Will Bibi Break Obama?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The prime minister of Israel is angry with Barack Obama and is coming here to force a hardening of U.S. policy toward Iran.

“Bibi” Netanyahu had his anger on display at a meeting in Israel with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

McCain emerged saying he had never seen an Israeli prime minister “that unhappy.” “He was angry,” said McCain. “I’ve never seen U.S.-Israel relations at this point.”

“The Israelis are unnerved,” said Graham. “They think the administration is sending the wrong signal, and so do I.”

What has so enraged Netanyahu? The Obama policy of tightening sanctions on Iran while holding out the opportunity for Tehran to negotiate and provide guarantees that its nuclear program is not aimed at an atomic bomb.

The U.S. intelligence community unanimously believes that Iran is some time away, perhaps years, from being able to produce a nuclear weapon and has not made the command decision to build one.

Israel retorts that Iran is entering a “zone of immunity,” when Israel will lack the ability to attack and abort Iran‘s nuclear program, as new nuclear sites are being moved underground. Netanyahu’s government is also angry at what it sees as U.S. leaders’ distancing themselves from Israel.

When that fifth Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated and Tehran accused America and Israel of complicity, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced the murder, leaving Israel as prime suspect.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta leaked to columnist David Ignatius that Israel might strike Iran in April, May or June, leaving no doubt as to who wants a war, while ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden openly disparages Israel’s capacity to cripple Iran‘s nuclear sites: “They only have the ability to make this worse.”

Adm. William Fallon, who headed U.S. Central Command, has been categorical: “No one I am aware of thinks that there is a positive outcome from a military strike” on Iran.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey has called Iran a “rational actor” and told the Israelis that for them to attack Iran now would be “premature,” “destabilizing” and imprudent.

Netanyahu said that Dempsey’s remarks “served Iran” and the general was “unwilling to aid Israel.”

Like Panetta, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said he does not believe that Iran has decided to build a bomb, while National Security Adviser Tom Donilon spent three days in Israel, reportedly arguing against an Israeli attack.

“The Israelis are fuming over what they perceive as deliberate attempts by the Obama administration to undermine the deterrent effect of the Jewish state’s threat to use force against Iran by publicly questioning the timing and utility of such strikes.” So write Jay Solomon and Carol Lee of The Wall Street Journal.

Netanyahu is coming to Washington, the Journal writers add, to demand that Obama spell out the “red lines” Iran will not be allowed to cross without triggering a U.S. attack.

What Netanyahu wants is a U.S. ultimatum to Iran.

White House sources say that when Obama meets Netanyahu Tuesday, he will reject the prime minister’s demands.

But the pressure to shorten the timetable for war is intense and growing.

Obama will speak Sunday to the annual assembly of the Israeli lobby AIPAC. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, all more hawkish than the president, have also been invited to address the conclave.

Three dozen senators have signed on to a resolution declaring it a U.S. “vital national interest” that Iran not possess even a “nuclear weapons capability.”

S.R. 380 reads like a resolution crafted as a casus belli, a cause for war. For South Korea, Brazil and Japan all have a “nuclear weapons capability,” as all have the industrial proficiency and technical know-how to build an atomic bomb, should they chose to do so.

The resolution demands that Iran halt all uranium production and end its ballistic missile program, and declares “unacceptable” any U.S. policy of containment of an Iran that is capable of building a bomb, even if Iran has decided not to build a bomb.

Containment succeeded with a Soviet Empire with 10,000 nuclear weapons, but is apparently inadequate for dealing with an Iran that has no atom bombs, only the potential to build one.

S.R. 380 points directly toward a U.S. war on Iran.

Who wants that war? Netanyahu, his government, and his allies in U.S. politics and the press, and in a Congress that gave him 29 standing ovations the last time he spoke there.

Who does not want a war?

The White House, the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs, the intelligence community, the antiwar left and Old Right, and millions of Americans who believe a U.S. war on Iran could ignite a sectarian and regional war that could prove catastrophic for the Middle East, the world economy and the United States of America.

