Blind-sided by U.N.
By Anne Bayefsky
October 31, 2006
Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, makes it very plain why the U.N. has become the Trojan horse of nuclear proliferation. In an interview with Newsweek magazine on Oct. 20, Mr. ElBaradei laid bare his plan -- guaranteed to lead the international community into nuclear war. His overall outlook toward nuclear proliferation, he explained, has two prongs. No. 1, the problem with Iran and North Korea is "not really leader-specific. It is country-specific: a country feeling insecure. And if it sees that the people in the major leagues are relying on nuclear weapons, it will at the very least be tempted to do the same." It is interesting to speculate how Iranians and North Koreans have managed to communicate to Mr. ElBaradei that they really want to use their precious resources on acquiring nuclear weapons, given "criminal justice" systems that include torture, amputation and stoning. Of course, Mr. ElBaradei brings to bear two personal perspectives on the subject of "country feelings." He hails from the Arab world, the least democratically inclined neighborhood on earth, and has a long professional career in the U.N., where one state-one vote masquerades for "international democracy" regardless of the Castros, Hu Jintaos or Mugabes casting the ballots.
So what would Mr. ElBaradei propose as a way of extinguishing this heartfelt longing for weapons of mass destruction beating in the hearts of the Iranian and North Korean peoples? In his words: "the Korean situation, the Iran situation -- these problems hinge, in my view, on the parties sitting together." No sanctions of any kind for this master of international double-talk. The solution is not to isolate the leadership that terrorizes the population, but to sit down, talk and further empower their prison wardens.
Part two of the plan championed by Mr. ElBaradei -- the recipient of one of the most ignominious Nobel "Peace" Prizes of all time -- is to promote moral relativism. Says Mr. ElBaradei: "The second myth is that nuclear weapons are OK in the hands of 'the good guys' and not OK in the hands of 'the bad guys' ... We need to have a system that is not based on subjective considerations." Such a statement coming from the head of the organization intended to prevent nuclear war should send a chill down the spine of peace-loving people everywhere. The obscenity that there is no good and evil, or that such ideas are merely subjective, is the ultimate rallying cry for those who hate democracy and everything America stands for. It is also the antithesis of the IAEA mandate, which by Mr. ElBaradei's own admission is "an organization that is asked to sit and judge member states."
It is little wonder, therefore, that Mr. ElBaradei and the U.N. apparatus that stands behind him will not stop Iran or its terrorist friends and allies from acquiring nuclear weapons. On the contrary, they are the very instrument of nuclear proliferation today. Mr. ElBaradei is Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's front man. When asked by the Newsweek correspondent, minimally, "Surely Iran's behavior doesn't inspire confidence?" Mr. ElBaradei replied only "The jury is still out." He sees no evil and hears no evil three-and-a-half years after the IAEA Governing Board first declared Iran to be in violation of its nuclear non-proliferation obligations.
In effect, Mr. ElBaradei is the brake-man on any international effort to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions. His mantra what's the rush? "[W]e are really talking about four to nine years ... [W]e don't see a clear and present danger that we have to address tomorrow, and we have ample time to negotiate... Iran in the worst-case scenario is still a few years away, I have ample time to talk to them, I have ample time to negotiate with them." This is not harmless verbiage. This a lie that threatens to doom civilization as we know it. The whole point of the non-proliferation regime was to stop the process long before the enemy of freedom had nothing left to do but pull the switch. If it took three years for the mere subject of Iranian nuclear ambitions to make its way from the IAEA Governing Board to the agenda of the Security Council, is doubling that amount of time "ample"? Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told talk-show host Sean Hannity on Oct. 24, having met with Mr. ElBaradei earlier in the week, "we have to really manage to get the international system to take very seriously the Iranian threat. I think people do now take the nuclear threat seriously ... [W]e're dealing with that in the UN."
It is one thing for a U.N. official to misrepresent the capacity of the U.N. to deal with Iran. It is another for an American secretary of state. The U.N. cannot and will not prevent Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, whatever slap on the wrist the Security Council might one day concoct for show. And the longer the lie is perpetuated, the faster we doom our children to live in a world none of us would want to inhabit.
Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and professor at Touro Law School.