Foreign Policy

Out of Iraq, In to Iran?

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Great to see the Democrats are beginning to think hard about the hows of getting out of Iraq. It seems they also need to think hard about ways to stay out of Iran, with Israeli Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu telling the United Jewish Communities General Assembly at their annual meeting that "It's 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bomb. Believe [Iranian leader Ahmadinejad] and stop him. This is what we must do. Everything else pales before this. He is preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state."

Ahmadinejad for his part announced  today that in his estimation the world has "finally agreed to live with a nuclear Iran, with an Iran possessing the whole nuclear fuel cycle," and that he hoped "to hold the big celebration of Iran's full nuclearization in the current year." I somehow doubt much of the Western world will be happy partyers at that "big celebration."

How might the new congressional majority react to events unfolding in Iran? New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at least back in May 2005, took a pretty tough line against Iran's nuclear ambitions, saying in a speech to AIPAC

"The greatest threat to Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran. For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology.

"Proliferation represents a clear threat to Israel and to America. It must be confronted by an international coalition against proliferation, with a commitment and a coalition every bit as strong as our commitment to the war against terror.

"The people of Israel long for peace and are willing to make the sacrifices to achieve it. We hope that peace and security come soon—and that this moment of opportunity is not lost. As Israel continues to take risks for peace, she will have no friend more steadfast that the United States.

"In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel 'as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.'

The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever."

The "strong as our commitment to the war against terror" part certainly makes it sound as if the next Speaker of the House has no problem with a military response to a potentially nuclear Iran. Both parties may well have their own quagmires to deal with (tho the Dems don't entirely deserve a pass on the Iraq one either) come 2008.