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May 19, 2008

Obama Claims Iran Not a "Serious Threat" to the US

... thereby proving Obama is a serious threat to the US.

Captain Ed takes a few shots in this target-rich environment of retardities.

“They don’t pose a serious threat to us in the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us,” Obama told a cheering audience, explaining why he doesn’t think we need to worry about “tiny” countries like Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. Obama also displays a weird sense of history when he suggests that the Berlin Wall fell because we engaged Mikhail Gorbachev....

Much of this talk about talking seems to miss the real point. Because it's a difficult issue to explain, it tends to get reduced to the simple-but-largely-wrong idea that talking to Iran gives them credibility and dignity and reduces our bargaining position. That's true, but those are rather small-beans questions of tactics and strategy; when Obama asks "What can listening to them hurt?," I think many nod in agreement.

The real problem is Obama's naivete in believing that talk is enough to resolve serious fundamental disagreements between countries.

Just as Bush said:

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Simply put, what is the point of a "negotiation" when neither party can or will settle for a compromise? If a man is absolutely unwilling to work for less than $50,000 per year and his would-be employer is absolutely unwilling to pay him more that $40,000, there's no "negotiation" to be had. $45,000 per year is not a compromise that either party can accept.

Our differences with Iran are similarly absolute:

Iran wishes to have atomic bombs capable of threatening the region, and possibly destroying Tel Aviv and other large Jewish cities which don't have Muslim holy places within them. We wish them not to have such bombs.

Iran wishes to attack Israel and Lebanon through its ghoulish terrorist proxies Hamas and Hezballah. We wish them not to.

Iran wishes to arm, train, and coordinate attacks on US troops in Iraq in order to destabilize that country, reduce it to a terrorist-spawning failed state, and claim it as a satrapy. We wish them to stop doing so.

Now, my question for Obama is, "What 'compromise' solution do you propose for any of those disagreements?" That Iran shall be permitted to have six nuclear warheads but no more than six? That Iran shall be permitted to arm Hamas but not Hezballah? That Iran will cap the number of US troops it murders per year at, say, 100? With, perhaps, a monetary penalty to be paid for each additional American it kills in excess of that number?

Or perhaps we can permit Iran to achieve one of those policy goals if it relents on the others? In which case, I really need to know which of those Obama plans to concede to Iran. Will they be allowed to have the atomic bomb if they stop funding, training, and arming terrorists in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq? Will they be allowed to ramp up terrorism in Israel and Lebanon if they refrain from doing so in Iraq?

That sounds an awful lot like appeasement, the naive prayer that if a resolutely aggressive regime is given one concession it will consider itself satisfied and stop demanding more. But, the media will tell us, this is nothing like appeasement; after all, Iran doesn't wish to rule the Sudentenland.

The only other inducements Obama could offer Iran are of course already offered to Iran. We could normalize Iran's place in the world diplomatically and economically. We could end the various embargoes, including the pressure on banks and investment houses to not put money into Iran (which does seem to be damaging the Iranian economy).

But of course Iran already determined that its goals of acquiring the bomb and sponsoring terrorism are much more important to it than normalized diplomatic relations and end to sanctions. Furthermore, they obviously could have both of those benefits at any time they choose to stop their quest for the bomb and end their support for terrorism. They already know that. It's not like Barack Obama needs to explain to them they can have those things. And it's not as if the Bush Administration never contemplated ending the isolation of Iran if it should become a better-behaving state, and that it's only Barack Obama who came up with the genius idea of ending sanctions if the sanctioned country ends the behavior that earned it the sanctions in the first plalce.

So what, precisely, does Obama believe he will talk about with Iran? Is he really so naive and arrogant to think that if he offers Iran the same deal Bush (and Clinton, and Bush, and Reagan) have been offering Iran for years, his natural charm and nonthreatening good looks will convince them to accept the deal they've rejected for nearly thirty years now?

Obama is absolutely allergic to the threat of military force against Iran, but of course that's the only card we have. And even that might not work. But certainly it has a better chance of working than simply re-offering Iran the exact same "clean up your act and we'll treat you more nicely" deal that's been on the table since the wild-eyed theocrats took over the country three decades ago.

And so he only offers "talk" as strategy for victory. Which is doubly frightening, for two reasons:

* Taking the military option off the table does indeed resolve our disagreements with Iran -- by tacitly conceding each and every point to Iran. If a cop and a thief arrive at the "compromise" that the cop will never arrest the thief, the thief sort of wins out in that "compromise," doesn't he? The thief has everything he wants from the cop -- free license to continue stealing without threat of punishment. And the cop has gained... well, he's gained some free time, I guess, as he won't be wasting time chasing down the thief anymore. Simply "talking" forever essentially ratifies Iran's policy positions and gives them everything they want.

* Furthermore, Obama will be forced to lie about this situation in order to get off the pages of the newspapers. Just as Clinton claimed his deal with North Korea had ended North Korea's nuclear program -- he could not admit that North Korea was continuing to build the bomb before the ink was even dry on the "treaty." Obama will be forced to claim all his worthless talk and talk and talk has actually borne fruit, and that Iran is now a much better behaved country. To preserve his own political position, he'll become an owned-and-operated spokesman for Iran. Each lie Iran tells about its real behavior will be endorsed by Obama as true, otherwise, gee willickers, it might look like Obama had accomplished nothing with all his wonderful talk.

Obama's plan, then, is essentially to concede every single point to Iran and simply take the issue off the table by claiming, falsely, that Iran is no longer a threat.

He's already begun that public relations rehabilitation of Iran -- by already declaring them not to be a "serious threat" before he even bothers signing all his wondrous treaties with them.

Obama's position -- talk first, talk last, talk forever -- makes him a captive of shared interests with the Iranian mullahs. They will conspire together to achieve their goals -- Iran, to achieve its goal of continuing to build the bomb and murder through terrorism, and Obama, to achieve his goal of dishonestly claiming Iran is no longer doing so, and thus he has "solved" the problem of Iran.

As they say, diplomacy almost always "works," because both sides have a strong motivation to claim the talks have produced a positive outcome. Iran will be permitted to continue its repulsive support of terrorism against Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, and the US itself; they will just be asked to do so more quietly and covertly, so that Obama can un-certify them as state sponsors of terror and claim victory. They will be allowed to work on the bomb secretly, with less bluster and no further public declarations they're building the bomb; Obama will pretend to believe them, and in fact direct the intelligence agencies to certify them as having abandoned the project.

Both sides win -- Iran wins, and Obama wins.... politically. The only loser is US national security, but who cares about such a trivial thing?

McCain's Response:

“Before I begin my prepared remarks, I want to respond briefly to a comment Senator Obama made yesterday about the threat posed to the United States by the Government of Iran. Senator Obama claimed that the threat Iran poses to our security is “tiny” compared to the threat once posed by the former Soviet Union. Obviously, Iran isn’t a superpower and doesn’t possess the military power the Soviet Union had. But that does not mean that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant. On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers. They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. And their President, who has called Israel a “stinking corpse,” has repeatedly made clear his government’s commitment to Israel’s destruction. Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed. They might not be a superpower, but the threat the Government of Iran poses is anything but “tiny.”

He then goes on to argue about the "prestige" of a direct president-to-president summiting with Iran. Which, as I've argued ad nauseum above, is one of the weakest reasons possible to oppose Obama's plan to chat America's enemies into submission.


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posted by Ace at 12:05 PM

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