02-20-2010, 11:29 AM
NIE told us 2 yrs ago Iran ended its Nuke Program
The Biggest Abdication By The West Since The 1930s
By MARK STEYN
Posted 02/19/2010 04:47 PM ET
In Canada, Karen Selick told readers of The Ottawa Citizen about her winter vacation in Arizona last month: |
"The resort suite I rented via the Internet promised a private patio with hot tub," she wrote. "Upon arrival, I found the door to my patio bolted shut. 'Entry prohibited by federal law,' read the sign. Hotel management explained that the drains in all the resort's hot tubs had recently been found not to comply with new safety regulations. Compliance costs would be astronomical. Dozens of hot-tubs would instead be cemented over permanently."
In the meantime, her suite had an attractive view of the federally-prohibited patio.
Anything else? Oh, yeah. In Iran, the self-declared nuclear regime announced that it was now enriching uranium to 20%. When President Obama took office, the Islamic Republic had 400 centrifuges enriching up to 3.5%. A year later, it has 8,000 centrifuges enriching to 20%.
The CIA director, Leon Panetta, now cautiously concedes that Iran's nuclear ambitions may have a military purpose. Which is odd, because the lavishly funded geniuses behind America's National Intelligence Estimate told us only two years ago that Teheran had ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Is that estimate no longer operative? And, if so, could we taxpayers get a refund?
This is a perfect snapshot of the west at twilight. On the one hand, governments of developed nations micro-regulate every aspect of your life in the interests of "keeping you safe."
If you're minded to flip a pancake at speeds of more than four miles per hour, the state will step in and act decisively: It's for your own good. If you're a tourist from Moose Jaw, Washington will take pre-emptive action to shield you from the potential dangers of your patio in Arizona.
On the other hand, when it comes to "keeping you safe" from real threats, such as a millenarian theocracy that claims universal jurisdiction, America and its allies do nothing. There aren't going to be any sanctions, because China and Russia don't want them.
That means military action, which would have to be done without U.N. backing — which, as Greg Sheridan of The Australian puts it, "would be foreign to every instinct of the Obama administration." Indeed.
Nonetheless, Washington is (altogether now) "losing patience" with the mullahs. The New York Daily News reports the latest get-tough move: "Secretary of State Clinton dared Iran on Monday to let her hold a town hall meeting in Tehran."
That's telling 'em. If the ayatollahs had a sense of humor, they'd call her bluff.
The average Canadian can survive an Arizona hot tub merely compliant with 2009 safety standards rather than 2010. The average Englishman can survive stumbling with his frying pan: You may get a nasty graze on his kneecap, but rub in some soothing pancake syrup and you'll soon feel right as rain.
Whether they — or at any rate their pampered complacent societies in which hot-tub regulation is the most pressing issue of the day — can survive a nuclear Iran is a more open question.
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