Time For Plan B

Tom Joscelyn traces, not for the first time, the relationship between Iran and al Qaeda:

As Steve Hayes noted earlier, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman of the Associated Press have published an intriguing account of America’s attempts to track al Qaeda operatives living in Iran. Al Qaeda’s network in Iran is one of the most underreported aspects of the international terror network’s operations. Apuzzo and Goldman deserve credit for digging into a story that relatively few journalists have explored.
The CIA reportedly had a program named RIGOR that tracked al Qaeda’s presence on the mullahs’ soil, but that program has now been cancelled. Why? We do not know. …
there is a decades-long pattern of collaboration between al Qaeda, including its predecessors, and the Iranian regime.

You should read it all. Remember when “sophisticated” liberals assured us that it was unthinkable for Sunni and Shia Muslims to cooperate in anti-American terrorism? In fact, Iran’s Shia mullahs have been supporting Sunni terrorist groups for decades; al Qaeda is only one of several. That liberal theory has now gone down the memory hole.
Barry Rubin comments on the same AP investigation:

According to a new investigative Associated Press article, President Barack Obama was informed of the close ties between Iran’s Islamist regime and al-Qaeda one year ago. Many of the terrorist group’s top leaders had taken refuge in Iran after the United States drove them out of Afghanistan in 2003, but only recently had the Iranians given them more freedom to operate in the country. … [Joscelyn questions the latter conclusion.]
Six weeks ago, General David Petraeus…publicly revealed this information about the al-Qaeda links with Iran.
Iran, he said in congressional testimony, provides “a key facilitation hub, where facilitators connect al-Qaeda’s senior leadership to regional affiliates.” In other words, Tehran is letting al-Qaeda leaders travel freely back and forth to Pakistan and Afghanistan using its territory as a safe haven. The regime is allowing them to plan terrorist attacks aimed against U.S. targets. He also discussed Iranian help given to the Afghan Taliban and Shia Iraqi militia groups for a similar purpose.
Yet neither the White House nor the top levels of the State or Defense Departments repeated these charges or used them in building a campaign against Iran’s nuclear drive.

Of course not. They were too preoccupied with the frightening prospect that Jews might build houses in Jerusalem.
Iran, undistracted by such trivia, continues its efforts to develop nuclear weapons and thereby decisively alter the balance of power in the Gulf region. The Jerusalem Post records Iran’s progress:

Iran has set up new equipment that will allow it to boost its efficiency at enriching uranium at higher levels, diplomats said Friday. …
[D]espite three rounds of Security Council sanctions meant to enforce demands of a freeze, Teheran moved to a new level in February, when it set up a small program to produce material enriched to near 20 percent….
Uranium at 3.5 percent, can be used to fuel reactors — which is Iran’s avowed purpose for enrichment. If enriched to around 95 percent, however, it can be used in building a nuclear bomb, and at 20 percent, uranium can be turned into weapons-grade material much more quickly than from lower levels.

Similar stories about Iran’s nuclear progress come out around once a week. So, one wonders: what, exactly, is the Obama administration’s policy toward Iran, a nation that has been bitterly hostile to the U.S. for decades and has spared no effort to kill American soldiers whenever possible? Strange as it may seem, I think President Obama’s strategy really was to give a handful of speeches to “the Muslim world” and thereby convince our enemies to beat their swords into plowshares. If that seems impossibly stupid, bear in mind that Obama came of age in a political culture so frivolous that a few speeches filled with fine words actually led to success–in his case, the Presidency.
So maybe it is understandable that Obama thought that giving speeches would constitute an effective Iran policy. Be that as it may, even someone lost in an ideological fog, as Obama often seems to be, must recognize by now that Plan A didn’t work. It is time, Mr. President, for Plan B; and Plan B must be something other than more “outreach” to those who are trying to kill us.


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