As President Obama reads press accounts of his speech on health care reform last night, he is likely to skip over an important editorial on foreign policy appearing in today’s The Washington Post:
Mr. Chavez was in Tehran again this week and offered his full support for Mr. Ahmadinejad’s hard-line faction. As usual, the caudillo made clear that he shares Iran’s view of Israel, which he called “a genocidal state.” He endorsed Iran’s nuclear program and declared that Venezuela would seek Iran’s assistance to construct a nuclear complex of its own. He also announced that his government would begin supplying Iran with 20,000 barrels of gasoline a day — a deal that could directly undercut a possible U.S. effort to curtail Iran’s gasoline imports.
The Post references a troubling analysis presented by the Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau earlier this week. Mr. Morgenthau warned, “the self-described “axis of unity,” will be acting together in our backyard on the development of nuclear and missile technology. And it seems that terrorist groups have found the perfect operating ground for training and planning, and financing their activities through narco-trafficking.”
A sobering new study, highlighted in today’s Wall Street Journal, predicts an Iranian nuclear weapon by next year. Unless Iran ceases its nuclear defiance, a U.S.-Iranian showdown is likely. At such a time Chavez will be well-positioned to render support to Iran’s resistance and doomsday scenarios.
When asked to comment on Mr. Morgenthau’s concerns, The Post remarked, “the State Department, [also read White House], which is deeply invested in the Chavez-is-no-threat theory” promised to look into the situation. About Chavez, it concluded: “Not a threat? Give him time.”
This is not October 1962. The U-2’s are still in their hangars and alert levels are normal. But maybe it is June or July 1962.
JFK was tested 90 miles to the south by Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev. A sobering challenge for the Obama Administration could very well come a little further south in the Caribbean thanks to Mr. Chavez and Mr. Ahmadinejad.