By RALPH PETERS
New York Post
December 31, 2009
It's showtime, folks! Today's the deadline President Obama imposed on Iran's leaders to give up their nuclear ambitions and be nice.
Not sure if the deadline expires at midnight in Tehran or on Washington time, but the mullahs and President Mahmoud "Mighty Mouse" Ahmadinejad aren't scrambling to give Obama a New Year's Eve smooch.
Rather than cave in to our president's mighty rhetoric, the Tehran tyrants took a break from killing protesters in the streets to attempt to import more than 1,300 tons of make-a-nuke uranium ore from Kazakhstan.
They've also increased their nuke-cooker centrifuge count, tested new long-range missiles and lied like Persian rugs about hidden nuke sites. In response, our president threatened to huff and puff and blow their house down.
Iran's retort? "Love the cool breeze, Barack."
This is another debacle of Obama's own making. It's a fundamental rule of playgrounds and security policy that you shouldn't make threats you can't or won't back up. But Obama's in love with the sound of his own voice. The fanatics in Tehran are more interested in the sound of a nuclear blast.
Desperate leftists in our country still compare Obama to Bush, insisting that, well, Obama's not doing so badly, not really, not if you really think about it.
Bush, for all his faults, worried our enemies. Obama amuses them.
Obama's primary threat against the Tehran thugs has been sanctions. OK, let's see if he can get internationally recognized sanctions that actually bite. I'm offering 100-to-1 odds in Tehran's favor.
China won't play. Beijing wants Iran's oil and values Tehran as a regional cat's paw.
Dubai won't halt its massive illicit trade with Iran. Local ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's desert playground is $80 billion in the hole. And smuggling's Dubai's only growth industry these days.
And Russia will cheat on any paper agreements. As will the 'stans of Central Asia. And Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait. Iraq, too. And Pakistan.
Obama's threatened sanctions get even more laughable, since they'd target only Iran's power elite. Insiders in any dictatorship are those best able to duck the pain of sanctions. So Ahmadinejad can't get a visa for a Vegas vacation. That'll teach him a lesson.
Only comprehensive sanctions backed by a military blockade have any chance of working. Otherwise, as we've seen in North Korea, the well-connected continue to feast while the commoners faint from hunger. And there won't be a blockade, folks.
If sanctions weren't enough of a joke, we also have Obama's all-too-obvious reluctance to back the millions of Iranians struggling for freedom and democracy. Our president's empty remarks this week checked the block for nervous American leftists, but provided no useful support to Iranians risking their lives for basic rights.
What should this inept administration do? Provide clandestine, covert and overt support to Iran's freedom crusaders. And funnel money and arms to Baluchi, Kurdish, Azeri and Arab separatists willing to take on the Revolutionary Guard jihadis.
Meanwhile, a paradox arises from those courageous demonstrations in Iran: They really do threaten the monstrous regime of the mullahs -- and that makes Iran's bully-boys even more likely to use nukes as soon as they get them.
If Ahmadinejad and the turbaned tyrants sense that time's running out, they'll launch any nukes they have against Israel in a frantic attempt to kick-start Armageddon and entice the Hidden Imam to return.
These are not rational actors by our standards. They're authentic fanatics. And the (shrinking) civilized world is racing against the clock to change the Tehran regime before the regime can change the world.
President Obama's answer? Make it harder for Iran's rulers to acquire foreign luxury goods. Guess Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah Khamenei won't be drinking Chateau Margaux or Cheval Blanc at their we-popped-a-nuke celebration.
While Obama dithers, Israel may have to act. The Gulf will explode. Oil will be a bargain at $400 a barrel. The global economy will freeze. And we'll be in the fight anyway.
And then? Obama will interrupt another vacation to explain that those wicked Israelis didn't give his sanctions time to work. And it'll be Bush's fault, too. And America's. And Islam will have nothing to do with religious madmen murdering their own people in the streets and begging Allah to help them nuke their neighbors.
Happy New Year!