While there has been a lot of talk about Iranians actually producing a nuclear device, what is even more amazing is the rhetoric hasn't changed in nearly two decades by Israeli President Benjamin Natanyahu. Even our own government doesn't know whether Iran is even working on a nuclear weapon, but they have offered similar speculation.

For instance, the Jerusalem Post reported in January of 1995:

A SERIOUS threat of nuclear war hangs over Israel, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset plenum yesterday. Only a handful of MKs and no ministers were present to hear Netanyahu's warning that Iran will be capable of nuclear war within five years.

"Within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb, without having to import either the technology or the material," Netanyahu said. "[The nuclear threat] must be uprooted by an international front headed by the US. It necessitates economic sanctions on Iran."

In 1997, experts said Iran was eight to ten years out for acquiring nuclear weapons. In fact, an Iranian official was quoted as saying, "Yes, some say we must have the atomic bomb. But we can't afford it. The political consequences are too much trouble, and it's expensive."

Scott Peterson, of the Christian Science Monitor, wrote in 1997,

Iran's stated policy is to ensure peace in the region. And some argue that nuclear weapons could provide that stability.

"When Mao and Stalin acquired nuclear weapons, they calmed down," says Martin van Creveld, an Israeli military historian in Jerusalem. "If Islamic states get the bomb, the effect will be the same. Once you have the 'absolute weapon,' war ceases to be fun. It becomes suicide."

Russia even chimed in on the issue. Peterson continues,

"Russia is increasingly worried about its decaying stockpile of more than 20,000 nuclear warheads. Radioactive material often disappears from state facilities. Ukraine has reportedly become a main smugglers' route.

And the Israeli situation adds fuel to the fire. "As long as Israel can have atomic bombs ... then other countries have a good excuse to pursue their plans," says Ebrahim Yazdi, an opposition leader in Tehran."

In a recent article Peterson outlines that as late 1998, the CIA was refuting former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's assertion that they could build an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the US in five years. The CIA said it was more like twelve.

Peterson then points out what happened between 2010 and 2001. He writes,

Despite reports and intelligence assessments to the contrary, Israeli and many US officials continue to assume that Iran is determined to have nuclear weapons as soon as possible.

August 2010: An article by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic's September issue is published online, outlining a scenario in which Israel would chose to launch a unilateral strike against Iran with 100 aircraft, "because a nuclear Iran poses the gravest threat since Hitler to the physical survival of the Jewish people."

Drawing on interviews with "roughly 40 current and past Israeli decision makers about a military strike" and American and Arab officials, Mr. Goldberg predicts that Israel will launch a strike by July 2011. The story notes previous Israeli strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria, and quotes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, "You don't want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the world should start worrying, and that's what is happening in Iran."

In fact, later in November of 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that some of the nuclear work that Iran was engaged in was for the production of weapon, yet they provided no evidence of a weapon at all. In fact, while they claimed Iran was engaged in nuclear weapons technology, their own reports said, "The application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear explosive is unclear to the Agency."

So is it clear or unclear? Again, the Christian Science Monitor writes,

The IAEA reached a similar conclusion in a previous report, in which it registered "serious concerns" about "possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program."

Iran's failure to address outstanding issues presented by the intelligence documents, aside from a 117-page explanation in May 2008, meant that Iran was scolded, as in the past, for "not providing the necessary cooperation."

As a result, the IAEA stated that again it is "unable to provide credible assurance... that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."

But then they aren't able to provide credible assurance that all nuclear material in Iran is not in peaceful activities. Our own Defense Department doesn't even know what is going on in Iran enough to be sure if they are creating nuclear weapons.

Are people against Israel having nukes? I'm not. In fact in recently released FBI documents, that have been declassified, they reveal

"a 1985–2002 investigation into how a network of front companies connected to the Israeli Ministry of Defense illegally smuggled nuclear triggers out of the U.S.* The newly released FBI files detail how Richard Kelly Smyth — who was convicted of running a U.S. front company — met with Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel during the smuggling operation. At that time, Netanyahu worked at the Israeli node of the smuggling network, Heli Trading Company. Netanyahu, who currently serves as Israel’s prime minister, recently issued a gag order that the smuggling network’s unindicted ringleader refrain from discussing “Project Pinto.”

One thing that nukes do is they level the playing field. Only one country on the face of the earth has actually used nukes: America. We did so twice and that was all they needed to be used. The fear struck in the hearts of people over nuclear devices was unbelievable and it remains today. Nukes are like guns. You have them in the hopes of not having to use them.

It seems to me that we should follow the words of Theodore Roosevelt and "speak softly, and carry a big stick." America would be wise to be careful in her endeavors of sending more of our young men and women to be engaged in a conflict that could cost them their lives when for nearly two decades we have been hearing the cries of wolf. Any man who has been in war knows it is Hell and would not desire any man to actually engage in it unless absolutely necessary.

The Constitution provides for a national defense of our country, not a worldwide offensive strike against anyone we deem to be working on technology that we ourselves possess, not to mention their neighbors. Is that pacifism? Not at all. It's called being cautious and right in what we do.

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