Iran and Nuclear Weapons in our Historic Times
We live in a historic time during which a few key decisions will have monumental consequences. Everyone who cares about the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran should do what they can to make their concerns heard.
I wrote a fictional story in the hope that it would never become fact. Authoring The Last Israelis was, as an ordinary American, my best grassroots effort to impact the public debate on Iranian nukes and promote the policy changes needed to avert a calamity.
The premise of my cautionary tale about the perils of a nuclear Iran appears to be leaving the realm of fiction. The story begins with the Mossad urgently warning the Israeli Prime Minister that there is little time left to stop Iranian nukes militarily.
I wrote the novel to try to wake the world up before force becomes necessary. But the Obama administration – by trying to minimize the chances of a pre-election military blowup – is actually increasing the odds that Israel will act alone to stave off an existential threat, and the results will be far messier than if the US resolves the crisis decisively, with much bigger carrots and sticks than those employed thus far.
Instead, the US has been publicly distancing itself from an Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear program, effectively abandoning its most reliable ally and the only democracy in the Middle East.
Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently sent a dangerously counterproductive signal to Iran when he said, referring to an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program, “I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it.”
His statement isolates Israel on an issue that requires international unity and inappropriately connotes criminality with the word “complicit.” Reports then emerged that the US, through diplomatic back channels, had asked Iran not to attack the US should Israel choose to strike unilaterally.
To make matters worse, Obama has categorically refused to state the “red lines” that the Iranian nuclear program will not be allowed to cross. As if that weren’t bad enough, Obama didn’t meet with Netanyahu in New York this month to discuss the issue — even as he expects Netanyahu to trust him to handle one of the most serious threats to Israel since the state was founded. Rather than instilling confidence in Israel and projecting unity and strength to Iran, Obama’s actions leave Israel feeling more vulnerable and signal division and weakness to Iran.
The Wall Street Journal recently offered an excellent explanation for Israeli mistrust of this administration, “It’s one thing to hear from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he wants to wipe you off the map: At least it has the ring of honesty. It’s quite another to hear from President Obama that he has your back, even as his Administration tries to sell to the public a make-believe world in which Iran’s nuclear intentions are potentially peaceful, sanctions are working and diplomacy hasn’t failed after three and half years.”
So what can concerned US citizens do? There are presidential elections coming up soon, but November may be too late.
In addition to my new book, I published some editorials on the menace of Iran’s nuclear program, and would encourage others to do the same and otherwise keep public attention focused on the issue. There are also worthy non-profits that are active on the Iranian nuclear issue and they are in need of support.
Most importantly, people who are concerned need to make their voices heard.