Who Wants War With Iran?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Appearing alongside CIA Director David Petraeus before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said of Iran:

“We don’t believe they’ve actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon.”

Before the hearing, as James Fallows of The Atlantic reports, Clapper released his “Worldwide Threat Assessment.” It read, “We do not know … if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

Clapper thus reaffirmed the assessment of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies in 2007, reportedly repeated in 2011, that the U.S. does not believe that Iran has decided to become a nuclear weapons state.

In December, when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that if Iran went all out, it might be able to build a nuclear weapon in a year, Pentagon spokesman George Little hastily clarified his comments:

“The secretary was clear that we have no indication that the Iranians have made a decision to develop a nuclear weapon.”

On Jan. 8, Panetta himself told CBS:

“(Is Iran) trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us. And our redline to Iran is: Do not develop a nuclear weapon.”

On Super Bowl Sunday, President Barack Obama told NBC’s Matt Lauer that he hopes to solve the Iranian problem “diplomatically.”

From the above, we may conclude that the administration does not believe that Iran has crossed any redline on the nuclear issue — and President Obama does not want war with Iran.

Who, then, does want war? Ayatollah Ali Khamenei? Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

From their actions, it would appear not. If Iran wanted war with the United States, any terror attack inside this country or on U.S. forces in Iraq or Afghanistan could bring that about in an afternoon.

Expulsion of the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors from the Natanz enrichment facility, covering up the IAEA cameras, breaking the seals on the low-enriched uranium stockpiled there, or removing the LEU would be a fire bell for the Pentagon.

But the IAEA inspectors and LEU are still there.

When the alleged plot by a used-car salesman in Texas to hire Mexican cartel criminals to blow up a D.C. restaurant and kill the Saudi ambassador was revealed, Iran denied it emphatically and demanded to interview the alleged mastermind.

Moreover, Tehran has yet to retaliate for the assassinations of five of its nuclear scientists and four terror attacks by Jundallah in Sistan-Baluchistan and PJAK, a Kurdish terrorist organization operating out of Iraqi Kurdistan. Iran has alleged Western and Israeli involvement in these attacks.

Now that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has denied any U.S. involvement, Mossad is the prime suspect behind the killing of the nuclear scientists. And U.S. writer Mark Perry, in Foreign Policy, alleges that Mossad agents posed as CIA and used U.S. dollars in London to recruit Jundallah.

If this is true, this would be a false flag operation to provoke Iran into lashing out at America. Apparently, Iran did not take the bait.

Why have the Iranians not followed through on their threat to close the Strait of Hormuz and begun to dial it back?

War with the United States would be a disaster. Though the Tehran regime might survive — as Saddam Hussein’s survived Desert Storm — Iran’s navy, most of its armor, anti-aircraft and anti-ship defenses, and its strategic missile force would be destroyed, as would much of the country’s infrastructure. Iran would be set back years.

Who, then, wants war with Iran?

All those who would like to see exactly that happen to Iran.

And who are they? The Netanyahu government and its echo chamber in U.S. politics and media, the neoconservatives, members of Congress, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

And as the Obama administration is the major force in U.S. politics opposed to war with Iran, its defeat in November would increase, to near certitude, the probability of a U.S. war with Iran in 2013.

Yet if the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence community are correct — Iran does not have a bomb and has not decided to build a bomb — why should we go to war with Iran?

Answer: Iran represents “an existential threat” to Israel.

But Israel has 200 atomic bombs and three ways to deliver them, while Iran has never built, tested or weaponized a nuclear device. Who is the existential threat to whom here?

And though a U.S. war on Iran would be calamitous for Iran, it would be no cakewalk for Americans, who could become terrorist targets for years in the Gulf, Afghanistan, Baghdad’s Green Zone, Lebanon and even here in the USA.

Year 2012 is thus shaping up as a war-or-peace election, with Republicans the war party and Democrats the peace-and-diplomacy party.

