Feb 16 2009
I have been conflicted with the administration’s plans to open talks with Iran. I am well aware Iran could be just playing team Obama as dupes, buying time to obtain nuclear weapons so they can roll the world on their terms. I am also aware of the fact we cannot negotiate alternative scenarios without actually ‘talking’.Â
Sanctions have not worked to deflect Iran’s path towards nuclear power and weapons – despite increasing pressure from the world’s powers. So when word leaked out recently that President Obama was prepared to possibly lift sanctions against Iran, the alarm bells were not ringing as loudly for me as some.
It is clear Obama is looking for carrots to dangle in front of Iran, and Iran has made noises it likes carrots. The problem is I have seen this dance play out before between Neville Chamberlain and the Nazi Fascists of Germany. So while it is worthwhile to attempt dialogue, it is not a time to completely go belly-up and start giving in unilaterally. Iran needs to make real movement – but so far it seems we give up and they talk about being impressed.
Christopher Hitchens has weighed in on this topic, and I tend to lean towards his views on many subjects, so I am not surprised to find myself once again listening carefully:
Now, does anyoneâ€”I mean anyoneÂ at allâ€”imagine that the Iranian government’s flirtation with “direct talks” is anythingâ€”anythingÂ at allâ€”but a precisely similar attempt to run out the clock while the centrifuges spin and to buy (or, more accurately, to waste) time until sufficient fissile material is ready and the mask can be thrown off?
That should be the going in assumption. Sadly I think a lot of Nirvana-clouded liberals don’t think this is the case, or that it is a big deal. And this is where I get worried. If we were going into discussions with the assumption Iran’s Mad Mullah’s and Heavenly Sent President (his words, not mine) were embarking on an insane act of state level Jihad I would be more comfortable with direct talks. I am game to avoid the military solution as much as anyone, but the fact is we cannot treat Iran as sane – in the Western sense of the word. In their world dying for Allah is a great honor.
Estimates differ, but it seems quite plausible that Iran will be able to make some such announcement before the end of this year. That would mean that all international agreements, all negotiations with bodies like the European Union, all “inspections” by the International Atomic Energy Authority had been, in effect, farcical and void. It would mean being laughed at by the mullahs in the here and now. And it would involve, for the rest of the future, having to treat them with exaggerated politeness. What a wonderful world that would be.
For decades, we have wondered what might happen when or if an apocalyptic weapon came into the hands of a messianic group or irrational regime. We are surely now quite close to finding out.Â I am not one of those who believe that the mullahs will immediately try to incinerate the Jewish state.
What they almost certainlyÂ willÂ do, however, is use the possession of nuclear weapons for some sort of nuclear blackmail against the neighboring gulf states, most of them Arab and Sunni rather than Persian and Shiite, but at least one of them (Bahrain) with a large Shiite population and a close geographical propinquity to Iran. Already you hear theÂ odd rumbleÂ in hard-line circles in Tehran to the effect that Bahrain ought properly to be part of the Persian motherland.Â
This is how Hitler started with Chamberlain and Europe. He kept annexing people who had some historic ties but wanted nothing to do with the new world order. In the end we are all related somehow.
My fear is, if Hitchens is right, that we are on the verge of the war Bush and Co. tried so hard to avoid. I support dialogue, I do not support a repeat of World War II were the West pretended for years it was not as bad as it seemed. It was that bad, and in the case of Iran we have more evidence today of sadistic regional plans than ever was compiled against Hitler.Â
Hitler, in violation of the Versailles Treaty ending World War I, started rebuilding the German war machines. His armed forces were outfitted with air, ground and sea power to rival Europe. He never acquired nuclear weapons – though he tried. Nuclear weapons are an enormous counter balance to vast conventional forces and weapons. By letting the Islamo Fascist state of Iran gain this level of power we will see a power imbalance not seen since World War II.
Nazis never really sent out forces like Hamas and Hezbollah to destabilize nearby nations (though there were forces aligned with Hitler in France, etc). Hitler could rely on the fascist movements in Italy and theÂ imperialÂ control in Japan to create natural allies. He even had the communists in Russia on his side in the beginning. Iran has lost allies in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is trying to overthrow the nuclear power Pakistan, while isolating Israel. How this game of world wide domination plays out with nuclear armed Mad Mullahs is anyone’s guess – but it will be bloody and ugly if we let it escalate too far.
We want peace, we want to avoid more war at all costs. But what we want may have no bearing on what Iran wants. So far they have been shown to be willing to impose violent control over its people and neighbors. It tried to instantiate Islamo Fascist control on the Shiite sections of Iraq through the Mahdi Thugs under Sadr.
It has ignored all options for peaceful nuclear power offered by Russia – where Russians control the fuel which could be used for developing weapons. An obvious solution to the safe use of nuclear power.
Iran, if it wants, can play this game until it is ready to unleash its violent will on the world. Which is why I am doubtful talks will help. I think everyone would be better off if we stopped pretending the Mad Mullahs were not Mad and willing to succumb to Western views and priorities.
It would be better for everyone that we not pretend things are going well and there is hope on the horizon. We are so far from that it is simply a recipe for disaster to jump to that conclusion – and pay the price in human suffering for doing so.