The President, and by extension each of us, have once again suffered an international slap down at the hands of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Mullahs that pull the strings. Mahmoud has joined the “truther movement” using the U.N. as a platform to opine that “most Americans” agree 9/11 was an inside job, really? 9/11 had serious economic consequences yet Mahmoud claims it was staged to enhance the American economy. Nearly everything Mahmoud doesn’t like is a Zionist plot; I guess that’s a lot easier than actually thinking about it. Perhaps Columbia University could invite him back to review the evidence!
The President made clear during the campaign that he would hold out the hand of diplomacy to Iran. European negotiators spent six years doing the same, convinced of their superior diplomatic skills. The only thing we’ve accomplished is a keen understanding that Iran is much cleverer than their U.S. and European diplomatic counterparts; we’ve also learned that their cohones are much larger as well. The proof is simple; every commitment and agreement made by Iran has been given lie by their behaviors. Short of a sanctions regime that took years to reach agreement on and is having some but not catastrophic impact, the West has accomplished, well ………….nothing! These sanctions five years ago might have accomplished something but things are just too far down the nuclear road at this point in time for them to matter.
China and Russia have demonstrated their willingness to backfill the Iranian economy should sanctions actually take hold. China continues to make massive investments in the Iranian economy and Russia floats back and forth between outright support and mild “advice” to Iran that they should be more “open” to diplomatic engagement. The reason for prior weak sanctions regimes is specifically China and Russia. China and Russia are playing a not so subtle double game and the West has done, well……..nothing!
When Iranians rose up to challenge the election of President Ahmadinejad U.S. support was nonexistent, perhaps those signs in English during the demonstrations were a signal missed by the administration. Iranian support for terror organizations is legend. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, accountable only to the Supreme Leader, controls major portions of the Iranian economy, the terror support programs, a significant portion of the Iranian Parliament, the nuclear program, quasi military organizations and most of the military infrastructure across the country; Secretary Clinton stated that Iran is on a path to becoming a police state. The West has done, well…..nothing!
Iran, according to liberal organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, is one of the worse human rights violators on the planet. The Iranian idea of a prison furlough is demonstrative. Political prisoners are sent home for a weekend to see their family, but not until they have been severely and openly beaten; the message clear to all as to the consequences of resistance.
There is, significant and compelling evidence that American deaths at the hands of the Iranians have continued for thirty years: Beirut, Khobar Towers, IED’s in Iraq, training and arming of Iraqi insurgent groups, Imad Mughniyah, support for the Taliban, kidnappings and terror support; to name a few. We have essentially done, well………nothing; more accurately, nothing short of retreat and appeasement.
Considering the death toll, the lies and the potential for an Iranian nuclear weapon; when the hell is someone, anyone, going to actually get seriously pissed off as official policy?
Diplomatic engagement is a valid first option, always. However, if over the course of seven years that engagement amounts to nothing positive, Einstein’s definition of insanity comes to mind. Might it be time to say, “Bite me”, we’re done talking, step up or face consequences? Of course given the history of the process the Iranians will not take such a policy stance seriously, we’ve given them absolutely no reason to think we’re prepared to get serious putting ourselves in a position of having to do something dramatic to deliver a message and alter behaviors.
How to deliver a message? Military elimination of Iranian resources capable of shutting down the Straits of Hormuz may be a good first step. We know where they are and could eliminate them with minimal collateral damage. Closing the straits has been an omnipresent threat by Iran, eliminating that option just might deliver the message without inflicting undue pain on the population in general.
The problem with appeasement is that it always limits your eventual options. You’re always faced with having to do much more later, than you could have gotten away with earlier. Appeasement delivers a message that a lack of will exists, evil always seeks out those who lack the courage of conviction. Capabilities mean nothing in the absence of a willingness to apply them. One sided engagement as a myopic, singular option always comes to a bad end.
It’s time to get pissed off!