"We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression." -- Ronald Reagan, March 23, 1983
President Reagan's speech to the nation 30 years ago launched a major arms buildup to confront the expanding military power and political aspirations of the Soviet Union. It followed the disastrous presidency of Jimmy Carter, whose nonperformance during the Iran hostage crisis led to the perception in the Muslim world that America was weak and had lost its resolve to confront enemies.
President Obama appears to believe killing Osama bin Laden, which he mentioned for the umpteenth time at his Friday news conference, and conducting drone strikes against terrorists in Yemen and elsewhere is enough to deter terrorists.
Now comes another threat.
The London Times reports Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who, in addition to his history of stealing elections and confiscating the land of white farmers, has signed an agreement with the Iranian regime to supply it with raw materials that can be used to make a nuclear weapon. Weren't we assured that Iran wants nuclear power only to provide electricity to its people? Have we learned nothing from past behavior? Tyrants lie and Islamic tyrants are instructed to lie to "infidels" by their "holy book" in the pursuit of earthly objectives, even world domination, according to some interpretations of the Koran.
As the Times reports: "(Iran) is fond of declaring its near self-sufficiency in uranium supplies for its disputed nuclear program. As with many announcements by Tehran, however, those claims have only a slender basis in reality. It does have substantial uranium deposits and its largest uranium mine was opened recently amid great fanfare, but deposits are of poorer quality than those found elsewhere."
Enter Mugabe, whose struggling economy has recently begun to show signs of life. "The European Union only recently lifted sanctions against 81 officials and eight companies in Zimbabwe," notes Times writer Michael Evans. "These sanctions imposed in 2002 for human rights abuses and political violence remain in force ..." Sanctions have not deterred Iran in its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
What now? There is talk of a response by the "international community," which is neither international in its thinking nor a community in its fight against terrorism. As usual, any response will have to come from the United States, NATO and/or Israel.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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