Wall Street Journal to the IAEA

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Memo
To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: “Tails I Win, Heads You Lose”

Please
take a look at the Wall Street Journal's editorial today,
“Tehran's
Triumph
,” which argues that the u201CEurope and the U.N. bless
Iran's march toward a nuclear weapons.u201D If you read carefully, you
will understand why I have been saying for many, many moons that
you can't trust the Journal's editorials on national security
or foreign policy because they are essentially dictated by Richard
Perle and the neo-con warriors — and the neo-cons make up the facts
as they go along in order to justify war. Indeed, if it were not
for Fox News, u201CThe
War Network
,u201D and the Journal edit page, President Bush
may not have been bamboozled by the neo-cons into his totally unnecessary
war against Iraq.

If
you have been following my commentaries on Iran and its alleged
quest for a nuclear weapon, you will remember I have made the case
that it is not a threat as long as its declarations can be verified
by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). You will also
recall that while Iran has not yet signed the new IAEA protocol
that would permit the agency's inspectors to go anywhere it wishes
at a moment's notice, to track down rumors of non-compliance, it
has behaved as if it were already a signator to the protocol. The
IAEA has gone to those places where Iranian exiles have asserted
non-compliance with the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,
and in no case did it find a violation of the NPT. It did find a
uranium-enrichment program that Iran should have reported under
the terms of the Safeguard Agreement it had signed, but such a program
was permitted as long as it would have been reported. Iran has assured
the IAEA that it can inspect the program to make certain it is not
being used to make highly enriched uranium, only the type it plans
to use in nuclear power plants.

In
its agreement with the European negotiators, which the Journal
insists is a step in u201CIran's march toward a nuclear weapon,u201D Iran
has given every indication that as long as its rights under the
terms of the NPT are not disturbed, they will sign the protocol
and permit permanent, intrusive inspections.

That's
not good enough for the Journal. In today's editorial, here
is the key paragraph: u201CIt implies a promise of open-ended European
economic, technical and political aid. And it gives Iran the right
to restart its nuclear programs at any moment without even being
in technical breach of the IAEA resolution. All this without even
touching Iran’s undeclared and illicit nuclear programs, which are
active and numerous and mostly beyond the IAEA’s capacity to monitor.u201D

In
other words, the Journal knows Tehran has active and
numerous nuclear weapons programs that are mostly beyond
the IAEA's capacity to monitor. But if this is so, there is only
one logical way to get at those undeclared and illicit nuclear programs:
Invade Iran and force a regime change that produces a puppet government,
of the kind the neo-cons have planned for Baghdad. If the IAEA inspectors
can't locate illicit programs when they are allowed to look everywhere
within Iran's borders, then the IAEA might as well close its doors.
This, in fact, is what Perle and the neo-cons have been shooting
for all along. They would like nothing more than to totally discredit
the IAEA – and the United Nations — and give the Pentagon the
assignment of whipping the rogue states into submission.

If
you happened to catch u201CSunday Late Editionu201D with Wolf Blitzer, the
topic was discussed with Richard Perle himself. In one exchange
he said he would not trust North Korea even if it agreed to verification
by the IAEA. He added this:

And Ambassador
Gallucci made a very good point a few moments ago, which was
that Saddam Hussein, after the destruction of the Osiraq reactor,
reconstituted a nuclear program while Iraq was under IAEA surveillance,
and we didn’t know about it. So trusting the North Koreans to
abide by their word, or the Iranians for that matter, is a very
dangerous business.

Unless
you know what's going on here, you will not have realized that Perle
smoked one right past Blitzer. Perle of course knows that Saddam's
clandestine nuclear weapons program, which ended in total failure,
was not undertaken until Israel in 1981 sent warplanes to destroy
the Osiraq reactor (getting the assistance of their old friend in
the Pentagon at the time, Mr. Perle.)

Perle
also knows that under the terms of the NPT, which Iraq had signed
and Israel has never signed), the IAEA had neither authority nor
responsibility in the 1980s to check on suspected sites in Iraq.
It was because the IAEA found remnants of the abandoned nuke program
in Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War that various measures were taken
to close the loopholes in the NPT. These included the new protocol,
giving the IAEA both authority and responsibility to monitor suspected
sites. It also included the founding of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group,
which monitors exports of materials needed for nuke components into
countries suspected of harboring nuke intentions. There is now really
no way that Iran could develop a nuke without it being discovered,
unless it first announces it is withdrawing from the NPT. In that
case, as Gordon Prather has pointed out, it would from that point
on take several years before Iran had a deliverable nuclear weapon.

The
good news is that so far President Bush is behaving as he should
have before invading Iraq on the say-so of Perle and his Iranian-exile
pals like Ahmed Chalabi. He has deferred to the diplomatic efforts
of the British, French and Germans and agreed not to press Iran
further than is necessary to gain a satisfactory outcome. The neo-cons
of course have treated this as a defeat, because their game has
been to provoke Iran and North Korea by pushing them further than
is necessary. Fox News and the WSJournal are sulking.

December
2, 2004

Jude
Wanniski [send him mail]
runs the financial/political advisory service Wanniski.com.
(If you subscribe,
and check LewRockwell.com
in the referring website pull-down,
LRC gets 10%.)

Jude
Wanniski Archives

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