Friday, June 09, 2006

Is Bush caving on Iran? Quite possibly.

Iran received an unprecedented package of incentives last week from the US and the EU. The details were kept secret, and understandably so. They're mind-boggling.

They include trade incentives, offers of a massive financial-technological shot in the arm to bring Iran’s oil industry up to date, replacement of Iran's aging commercial airliners by brand new US passenger planes, release to Iran of dual use technology (technology that has both military and civilian applications), and several light water reactors with an almost unlimited supply of fuel rods containing enriched uranium (up to 60%) for powering these reactors. Not only do the spent fuel rods contain fission products and plutonium which has military uses, but with the most advanced French and German uranium enrichment technologies in hand to power the light water reactors, there would be nothing to stop Iran racing ahead to produce weapons-grade fuel in quantity.

The two main quid pro quos demanded from Iran for all these goodies are (A) an immediate end to Iranian enrichment and (B) `verifiable' compliance.

The Bush Administration has already dropped one of these requirements as a further carrot to the mullahs, and now says that enrichment only has to cease during negotiations!

As for verifiable compliance, that absurdity would be handled by none other the IAEA and its own Inspector Clouseau, Mohammed El Baradi.

Forgive me if I don't feel reassured.

President Bush and the EU have, in effect, done something that even a beginning negotiator might be wary of - laying all their cards on the table in advance, rather than asking for concessions or at least the start of negotiations before making or receiving any offers!

The Iran's reaction has been predictable. First off, Ahmadinejad asked for time to consider the proposal, while stating that Iran's nuclear program was off the table, but that talks could continue and doing a little chest beating on how Iran had made the West give in. In other words, an attempt to get even more out of the decadent Westerners, since the mullahs have received an offer better than they anticipated instead of being swatted like flies.

Not only that, but the Mullahs have raced ahead with a new expanded round of enrichment, and Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the clerical Council of Guardians that rules Iran essentially told the West to take its package of incentives and shove it.

In other words, good cop/bad cop while the Iranian nukes program goes forward and the secret facility at Neyshabour continues to be constructed.

The US and the EU have said that Iran has until the G-8 summit in mid-July to come up with an answer.

Is Bush caving on Iran? Quite possibly. Perhaps this is Bush's planm to extricate the US from Iraq, where Iran now controls the so-called `insurgency' through its proxies inthe Shia militias and the Iraqi government.

In my opinion, we are sending Iran EXACTLY the wrong signals. Rather than taking a forceful but diplomatic line and putting the onus of resolving this on Iran, we have allowed them to turn the screws on us and given them the initiative.

Not only that, but we are delivering a kick in the teeth to forces for freedom in Iran and throwing the mullahocracy a lifeline.

I could see a scenario where the Iranians accept our largesse in July or so, after milking us for a little more baksheesh and then continuing to implement their nuclear weaponry and improve on the sly..with all that lovely technology we will have given them...just like North Korea. Except North Korea is mainly interested in preserving its criminal regime, not in promoting jihad and terrorism in the West.

A revealing quote from Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton at the Pew Center this April:

"I think that the way that Ahmadinejad is talking now shows quite clearly his contempt for the Western world in general and the United States in particular. They feel they are dealing with, as Osama bin Laden put it, an effete, degenerate, pampered enemy incapable of real resistance. And they are proceeding on that assumption. Remember that they have no understanding or experience of the free debate of an open society. Where we see free debate and criticism, they see fear, weakness and division; they proceed accordingly, and every day brings new evidence of that from Iran.

I think it is a dangerous situation. And my only hope is that they are not right in their interpretation of the Western world. I have often thought in recently years of World War II — you were told earlier that I'm ancient myself. The most vividly remembered year of my life was the year 1940. And more recently I have been thinking of 1938 rather than of 1940. We seem to be in the mode of Chamberlain and Munich rather than of Churchill."


Anonymous said...

what is president bushton up to?

i think you have your munich moment.

Freedom Fighter said...

I hope I'm wrong. Stay tuned...

Pastorius said...

Great post, FF.

I can't figure out what is going on here.

On the one hand, we have Bolton saying in an interview recently, "When we say an Iran with nukes is unacceptable, we mean it is UNACCEPTABLE."

On the other hand, we have Bush giving in on all these various points, and asking for nothing in return.

We shall see.