While visiting an aquarium in Havana, Fidel Castro took the opportunity to warn the world that the widening rift between Iran, Israel, and the United States could lead to nuclear war.
This after he appeared in the Cuban Parliament to riff on the same theme. His remarks on that occasion took aim at President Obama.
Not surprisingly, Castro blames the United States as the principal cause of the nuclear troubles, as well as the impending apocalypse.
In case anyone is interested, a website exists that predicts nuclear devastation by city or zip code.
According to ApocaLuck.com, San Diego will be “Devastated” in the event of nuclear war. The site predicts an overall damage rating of 8 on a 10 point scale. More specifically, ApocaLuck predicts that San Diego will be “Blasted,” “Charred,” and “Glowing Brightly.”
Apocalyptic trivia aside, Castro’s remarks do highlight an issue that has faded to the background as Americans continue to endure economic hardship and politicians charge full tilt at the windmill of election year politics.
Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic took on the topic, providing a critical analysis of the major players’ strategic interests and options. The options don’t look good. And they haven’t for quite some time. The most likely option—an Israeli air strike—has some serious drawbacks.
Not much has changed about the debate on Iran. The Iranian Green Movement, which momentarily brightened TV screens and kindled hope throughout the world, has yet to prove a game changer. Threats of sanctions didn’t work any magic, and the imposition of them might not either.
The Obama administration has said little of substance lately on the matter of its plans to deal with Iran, only repeatedly stating that all options are on the table. Big deal. That hasn’t gotten any president very far yet.
If President Obama and his Secretary of State are serious about their counter-proliferation agenda, as there is every indication they are, they need a better plan now.
About the Goldberg article, Fred Kaplan writes: “Obama may soon be facing a defining moment, similar to John F. Kennedy’s with the Cuban Missile Crisis but more complex, in that Kennedy had just Nikita Khrushchev to deal with, while Obama would have not only the (much more unpredictable) Iranians but also the Israelis and a slew of regional players to confront, accommodate, bargain with, or who knows what.”
Kaplan also points out that unlike Kennedy in October 1962, Obama won’t have “the luxury of 13 days to hammer out a solution.”
If President Obama wants to avoid holing his team up in the White House to deal with the aftermath of an international catastrophe that could set the Middle East further ablaze than it already is, the time for a creative solutions has definitely come. We all should pray it hasn’t yet gone.
Castro is still a crackpot, but sometimes even crackpots can serve a purpose. In this case, he’s drawn attention, with typical pomposity, to a gaping flaw in this administration’s foreign policy.