Tony Blankley

The Obama administration, on the other hand, holds vastly different assumptions: 1) Iran may actually not want nuclear weapons. 2) If they do want them, Russia will help us stop them. 3) If we settle the Israeli/Palestinian dispute that will reduce any nuclear aspirations Iran may have. 4) If we were to attack Iran, Iran could create more chaos than we can manage. 5) But if Iran did develop their nuclear weapons, we can deter their use by providing a nuclear umbrella for both Arab and Israeli.

And, factually, they assume the danger is off by at least a year -- and that Iran is running into technical problems. Of course, predicting when Iran reaches its nuclear threshold is usually driven by policy goals. The CIA in 2007 -- which did not want war -- actually concluded that Iran had given up its objectives. Now they technically claim we have a year.

Back in 1938, British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain could have gone down in history as the greatest diplomat of the 20th century -- IF he had been right that Herr Hitler had limited ambitions that could be appeased. There is nothing wrong with appeasement if the aggressor can be appeased at acceptable costs. But as we know, Hitler could not be appeased -- he had to be defeated.

So the question today is not whether to appease Iran or not -- but whether Iran is appeasable. And if not appeasable, whether its threat can be defeated with acceptable costs. Those are factual questions -- although all the facts cannot be known before the event.

For me, having observed the Iranian regime, as we all have, I find the Obama administration's factual assumptions to be mostly wishful thinking, at best. Although, the almost certainty of Iran's terrorist response to a military attack by the United States is a factor to sober the mind and hesitate the hand. Nonetheless, the grim assessment of the 1938'ers seems sadly more realistic.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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