"Six months after the revelation of a secret nuclear enrichment site in Iran, international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies say they suspect that Tehran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands," the New York Times reports today.
The boss writes in today's Washington Post:
In March 1936, Hitler occupied the Rhineland. The French prime minister, Leon Blum, denounced the act as "unacceptable." But France, Britain and the rest of the world accepted it. Years later, the French political thinker Raymond Aron commented, "To say that something is unacceptable was to say that one accepted it."
In March 2010, as Iran moved ahead with its nuclear weapons program, the American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, speaking at the policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last week, said no fewer than four times in one paragraph that a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable." It would be unacceptable simply, "unacceptable to the United States," "unacceptable to Israel" and "unacceptable to the region and the international community."
Then, perhaps sensing the ghost of Raymond Aron at her shoulder, Clinton hastened to add: "So let me be very clear: The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."
But this attempt at reassurance merely conjured up (at least for me) another ghost: that of Richard Nixon. Didn't Nixon always say, at moments of utmost insincerity, that he wanted to make something very clear?
What is becoming increasingly clear, from the Clinton speech and from the overall behavior of her administration -- and for that matter from the action or, rather, inaction of the "international community" -- is that we are all moving toward accepting an Iranian nuclear weapon.