And as the months pass between now and November, this will become clear to the nation.

Ron Paul: Reactionary or Visionary

By Patrick J. Buchanan

After his fourth-place showing in Florida, Ron Paul, by then in Nevada, told supporters he had been advised by friends that he would do better if only he dumped his foreign policy views, which have been derided as isolationism.

Not going to do it, said Dr. Paul to cheers. And why should he?

Observing developments in U.S. foreign and defense policy, Paul’s views seem as far out in front of where America is heading as John McCain’s seem to belong to yesterday’s Bush-era bellicosity.

Consider. In December, the last U.S. troops left Iraq. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta now says that all U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan will end in 18 months.

The strategic outposts of empire are being abandoned.

The defense budget for 2013 is $525 billion, down $6 billion from 2012. The Army is to be cut by 75,000 troops; the Marine Corps by 20,000. Where Ronald Reagan sought a 600-ship Navy, the Navy will fall from 285 ships today to 250. U.S. combat aircraft are to be reduced by six fighter squadrons and 130 transport aircraft.

Republicans say this will reduce our ability to fight and win two land wars at once — say, in Iran and Korea. Undeniably true.

Why, then, is Ron Paul winning the argument?

The hawkishness of the GOP candidates aside, the United States, facing its fourth consecutive trillion-dollar deficit, can no longer afford to sustain all its alliance commitments, some of which we made 50 years ago during a Cold War that ended two decades ago, in a world that no longer exists.

As our situation is new, said Abraham Lincoln, we must think and act anew.

As Paul argues, why close bases in the U.S. when we have 700 to 1,000 bases abroad? Why not bring the troops home and let them spend their paychecks here?

Begin with South Korea. At last report, the United States had 28,000 troops on the peninsula. But why, when South Korea has twice the population of the North, an economy 40 times as large, and access to U.S. weapons, the most effective in the world, should any U.S. troops be on the DMZ? Or in South Korea?

U.S. forces there are too few to mount an invasion of the North, as Gen. MacArthur did in the 1950s. And any such invasion might be the one thing to convince Pyongyang to fire its nuclear weapons to save the hermit kingdom.

But if not needed to defend the South, and a U.S. invasion could risk nuclear reprisal, what are U.S. troops still doing there?

Answer: They are on the DMZ as a tripwire to bring us, from the first day of fighting, into a new land war in Asia that many American strategists believe we should never again fight.

Consider Central Asia. By pushing to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, and building air bases in nations that were republics of the Soviet Union two decades ago, the United States generated strategic blowback.

China and Russia, though natural rivals and antagonists, joined with four Central Asian nations in a Shanghai Cooperation Organization to expel U.S. military power from a region that is their backyard, but is half a world away from the United States.

Solution: The United States should inform the SCO that when the Afghan war is over we will close all U.S. military bases in Central Asia. No U.S. interest there justifies a conflict with Russia or China.

Indeed, a Russia-China clash over influence and resources in the Far East and Central Asia seems inevitable. Let us get out of the way.

But it is in Europe that America may find the greatest savings.

During the Cold War, 300,000 U.S. troops faced hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops from northern Norway to Central Germany to Turkey. But not only are there no Russian troops on the Elbe today, or surrounding West Berlin, they are gone from Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Between Russia and Poland lie Belarus and Ukraine. Moscow no longer even has a border with Turkey.

Why, when NATO Europe has two nuclear powers and more than twice the population of a Russia whose own population has shrunk by 8 million in 20 years and is scheduled to shrink by 25 million more by 2050, does Europe still need U.S. troops to defend it?

She does not. The Europeans are freeloading, as they have been for years, preserving their welfare states, skimping on defense and letting Uncle Sam carry the hod.

In the Panetta budgets, America will still invest more in defense than the next 10 nations combined and retain sufficient power to secure, with a surplus to spare, all her vital interests.

But we cannot forever be first responder for scores of nations that have nothing to do with our vital interests. As Frederick the Great observed, “He who defends everything defends nothing.”

