obama made clear that he intends to do nothing in response to North Korea’s nuclear test, so Iran believes that the president will do nothing to impede its nuclear program.
Of course it is not simply the administration’s policy toward North Korea that is signaling to Iran that it has no reason to be concerned that the US will challenge its nuclear aspirations. The US’s general Middle East policy, which conditions US action against Iran’s nuclear weapons program on the prior implementation of an impossible-to-achieve Israel-Palestinian peace agreement makes it obvious to Teheran that the US will take no action whatsoever to prevent it from following in North Korea’s footsteps and becoming a nuclear power….
As for Israel, it is a good thing that the IDF has scheduled the largest civil defense drill in the country’s history for next week. Between North Korea’s nuclear test, Iran’s brazen bellicosity and America’s betrayal, it is clear that the government can do nothing to impact Washington’s policies toward Iran. No destruction of Jewish communities will convince Obama to act against Iran.
Today Israel stands alone against the mullahs and their bomb. And this, like the US’s decision to stand down against the Axis of Evil, is not subject to change.
Israel’s survival depends on eliminating the Iranian bomb; it has no choice but to attack preemptively. It’s possible that Iran, despite Ahmadinejad’s bellicose anti-Israel tirades, has no intention of acting aggressively– but would you bet your and your country’s life on it? It’s possible that negotiations will bear fruit– but the probability seems ridiculously small. There is no likelihood of effective international action. As Richard Fernandez notes, the nonproliferation idea is dead: “the West did it to itself, by progressively undermining its authority until it has reached this nadir. It was Kim’s very insignificance that underlined the totality of the collapse.” The Obama administration will do nothing but hurl adjectives. By the end of the year, Iran will have nuclear weapons and missiles capable of striking Israel. Israel has to attack within the next six months or face annihilation.
Fernandez observes that rearmament among our allies is already beginning, and predicts:
The real driver of actions in the coming months will be crisis. Now one may believe that the crisis was provoked by President Obama sending absolutely the wrong signals and leaving blood in the water or one may believe that the crisis was caused by George Bush or someone else. None of that changes the fact that a crisis is a crisis. At some point it will create a huge strain on Obama’s presidency, not in the least because I think his priority is the defeat of his domestic political enemies. If the international crisis becomes bad enough, he’ll be forced into creating what is effectively a government of national unity, something that I think he is not really capable of. Yet he may be forced to do it, or delay for so long that it increases the danger.
I think Obama’s assuming dictatorial powers is more likely than any national unity government. Churchill he ain’t.