Obama's Failure on Iran

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasing clear that that none of the steps that the Western allies are taking is likely to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Recently, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called the prospects for diplomacy “very doubtful”. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said that military action will do nothing more than delay the Iranians. And, last week, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told the Washington Post that the strategy of backing the Iranian opposition would take too long and might produce a government with the same nuclear ambitions.

Russia and China will not agree to a sanctions regime that will have any material adverse impact on the Mullahs currently running Iran. There is no hint that either Russia or China will honor a gasoline embargo, stop arms sales or end investments inside of Iran. The selling out of our Polish and Czech allies to Russia regarding our “change of heart” with respect to missile defense with bring us no benefit.

Authoritarian regimes will often allow the suffering of their people for what the rules believe is the greater good. That was the case during Saddam Hussein’s reign in Iraq. The Iranian mullahs, I am sure, will behave in the same way.

Following the talks in Geneva between the Western allies and Iran, the Iranian’s again agreed to international inspections of some of its nuclear facilities and to expatriate some of uranium that it has already enriched (However, the Associated Press has reported that a member of the Iranian delegation to the Geneva conference claims that Iran had not agreed to expatriate uranium. It is, after all, hard to believe that a regime run dictators would immediately contradict an agreement with its perceived enemies.) However, what has been lost is that the Iranians continue on with their uranium enrichment. Despite continuous international calls for them to cease this operation, the uranium enrichment continues and there is no reason to believe that it will stop.

As the “international community” talks about the details of the agreed to inspections and the uranium shipments, the clock continues to tick. Mullahs with operational nuclear weapons becomes ever closer to reality. And, these agreements give Russia and China further excuses for opposing strong action to stop the nuclear program. Had Iran been defiant, it would have been harder, but not hard enough, for these two permanent members of the Security Council to oppose new sanctions or military intervention.

President Obama has said that his administration will pursue diplomacy until the end of the year (remember, the clock continues to tick) and then , if Iran has not relinquished its nuclear ambitions, it will seek sanctions. Well, what happens is it’s New Year’s Eve and the centrifuges are still spinning and the President of the United States then requests “strong” sanctions from the UN Security Counsel. The Chinese and the Russians then veto these “strong” sanctions. The answer to the question is that the entire policy of the Obama Administration is finally revealed to be the charade that it is. In the meantime, more uranium is enriched and more ballistic missiles are made.

It has been said that the President feels that nuclear weapons in the hands of the Mullahs is a foregone conclusion and, once that is the case, he will implement a plan of containment, just like we did with the Soviets during the Cold War. What Mr. Obama fails to realize is that containment worked against the Communists because they, much like us, had a desire to live. Remember, the ruling class in the Communist countries lived very will and they had no interest in dying for the cause.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Islamists that rule Iran. They are religious zealots who are actively waiting for the coming of the Twelfth Imam. They do not value the lives of their own countrymen, let alone the lives of the infidel. When you have an enemy that does not value life, they have nothing to lose by not remaining contained.

Mr. Obama should learn one of the key lessons of the 20th century – that you should take dictators at their word. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that he wants to blow Israel off the map, he should be believed. There is nothing in his background that should make President Obama think that he doesn’t mean it. Mr. Obama should recognize the true urgency of the situation and take whatever steps are necessary to end the Iranian nuclear program once and for all.


Chris J. said...

OK, Steve. You've layed out the crux of the "Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons" argument. But, I didn't see anyplace where you suggest your alternative.

Steven L. Baerson said...

You must not have been reading my prior posts where I have discussed alternatives at length. I've suggested, for starters, a naval blockade so that they cannot import gasoline. If that doesn't work, I have suggested that we bomb their known and suspected nuclear weapons sites. And, while we are doing this, I've said that we should be far more aggressive in supporting the opposition through covert means.