Gifts for the Mullahs


Gifts for the Mullahs

Iran should send America a giant thank you card.

The United States is beyond broke. It is borrowing and printing hundreds of billions of dollars in a mad scramble to escape economic quicksand.

Why, then, is it offering $300 million to reconstruct the Gaza Strip? And another $600 million to help the Palestinian Authority pay its bills? That’s $900 million of other people’s money—for a cause that is profoundly flawed.

Besides putting America deeper in debt, what will the money achieve? It won’t promote peace. In fact, history shows a sickening correlation: More aid to Palestinians results in more Palestinian terrorism.

At the donors’ conference where the U.S. pledged this gaudy sum, Hillary Clinton said Hamas won’t touch a cent of it. That is impossible. How can you drop $300 million into Gaza—that’s $2.2 million on each of its scant 139 square miles—without benefiting the entity that governs it? Even the $600 million: Past aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA)—including weapons—ended up in Hamas’s hands when the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group mutinied and seized Gaza. A repeat in the West Bank is realistic.

If we could follow those $900 million as they make their way from America’s printing presses into Palestinian pockets, we would likely find them, in a best-case scenario, padding PA bank accounts. At worst, those dollars will reach terrorists and fund Israeli deaths. That will provoke retaliation from the new Israeli government, which will mean Palestinian deaths. And Hamas perversely views Palestinian deaths not as tragedies, but as victories in the propaganda war against Israel.

That is ultimately what those 900 million borrowed greenbacks will likely purchase.

Iran’s mullahs really should send Washington a giant thank you card.

As U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk said, if Hamas only lays hands on 10 percent of that $900 million, America will become its second-biggest benefactor after Iran.

This is one of a series of gifts America has given the Islamic Republic.

Tehran is the strongest power in the region. It owns the Gaza Strip through Hamas. It controls Lebanon via Hezbollah. It is gaining a sturdy ally in its former archenemy Iraq. Even the threat it faces from Afghanistan isn’t nearly as great as in 2001. In all of these arenas, the United States has either stood aside or directly helped Iran’s cause.

And now in the White House is a president who has repeatedly voiced his desire to turn Iran into a diplomatic partner, if not an ally. The new administration has spoken seriously of opening a diplomatic office in Tehran. It hopes to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons by offering economic incentives. On top of that, the new president’s budget shrinks military spending to Sept. 11, 2001, levels.

At a nato summit last week, Secretary of State Clinton proposed an international conference on Afghanistan’s future. She then announced that the U.S. wants Iran, as an important neighbor of Afghanistan, to attend. This is major official recognition of Iran’s power in the region.

Yes, America is seeking Iran’s help in battling the Taliban. What makes that fact so astonishing is this: A prime reason Tehran’s participation would be so valuable is the fact that it has been arming the Taliban. Its Revolutionary Guard has provided both the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan with sophisticated explosives to use against U.S. troops. Iran knows all about the movements of al Qaeda through Iranian territory and into Afghanistan. It had deliberately turned up the heat in the Afghan theater in order to distract America from events in Iraq and from its own nuclear pursuits.

Rather than view these acts as proof that Iran is a dangerous enemy, however, the Obama administration views Iran as a potential partner. It wants to draw on Tehran to supply intelligence for use against the Taliban and al Qaeda. It also hopes to use Iranian territory as a supply route for American and nato troops.

Madness. Soliciting Iran’s help in containing the Taliban shows a profound confusion over the nature of the enemy. Iran has become many times more dangerous to U.S. interests than both the Taliban and al Qaeda combined. And a huge reason is simply that it has benefited so greatly from just this sort of insane policy.

The U.S. is acting on the fantasy that Iran, offered just the right combination of flattering words and economic rewards, will transform itself from a terrorist-sponsoring, nuclear-war-hungry hive of extremism into a peace-loving partner in defending Western values.

In reality, to ask for Iran’s help in securing Afghanistan is not unlike paying extortion money to a bully so he’ll stop beating you up.

Guess who is deeply alarmed at this development? If you said Israel, you’re right. But also watching America’s overtures toward Iran with justifiable anxiety are the Arab states in the region that fear Tehran’s growing power. These are the same Arab states that, remarkably, were rooting for Israel in its war against Hamas earlier this year, simply because they fear Iran more than they hate Israel.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab states are pleading with President Obama not to make any concessions to Iran without consulting them. Before the Afghanistan summit on March 31, they plan to convene an Arab League summit where, Stratfor wrote, “Saudi Arabia will take the lead in trying to demonstrate a united Arab front against an emergent Iran” (March 5; emphasis mine).

What are they so worried about? At the top of the list: Iran’s nuclear program.

The United Nations now admits that Iran has more enriched uranium than previously thought—enough, upon further enrichment, for a nuclear bomb. Israel’s top military intelligence officer said this past weekend that Iran can already produce atomic weapons. Iran has “crossed the technological threshold,” Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said, and has the expertise and materials needed for an atomic bomb. He also warned that Tehran wants to exploit President Obama’s desire for negotiations as a cover for its nuclear weapons program.

Meanwhile, Iranian media says Tehran has test-fired a new air-to-surface missile with a range of 70 miles. And last month, Iran successfully launched a satellite into space. Experts say this proved Iran can now project an object at least 150 miles above Earth—including an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear payload.

This is the country America wants to partner with to lock down Afghanistan. The new president is beginning to shove aside America’s existing relationships with Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies to pursue a potential relationship with Iran.

Biblical prophecy foretells of a “king of the south” dominating the Middle East in our day. We have shown for over 15 years that Iran is fulfilling that prophetic role, as our free booklet The King of the South proves.

But it is still absolutely appalling what a central role the United States, of all countries, has played in bringing that prophecy to fruition.

What does Iran think of the potential relationship? So far it has responded by accusing the U.S. of making the Afghanistan mess worse and demanding that it just leave. Iran’s top military commander yesterday said President Obama is just as “warmongering” as President Bush was.

For all America has given Iran, one would expect a little more gratitude.