Friday, June 11, 2010

An Interesting Policy Juxtaposition on a Nuclear Iran

The Saudis seem to be clearly concerned about a nuclear-armed Iran, even to the point of allowing the IAF airspace for a strike:
Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran. To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.

“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”

On the other hand, our own administration seems reluctant to even enforce sanctions:

White House works to ease Iran proposal in Congress

The Obama administration fears tough U.S. sanctions against companies doing business in Iran would anger foreign allies.

Reporting from Washington — The Obama administration, which labored for months to impose tough new United Nations sanctions against Iran, now is pushing in the opposite direction against Congress as it crafts U.S. sanctions that the White House fears may go too far.

Administration officials have begun negotiations with congressional leaders, who are working on versions of House and Senate bills that would punish companies that sell refined petroleum products to Iran or help the country's oil industry.

Unlike the U.N. measures, congressional action would pertain only to U.S. policies and agencies and would not be binding on other countries. Other countries and groups of nations also are considering adopting measures to augment the U.N. action.

While I have no illusions of noble intentions on the part of the Saudis, I have even fewer regarding our own administration. If the president cannot take a firm stand against a nuclear-armed Islamic terrorist state, against what will he take a firm stand?

Sanctions are a mild response to a threat as the one represented by Iran, and the president cannot even muster the fortitude to do even that. The vaccuum of leadership becomes more evident by the day and continues to erode our standing on the world stage.

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