Wednesday, September 5, 2007

WAPO Gets It Right, For a Change

I'm not a fan of The Washington Post. I object to their practice of editorializing the news while maintaining a smug pretense of objectivity. But, I have often observed that their actual editorials - as distinct from their left-wing slanted news articles - are frequently quite reasonable. Occasionally I agree with them, despite my low regard for the Post.

That was the case today when I read the editorial bitch-slap the Post gave to Mohamed El Baradei, one of the United Nation's most obnoxious diplomats. I once worked for a UN agency myself (the World Bank) and I got a close look at self-described "international civil servants" like El Baradei. At best, these Bureaucrats Without Borders are harmless, albeit sometimes corrupt. But when they start to implement their own political agendas, they become extremely harmful to real political interests - that is, to national and regional interests - as well as to international relations, and the United States should not tolerate them. As the Post rightly says, when El Baradei carries out his own policy, he represents nobody but himself.


Rogue RegulatorMohamed ElBaradei pursues a separate peace with Iran.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007; A20

FOR SOME time Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian diplomat who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency, has made it clear he considers himself above his position as a U.N. civil servant. Rather than carry out the policy of the Security Council or the IAEA board, for which he nominally works, Mr. ElBaradei behaves as if he were independent of them, free to ignore their decisions and to use his agency to thwart their leading members -- above all the United States.....................

Three times in little more than a year the Security Council has passed legally binding resolutions ordering Iran to end its enrichment program; two of them have had relatively weak sanctions attached. Never mind that, says Mr. ElBaradei: He's decided that the world should simply accept Iran's enrichment capacity and that sanctions are the wrong response.................

But Mr. ElBaradei's freelancing has two major consequences. One is to allow the Iranian government to focus on its past activities rather than its present campaign to build and install centrifuges for uranium enrichment. The IAEA issued a report last week playing down the centrifuge operation, saying that "only" 2,600 were operating or being installed and tested in July. But Mr. Ahmadinejad announced over the weekend that 3,000 were in place -- and even the lower number is a 50 percent increase over the number that inspectors counted earlier this year. By the time the IAEA and Iran are done talking about past questions, Iran will almost certainly have enough working centrifuges to produce a bomb within a year......................

By then, the options of the Bush administration and other governments that believe Iran's nuclear program must be stopped, and not accommodated, may be greatly attenuated -- thanks to a diplomat who apparently believes he need not represent anyone other than himself.

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