Our Innocents Abroad?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Friday’s lead stories in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal dealt with what both viewed as a national affront and outrage.

Egyptian soldiers, said the Post, “stormed the offices” of three U.S. “democracy-building organizations … in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-led government that could imperil its relations with the United States.”

The organizations: Freedom House, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute.

Cairo contends that $65 million in “pro-democracy” funding that IRI, NDI and Freedom House received for use in Egypt constitutes “illegal foreign funding” to influence their elections.

“A Provocation in Egypt,” raged the Post.

An incensed Freedom House President David Kramer said the raids reveal that Egypt‘s military “has no intention of allowing the establishment of genuine democracy.”

Leon Panetta phoned the head of the military regime. With $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid on the line, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi backed down. The raids will stop.

Yet this is not the first time U.S. “pro-democracy” groups have been charged with subverting regimes that fail to toe the Washington line.

In December, Vladimir Putin claimed that hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly from U.S. sources, was funneled into his country to influence the recent election, and that Hillary Clinton’s denunciation of the results was a signal for anti-Putin demonstrators to take to Moscow’s streets.

In December also, a top Chinese official charged U.S. Consul General Stephen Young in Hong Kong with trying to spread disorder. “Wherever (Young) goes, there is trouble and so-called color revolutions,” said the pro-Communist Party Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po.

Beijing, added the Post, has been “jittery following this year’s Arab Spring and calls on the Internet for the Chinese to follow suit with a ‘jasmine revolution.'” The Jasmine Revolution was the uprising that forced Tunisia’s dictator to flee at the outset of the Arab Spring.

Yet one need not be an acolyte of the Egyptian, Chinese or Russian regimes to wonder if, perhaps, based on history, they do not have a point.

Does the United States interfere in the internal affairs of nations to subvert regimes by using NGOs to funnel cash to the opposition to foment uprisings or affect elections? Are we using Cold War methods on countries with which we are not at war — to advance our New World Order?

So it would seem. For, repeatedly, Freedom House, IRI and NDI have been identified as instigators of color-coded revolutions to replace autocrats with pro-American “democrats.”

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution was marked by mass demonstrations in Kiev to overturn the election of a pro-Russian leader and bring about his replacement by a pro-Western politician who sought to move his country into NATO. The Orange Revolution first succeeded, but then failed.

A U.S.-engineered Rose Revolution in 2002 overthrew President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia and brought about his replacement by Mikheil Saakashvili, who then invaded South Ossetia, to be expelled by the Russian Army.

Following the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a Cedar Revolution, featuring massive demonstrations in Beirut against Syria, effected the withdrawal of its occupation army from Lebanon.

In Belarus, however, marches on parliament failed to overturn an election that returned Alexander Lukashenko to power.

The Tulip Revolution brought about the overthrow of President Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan. But that, too, did not turn out as well as we hoped.

When one considers the long record of U.S. intervention in nations far from our borders, that an ex-chairman of Freedom House is the former CIA Director James Woolsey, that the longtime chairman of IRI is the compulsive interventionist John McCain, who has been trading insults with Putin, and that Kenneth Wollack, president of NDI, was once director of legislative affairs for the Israeli lobby AIPAC, it is hard to believe we are clean as a hound’s tooth of the charges being leveled against us, no matter how suspect the source.

One recalls that, in 1960, when the United States said a weather plane had strayed off course, and Nikita Khrushchev said it was a U.S. spy plane they had shot down, the Butcher of Budapest turned out to be telling the truth.

Instead, why is the U.S. government funding Freedom House, IRI and IDI, if not to bring about change in countries whose institutions or policies do not conform to our own?

As Leon Trotsky believed in advancing world communist revolution, neocons and democratists believe we have some inherent right to intervene in nations that fail to share our views and values.

But where did we acquire this right?

And if we are intervening in Egypt to bring about the defeat of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis, and the Islamists win as they are winning today, what do we expect the blowback to be? Would we want foreigners funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into our election of 2012?

