Hot Air is quoting an Iranian source that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is making a threat of “a harsh blow to the ‘global arrogance'” on this year’s anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, February 11.
Washington appears to take the threat seriously.
According to Fox News, Patriot missile batteries are being deployed in the Persian Gulf region. Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain have Patriot missiles defending them from possible attacks from Iran. US Navy Aegis missile ships are being deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean to cover Israel against Iranian missile bombardment.
The deployment of American forces and the augmenting of local militaries suggest that the Obama administration is beginning to realize that a purely diplomatic solution to Iranian belligerence, which includes a buildup of offensive missiles and a program to develop a nuclear bomb, has been ineffective. Attempts to start an economic sanctions regime have been blocked by Russia and China, seemingly more eager to cause headaches for the United States and her allies that to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranian mullahs.
No one knows what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad means by “a harsh blow to ‘global arrogance.'” It could mean some sort of military strike, a nuclear bomb test, or it could be just empty rhetoric. In any event, the United States is taking no chances.
The Obama administration’s Iranian policy has so far been characterized by missteps and blunders. Early promises to meet with Iranian leaders “without preconditions” have been interpreted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a sign of weakness. The ending of a program to deploy missile defense systems in Eastern Europe against an Iranian attack, made at the insistence of Russia, has not mitigated the impression of weakness and impotence on the part of the Obama administration.
The deployment of anti-missile systems around Iran is certainly a good first step. But with the failure of diplomacy and the imposition of economic sanctions being blocked by Russia and China, it would seem to be time for the next step.
First, the Obama administration should begin providing material support to the Iranian opposition movement. This assistance should include, should the Iranian opposition want it, military hardware to wage an insurgency against the Iranian regime.
Second, the Obama administration should begin preparations for two military options. One would be a blockade of Iranian ports, denying the regime refined gasoline and other materials that could be used by its military. The second would be an outright air and missile strike against Iranian nuclear, missile, and other military facilities.
President Obama has found that the price of appeasement is more defiance and belligerence. It’s time to show the Iranian government that there is a price for those things as well.
Sources: Ahmadinejad: Iran will deliver a telling blow on February 11, Cassy Fiano, Hot Air, February 1st, 2010
U.S. Missile Shield in Gulf Ups Ante With Iran, Fox News, February 1st, 2010