Wednesday, February 8, 2012

US-Iran foreign policy through the eyes of a liberal!

This is how a pragmatist understands US foreign policy in conjunction with the Iranian nuclear weapons crisis!

Yesterday morning I wrote a short commentary on the Obama administration's lack of understanding about Iran and that country's quest to obtain nuclear weapons.

The writing was in response to reports of new sanctions being placed on Iran by Washington that were ostensibly designed to dissuade that country from pursuing the actions I describe in the first paragraph.

As a kicker, this implementation of sanctions was done with the hope of persuading Israel to not attack Iran as a means of self-defense.

I went on to provide four articles that clearly show the folly of thinking that sanctions would be any more effective today than they have been at any other time in the past.

Later in the day yesterday I read an article at The Atlantic promoting the theory that the only way to deal with Iran was to pursue a diplomatic solution to this crisis.

I responded to the article with a comment and subsequently had a dialogue that I needed to share!

I want to share it if for no other reason than to show the breadth and depth of the problem we as a society face when so many among us have such little understanding of the enemy that we are up against.

Failure to understand includes a President with questionable feelings for Israel, running for reelection and who will pander to his left-wing base in any way possible.

This presents a clear and present danger to the United States, Israel, the rest of the Middle East along with the entire world!

Read it and let me know your thoughts.

US foreign policy through a liberals eyes!

From The Atlantic: "We're having the wrong conversation about Iran"

The premise of the article is predictable and well summarized by this passage:

"... Our ultimate goal is ensuring that Iran does not weaponize. If a military strike won't accomplish that, it should not happen. We have a better option: diplomacy. It is more likely to succeed because it could offer a permanent solution and because it could address the causes of Iran's nuclear program rather than just the threat itself. But, if diplomacy is to work, there is one major hurdle: the American electorate..."

The dialogue between myself and someone named Gepap!

halthouse1 (Me)

Diplomacy? Do you work for Obama?

In an attempt to stop Israel from taking care of Iran and its nuclear program, President Obama announces some new sanctions.

That may be good politics in an election year but it is very dangerous foreign policy!

Read more at The Political Commentator here:

Gepap in reply to halthouse1

And do you work for the Republicans?

Israel simply lacks the military wherewithall to take out Iran's nuclear facilities. The author is correct that we in the US through an air campaign can only delay the Iranians from building a weapon. Any attack on Iran would allow the regime to declare martial law and mercilessly root out any opposition by labelling them as enemy agents and spies. And in the end, we would just get a nuclear Iran anyways.

The only "solutions" to Iran's nuclear program are diplomacy or invasion. The later is far too high a cost, and we haven't really tried the second.

But I guess for a chikenhawk like you sending other people to die to invade yet another country is a cost you are willing to bear to satisfy your inadequate manhood.

halthouse1 in reply to Gepap

Spoken like a true lib who espouses an opinion and then resorts to name calling. Nobody takes the commitment of troops to a war zone more seriously than I do although I do not believe I ever suggested an invasion.

The fact of the matter is that Islamic fundamentalists have a different interpretation of life and death than you and I do. Where we fear death they do not but we continue to look at policy issues through the prism of both sides believing in the same things.

The Iranians have a fundamental belief that not only do they have a right to destroy Israel, but an obligation. Towards that end they will be more than happy to sit down at some table and go through the motions of "diplomacy.'

Why? To buy time knowing that by sitting down they are affording Western leaders the "out" of not having to take any drastic steps. In the meantime they will continue to work away for their ultimate endgame which is to develop nuclear weapons and then to use them.

You need to start thinking as they do and not assume that your way of thinking in any way corresponds to theirs.

Your hopes, dreams and mostly fears have nothing at all in common with the Iranian regime.

Under the auspices of this, what is your solution to the problem?

Read these 4 articles, with an open mind if that is even possible, and understand where the Iranians are coming from.

This is the link:

Gepap in reply to halthouse1

Its funny seeing you claim "facts", cause you didn't actually use any. I assume you have read the Q'uran right? that is where you got your "knowledge" of the Islamic idea of life and death? cause of course only Muslim's treasure sacrifice for some greater absolute truth no? I mean, we enlightened westerners would NEVER commend anyone who acted suicidally in defense of some value, RIGHT?

I am sorry, but the idea that I would listen to some jokels opinion on Iran from some guy who probably doesn't know what Qom is or what the Majles is is absurd. Its always amazing how its the people who actually know the least facts that act as if they had some secret knowledge that those who have actually taken the time to know things about the subject don't. No, the Iranians do NOT believe that it is their obligation to end Israel, and anyone making that claim is self-evidently talking out of their behind.

And yes, Iran views Israel as an enemy, like Israel views Iran like an enemy. Yes, the Iranians support terrorist acts against Israel and us and arm Hezbollah. Those are all simple and obvious facts, but none of those facts support your absurd claim, anymore than the fact we viewed the Soviets as evil, called them the evil empire, and gave weapons to Islamic fundamentalist to kill Soviets in Afghanistan meant that we viewed it as our "obligation" to destroy the Soviet Union.

Iran has never acted as anything other than a rational revisionist power, looking to undermine the existing Middle Eastern order for their ideological benefit. We, as the reigning hegemon who is interested in maintaining the status quo view this aggresivess as devious, but its us that have invaded countries around Iran, not the other way around. The Iranian regime has been around for 30 years - more than enough time to show that is is a mature enough regime that views self-survival as paramount. If Iran was anywhere as crazy as people like you claim, the revolution would have burned itself out long ago, likely in the fires of the war with Iraq. But Iran sought peace with Iraq in 1988, instead of continuing on suicidally. It hides its support of insurgents and terrorists, as any rational state does, and it has never transfered trully nasty weapons, like chemical agents, which Iran has the capability to manufacture, as was shown during the war with Iraq.

Why wouldn't a revisionist regime seek nukes, huh? The NPT was supposedly to lead to de-nuclearization by the declared nuclear powers. But the five nuclear powers have essentially renaged on this promise - the US, the Russians, the Chinese, and UK and the French obviously have no intentions to get rid of their nuclear arsenals. Three countries that decided to ignore the NPT (India, Israel, and Pakistan) all got to make nukes without any real consequence. Why shouldn't Iran, a country constantly being threatened with attack or with foreign support for internal enemies not seek the security that having the ability to threaten nuclear attack brings?

This crisis is likely to end in one of three ways:

We invade Iran at massive cost (far greater than anything we have yet paid for Afghanistan and Iraq) and change the regime, the Iranians make the decision to go nuclear after Israel and we attack them, or the West does what the author wants and tries real diplomacy. And by real diplomacy I mean not actually laying down a significant number of preconditions that demand the other side unilaterally surrender on several points prior to "negotiations" even beginning.

With people like you around, I see no hope for the last option. So its invasion or a nuclear Iran. Sad really.

halthouse1 in reply to Gepap

As liberals and their arguments typically will do, you have left me no choice but to resort to a page taken out of your playbook:

You sir, are a moron!

Gepap 28 minutes ago in reply to halthouse1

What where big scarry farsi words like Qom and Majles too big for you? Too many consonants?

Typical conservative - projecting all your problems unto someone else. Contemptible but predictable.

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