Sunday, January 15, 2006

Interesting Times

UPDATE: The whole WSJ article and more at Power Line.

I had originally thought of talking about this in my post on the connections between drug trafficking and terrorism, but I've found that unless you break up big ideas in the posts, some of ideas get lost in the shuffle.

I don't really watch the news on TV, but if I did, I wonder if I would get the feeling that Iran and Venezuela are a serious problem. The MSM will get you to do one of two things if you get all your news from it: 1) Panic, or two 2) ignore it.

The U.S. is currently threatening to request an emergency meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors and report Iran's nuclear sabre-rattling to the UN Security Council as the always eloquent Condoleezza Rice said in a statement today. (for a strongly-worded declaration of prefering they don't play with nuclear power, I guess - but with John Bolton around, who knows?) Interestingly a seat earmarked for Latin America is up for grabs in the next Security Council election. What do you suppose Venezuela would do with veto power on U.S. initiatives in the Security Council?

And then we see this item in today’s Wall Street Journal, The New Tehran-Caracas Axis. Ahmadinejad and Chavez getting together is a disturbing development in international relations to say the least.
”The two tyrants are a lot more than just pen pals. Venezuela has made it clear that it backs Iran's nuclear ambitions and embraces the mullahs' hateful anti-Semitism."
Add them to Iran's pal Bashar Assad of Syria(who, in addition to attempting to incite popular uprising in Iraq and allowing safe passage to foreign terrorists into Iraq also agreed to allow Iran to store weapons caches within its borders should anything hit the fan), Cuba's aging Fidel Castro and Bolivia's newcomer/pusher Evo Morales (both with warm relations with Chavez), and you've got a heck of a poker game starting here. I'm thinking no-limit Texas hold 'em, not a friendly game of five-card draw.

This could mark the beginning of an interesting chain of events, but I doubt these guys can really back up their posturing. After all, Venezuela and Iran's economies are falling apart because all they are interested in is taunting America. Our government wisely blocked Spain's sale of U.S. warplanes to Venezuela, though Russia is selling short-range missiles to Iran, despite our objections. Venezuela has only become threatening due to its partnership with Iran. Iran is building factories and training Venezuela's security forces and no doubt sees this as a heck of a strategic opportunity. These dictators also likely realize that any Operation-Iraqi-Freedom-style operation on the part of the U.S. against them is almost certainly off the table.... for now.

Needless to say, the squeeze Iran must be feeling right now, with budding, U.S.-friendly democracies on both its east and western borders must be at least partially to blame for President Ahmadinejad's thuggishness and recalcitrance. Victor Davis Hansen (THFT: The Officers' Club) as always is right on the mark assessing the situation with Iran, but I think the strengthening alliance in South America is one factor that makes swift and decisive action against Iran even more urgent.

UPDATE: More at Bloviating Zeppelin: The Coming Clash With Iran

People Covered in Fish: Tumors



Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin bloody well said...

The Dems are making some interesting comments about Iran. "Iran is the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world," says Dem Indiana Senator Evan Bayh. "They have called for the destruction of Israel. I'm glad the President is finally speaking out about this."

Yeah, Evan, yeah. Sure. I'm certain you really, REALLY believe this -- in his comments to Wolf Blitzer.

'Course, you voted to go into Iraq, sir. And then recanted with the rest of the Dems. Now you think Iran is a target? Do I believe you?


16 January, 2006 18:41  

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