Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Iran Launches Medium-Range Missile; U.S. Retaliates with Words

Iran announced today that it has successfully tested a medium-range ballistic missile, capable of striking Israel, parts of Europe and even many U.S. military installations in the Middle East. Paul Kujawsky, an occasional guest contributor at the Hedgehog Blog, and the L.A. Middle East Policy Examinor for, characterizes the response of the United States Defense Department spokesperson as "the language of confusion, capitulation, or both."

That spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, said, "Iran is at a bit of a crossroads. They have a choice to make. They can either continue on this path of continued destabilization in the region or they can decide that they want to pursue relationships with the counties in the region and the United States that are more normalized."

But, as Paul Kujawsky notes, regional destabilization may be exactly what Iran wants--the principal objective of its foreign policy! He writes:
Iran made its choice long ago. It wants nuclear weapons. Destabilization doesn’t frighten it. Indeed, Iran may welcome instability; instability often provides opportunities for aggressors. Normal relations are not what Iran seeks. It seeks to dominate. The only remaining question is, what will the U.S. finally do about it?

On Monday, on the occasion of the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, President Barack Obama said that he expects to know by the end of the year whether Iran is making "a good-faith effort to resolve differences" in talks aimed at ending Iran's nuclear program. In the meantime, the thousands of centrifuges at Iran's nuclear facilities spin on, and by the end of the year may well have produced enough enriched uranium to assemble several nuclear warheads. The President remarked, “We’re not going to create a situation in which talks become an excuse for inaction while Iran proceeds.” However, that seems to be exactly what the United States is doing.


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