Lots of things happening today, but I want to focus on one in particular. Today President Obama announced that Iran has been building a second, secret, uranium enrichment facility just outside the ancient religious city of Qom, and that they have known about it for 2 years.
Now, I have to hand it to Obama on this one. He learned about the facility during his transition, but sat on the information, preferring instead to try his own unique brand of diplomacy. But now he has Ahmadinejad back on his heels. He went from 'Obama is mistaken', to 'oh, that plant - yeah, hey, I was just going to notify you guys about it and have the inspectors come out! Really!!' (BTW, I love how he says he never hid the facility. Um, so why is it in the middle of nowhere in an underground tunnel again?)
It will be interesting to see what happens Oct. 1, when talks have been set between the U.S., Iran, the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. Overall, though, I have to say it was a good move on Obama's part. Now we have to see how he does on the follow through. It was fun keeping tabs on Ahmadinejad's reactions and statements today. The little guy went from strutting peacock to self-righteous choirboy to subdued (if a bit petulant and whiny) defiance. Seems to me that at some point he must have started wondering what, exactly, has been getting aimed in his direction over the past two years....
For the most part, I have felt that Obama has been living in a dream world as far as diplomacy goes. Yesterday, for example, the UN Security Council unanimously reaffirmed their goal of a world without nuclear weapons in a meeting Obama chaired. Hey, I'm all for nuclear disarmament - as soon as our enemies disarm and/or stop trying to arm themselves first. Let's face it - you just can't put the genie back in the bottle, no matter how hard you might wish to.
Now, I know someone has to lay down the sword first, but, honestly, the people we are dealing with are the people who cheered 9/11 and celebrated the return of a terrorist. Call me a cynic, but I'm pretty sure all those petty dictators out there are just waiting for the opportunity to take a swing at us as we're disarming. The fact that Ahmadinejad was building this thing on the sly, using a religious site as cover should speak volumes.
Former Secretary of State Larry Eagleburger isn't too hopeful about Obama's resolve, but, after his announcement today, and his refusal to rule out a military option, I'm a tiny bit more optimistic that maybe, just maybe, he's a little bit of a cynic, too.
I sure hope so.