How would Andrew Jackson have reacted if he caught British agents doing here what we do all over the world?

Make Congress Vote on War on Iran

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Returning from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta dropped some jolting news.

Asked by CBS’s Scott Pelley if Iran could have a nuclear weapon in 2012, Panetta replied: “It would probably be about a year before they could do it. Perhaps a little less. But one proviso, Scott, is that if they have a hidden facility somewhere in Iran that may be enriching fuel.”

Panetta was saying the mullahs are a year or less away from an atom bomb, and if they have a hidden site for enriching uranium to weapons grade, they may be even closer.

“That is a red line for us,” Panetta added. “If we get intelligence they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon, then we will take whatever steps necessary to deal with it.”

Panetta is raising the specter of pre-emptive war.

When Pelley’s report hit, however, the Pentagon immediately began to walk the cat back.

“The secretary was clear that we have no indication that the Iranians have made a decision to develop a nuclear weapon,” said Pentagon press secretary George Little. “He (Panetta) didn’t say that Iran would, in fact, have a nuclear weapon in 2012.”

Little added that U.N. inspectors remain in Iran and have access to its uranium stockpile, and should Iran attempt a “breakout” by diverting low-enriched uranium to a hidden facility to convert it to weapons grade, U.N. inspectors would instantly detect the diversion.

“We would retain sufficient time under any such scenario to take appropriate action,” said Little.

In short, the Pentagon does not believe Iran has made a decision to build atomic weapons, and the department is confident that, should it do so, the United States would have ample warning.

Little’s definitive statement, “We have no indication that the Iranians have made a decision to develop a nuclear weapon,” coincides with the consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, in December 2007.

In that report, the entire U.S. intelligence community stated unanimously, with “high confidence,” that Iran had given up its drive for an atom bomb back in 2003.

Yet the Pentagon‘s categorical statement this week, and the 2007 declaration by the entire U.S. intelligence community that Iran abandoned its bomb program in 2003, raises a question.

How could the International Atomic Energy Agency conclude, as it did last month, that Iran “has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device”? Did the IAEA discover clandestine bomb-building that our own intelligence community failed to detect?

If Iran is doing experiments consistent with building an atomic bomb, as the IAEA reports, why does the U.S. intelligence community not revise and update its 2007 report? Why are CIA and DIA silent?

This is no minor matter. For not only have Panetta and Barack Obama talked about “all options on the table” regarding Iran — i.e., we do not rule out military strikes — so, too, have the GOP presidential candidates, save Rep. Ron Paul.

Sen. Rick Santorum says we are already at war:

Iran is a country that has been at war with us since 1979. … The Iranians are the existential threat to Israel.”

In fierce rebuttal to Paul’s suggestion that the real threat to America is being stampeded into a new war, Rep. Michele Bachmann retorted:

“We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Iran will take a nuclear weapon, they will use it to wipe our ally Israel off the face of the map. … The Iran Constitution … states unequivocally that their mission is to extend jihad across the world and eventually to set up a worldwide caliphate.”

But is all this consistent or credible?

If Iran is an “existential threat” to Israel and intends to use a bomb it is now building on Israel, why have the Israelis, with 200 to 300 nuclear weapons, who have bombed both Iraqi and Syrian nuclear sites, not removed that “existential threat” themselves?

Second, assume the Bachmann horror scenario that we know “beyond the shadow of a doubt” that Iran, as soon as it gets the bomb it is building, will use it on Israel. If that is so, who does Bachmann think will then be establishing that caliphate in an Iran that an Israeli retaliatory strike will have reduced to atomic ash?

Lest we forget, the Israelis are a “Never Again!” nation.

And there is another serious matter here. While Obamaites, neocons and Republicans are talking about “all options on the table,” the war option, if we still have a Constitution, cannot be used against a nation that has not attacked us, unless Congress, which alone has the power to declare war, has authorized military action.

