Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama's Mistaken Persian Gambit

As you all know by now, President Obama broadcast an extraordinarily video to the government and the people of Iran, ostensibly in honor of Nahruz, the Persian New year, which is celebrated annually at the spring equinox:

I avoided writing about this thus far because I wanted to see the reaction...both from the Mullahs and from several other players in the region

The extraordinary spectacle of the president of the United States, a nation Iran has considered itself in a state of war with for thirty years grovelling in this fashion shows that President Obama has absolutely no clue as to how to deal with these people.

In particular, it's noteworthy that this was addressed not only to the Iranian people, but to the regime.He specifically referred to Iran as an Islamic Republic and called for it to 'take it's rightful place among th4e nations of the world.'

The mullahcracy of Iran is a brutal, totalitarian regime that cheerfully hangs homosexuals, beats women on the streets who the basij , the regime's brown shirts, feel are immodestly dressed and `uppity', and leads the world in juvenile executions. Torture and beatings in secret prisons are the norm.

They train, support and finance terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, who like Iran are officially committed to annihilating Israel, teaching children the glories of 'martyrdom' and in the case of Hamas and Hezbollah, committing genocide against Jews world wide.

And they've been in a declared war for thirty years against the 'Great Satan' - that would be America - that has included targeting America servicemen and civilians over the years, including the bombing of a marine barracks in Beirut that cost 240 lives, the torture murder of Colonel William Buckley, the abduction and execution style killings of four American officers and arming and training our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not only is Obama prepared to ignore all that, but he's also apparently prepared to allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, and expressly took any forceful response off the table stating that the US was 'fully committed to a diplomatic solution'.

Obama in his video talked a great deal about our “common humanity,” and made a point of discounting dismissed “those who insist we be defined by our differences..”

There are striking resemblances to a speech made a long time ago by another world leader attempting to placate a militant dictatorship : “We are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace… “ That was British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, when he returned from Munich in 1938 — in the statement Chamberlain made that promised “peace for our time.”

The Iranian response was swift and fairly predictable, as Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran responded:

Khamenei set the bar impossibly high, demanding an overhaul of U.S. foreign policy, including giving up "unconditional support" for Israel and halting claims that Iran is seeking nuclear arms. Iran insists its nuclear program is only for peaceful energy purposes.

"Have you released Iranian assets? Have you lifted oppressive sanctions? Have you given up mudslinging and making accusations against the great Iranian nation and its officials?" Khamenei said in a speech in the northeastern city of Mashhad. The crowd chanted "Death to America."

"He (Obama) insulted the Islamic Republic of Iran from the first day. If you are right that change has come, where is that change? What is the sign of that change? Make it clear for us what has changed."

Still, Khamenei left the door open to better ties with America, saying "should you change, our behavior will change, too."

This is far from a kiss off, by the way. There would be absolutely no value in that for Iran. Khamenei is using a classic Persian bazaari gambit of tossing the first offer to do business back at Obama and in essence asking him how far Obama is prepared to go to make a deal.

What the Mullahs want at the very least is to eat up additional time in 'negotiations' to allow them to finish nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Once that's done, the regime is going to be solidly in place, with the ability to black mail the west by threatening to shut off Persian Gulf oil at any time.

The rest of what Iran wants is probably not a problem for Obama.The Iranians want the sanctions lifted, assets that have been frozen since the days of the hostage crisis released to Iran and a free hand in developing its nuclear weapons. They want the US to end or at least severely curtail US support for Israel and apply massive pressure on the Jewish state, especially for concessions to Hamas and Syria. That's something Obama has already shown he has no problem with. They want the US out of Iraq, Iran's historical rival so that Iran can dominate it and the rest of the Persian Gulf region, can have a free hand there, and use Persian Gulf oil and gas to finance its tottering regime so that it can expand without fear of repercussions. And they will want a free hand in Lebanon, with no US interference. In exchange, what Obama will likely get is some meaningless nonsense from the Mullahs about their nuclear weapons program and help from the Mullahs in stabilizing Afghanistan so we can leave. That 'help' will largely consist of ending the arming, training and financial support of our enemies, just as it did in Iraq.

The ready appeasement of Obama's new direction of detente without deterrence towards Iran has been noticed by others and is more likely to lead towards war than any forceful confrontation would.As Amir Taheri notes, the failure of the Bush Administration and the Obama administration to stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons has led to a brand new arms race in the region, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE and even Iraq among others looking to hop aboard the nuclear band wagon.

And as for the Israelis, they've apparently realized that the Obama administration is going to end up being the most anti-Israel in US history. The President is an adherent of the Leftist rhetoric he grew up with that sees Israel as a ' white colonial state' and the Palestinians as deserving 'people of color'..and so do many if not most of his closest advisers and associates. Unless Israel is prepared to knuckle under and make suicidal strategic concessions in exchange for what amounts to paper guarantees that probably won't be honored anyway, they're going to face increasing deterioration of the US/Israeli alliance and an arms embargo is not at all unlikely. So Israel has very little to lose in making a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Given President Obama's craven appeasement and the fact that Israel faces an existential threat, I'd be very surprised if they didn't.


Anonymous said...

regarding the comments made by the iranian r......, r........, .......mullahs, it seems they are not as easily fooled by the change rhetoric as US leftists.


Anonymous said...

As far as I can see, Isreal needs to take preemptive measures to take out Iran's nuclear weapons program. America does not have the technological sophistication to defeat the Russian air defense system. Israel does. They have proven this when they took out the Syrian nuclear plant.

The upgrade of Iran's Air Force by the Russians is probably complete by now. If not, its bound to be close. Once the upgrade and the training of the Iranian pilots is complete, the American Air Force will be no match for the technological superior and better trained Iranian Air Force. Again, this training and upgrades is probably complete by now. If its not, its close enough that the Iranians would prevail quite easily against the Americans. In other words, an American military action against Iran has an almost 100% chance of failure for the US. Without better training, better leadership, and massive technological upgrades the US military has virtually no chance of being successfurl against the vastly superior Iranian military machine. The first step to fixing things is to confront reality. This is the reality of the situation.

The US cannot expect to stop Iran from aquiring nuclear weapons. Israel may be able to. I pray they can. The biggest challenge they would face would be the Iranian Air Force and air defense sytems and a possible response from Russia of some type. As I understand it, Russia supplies about 80% of Israel's oil. They could cut off this supply. Israel does need to worry about America. Its military is no match for Israel, its faltering econmy, its massive national debt, and worn down military make it no threat at all to Israel.