Return of the War Party

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Real men go to Tehran!” brayed the neoconservatives, after the success of their propaganda campaign to have America march on Baghdad and into an unnecessary war that has forfeited all the fruits of our Cold War victory.

Now they are back, in pursuit of what has always been their great goal: an American war on Iran. It would be a mistake to believe they and their collaborators cannot succeed a second time. Consider:

On being chosen by Israel’s President Shimon Peres to form the new regime, Likud’s “Bibi” Netanyahu declared, “Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since the war of independence.”

Echoing Netanyahu, headlines last week screamed of a startling new nuclear breakthrough by the mullahs. “Iran ready to build nuclear weapon, analysts say,” said CNN. “Iran has enough uranium to make a bomb,” said the Los Angeles Times. Armageddon appeared imminent.

Asked about Iran’s nukes in his confirmation testimony, CIA Director Leon Panetta blurted, “From all the information I’ve seen, I think there is no question that they are seeking that capability.”

Tuesday, Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a front spawned by the Israeli lobby AIPAC, was given the Iranian portfolio. AIPAC’s top agenda item? A U.S. collision with Iran.

In the neocon Weekly Standard, Elliot Abrams of the Bush White House parrots Netanyahu, urging Obama to put any land-for-peace deals with the Palestinians on a back burner. Why?

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now part of a broader struggle in the region over Iranian extremism and power. Israeli withdrawals now risk opening the door not only to Palestinian terrorists but to Iranian proxies.”

The campaign to conflate Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria as a new axis of evil, a terrorist cartel led by Iranian mullahs hell-bent on building a nuclear bomb and using it on Israel and America, has begun. The full-page ads and syndicated columns calling on Obama to eradicate this mortal peril before it destroys us all cannot be far off.

But before we let ourselves be stampeded into another unnecessary war, let us review a few facts that seem to contradict the war propaganda.

First, last week’s acknowledgement that Iran has enough enriched uranium for one atom bomb does not mean Iran is building an atom bomb.

To construct a nuclear device, the ton of low-enriched uranium at Natanz would have to be run through a second cascade of high-speed centrifuges to produce 55 pounds of highly enriched uranium (HUE).

There is no evidence Iran has either created the cascade of high-speed centrifuges necessary to produce HUE or that Iran has diverted any of the low-enriched uranium from Natanz. And the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors retain full access to Natanz.

And rather than accelerating production of low-enriched uranium, only 4,000 of the Natanz centrifuges are operating. Some 1,000 are idle. Why?

Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the IAEA, believes this is a signal that Tehran wishes to negotiate with the United States, but without yielding any of its rights to enrich uranium and operate nuclear power plants.

For, unlike Israel, Pakistan and India, none of which signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and all of which ran clandestine programs and built atom bombs, Iran signed the NPT and has abided by its Safeguards Agreement. What it refuses to accept are the broader demands of the U.N. Security Council because these go beyond the NPT and sanction Iran for doing what it has a legal right to do.

Moreover, Adm. Dennis Blair, who heads U.S. intelligence, has just restated the consensus of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that Iran does not now possess and is not now pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

Bottom line: Neither the United States nor the IAEA has conclusive evidence that Iran either has the fissile material for a bomb or an active program to build a bomb. It has never tested a nuclear device and has never demonstrated a capacity to weaponize a nuclear device, if it had one.

Why, then, the hype, the hysteria, the clamor for “Action This Day!”? It is to divert America from her true national interests and stampede her into embracing as her own the alien agenda of a renascent War Party.

None of this is to suggest the Iranians are saintly souls seeking only peace and progress. Like South Korea, Japan and other nations with nuclear power plants, they may well want the ability to break out of the NPT, should it be necessary to deter, defend against or defeat enemies.

But that is no threat to us to justify war. For decades, we lived under the threat that hundreds of Russian warheads could rain down upon us in hours, ending our national existence. If deterrence worked with Stalin and Mao, it can work with an Iran that has not launched an offensive war against any nation within the memory of any living American.

Can we Americans say the same?