Thursday, July 09, 2015

Changing the Direction of a Failed Foreign Policy

John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif
I don’t think it’s going to happen. Unless the President is truly more concerned about his legacy than he is about the safety of the world. Which would make his legacy even worse if it did happen. I think he probably realizes that - even as he will be disappointed by failure.

Last April, a tentative deal was agreed upon between the United States and Iran that would lift sanctions against Iran in exchange for their agreement to end their pursuit of nuclear weapons.  But as Ross Perot once said, “The devil is in the details”. And it seems those details are the ultimate stumbling block for a successful conclusion of this deal.

I think it is fair to say that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to congress warning against a bad deal with Iran was correct.  One can dispute his timing. But one cannot dispute his message. The Iranians have no interest in curbing their military quest for nuclear weapons. And a way to deliver them. That was made clear by their undisputed Gadol Hador, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His word is law. He has declared that military installations will not be subject to any inspection of nuclear facilities. Nor will he give up any ballistic missile research and development. 

That should be the deal breaker even for the President. If I had to guess, it will be. There will be no deal. Iran will then continue to press ahead towards developing nuclear weapons. Or will they?

A lot of supporters of the President’s  desire to use diplomatic means have said that we must try diplomacy for fear of an alternative that would mean attacking Iran militarily and a lot of American bloodshed. That myth was dispelled by Prime Minister Netanyahu when he declared the alternative to a deal is not war. The alternative to a deal – is a better deal.

The interim agreement seemed to be just that. A bad deal - allowing Iran to retain some of their centrifuges that enrich uranium to nuclear weapons grade. But the President insisted that they would be monitored and any violation would immediately snap sanctions into place. This deal would save lives and would work. The inspections regime would be given access to all Nuclear facilities to assure that uranium was not being enriched.

But it appears that this is now all moot.  Iran will not budge, it appears, from insisting their military facilities are off limits to inspection.

This is a good thing. That Iran also demands sanctions be removed immediately as part of any deal tells us something. The sanctions placed on them are crippling them. They are desperate to have them removed. It brought them to the table with ‘The Great Satan’.  The US and its allies want gradual sanctions relief in order to allow time to put the inspections regime in place and see if it works.

It appears now that they will not get their wish. The sanctions will not be lifted. Hopefully they will be increased. Iran must be brought to their knees before they get the bomb which they will now pursue with renewed vigor. Not after.

If bringing them to their knees won’t stop them. and they decide to go to war, we ought to be prepared to do what’s necessary to destroy them.  And install a secular government that will be friendly to the west.

I know that it hasn’t worked in Iraq. But that is partially because Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world. Once Iran is defeated, terrorists will have no where to look for help. Yemen won’t be getting any support. Nor will Hamas, and Hezbollah be getting any more rockets.

I also happen to believe that the majority of Iranian people crave the kind of democracy and freedom they see in the west.  The kind their parents and grandparents experienced before ‘the revolution’. But have been afraid express for fear of their government’s extremist sanctions  for such ‘ungodly’ desires.

One may ask, “What about Islamic State (IS)?” They are doing pretty good without Iran. Iran actually opposes them.

The answer to that is simple too. IS can be defeated if the US has the will to do so. The United States has the most powerful military in the world by far. They defeated Hitler’s killing machine with a lot less than they have now. IS doesn’t have a chance of surviving if the US went in with enough troops to do the job right. Despite IS’s current successes. The US can’t do it from the air. By now that should be obvious. Unfortunately it is going to take boots on the ground. We need to go in with everything we’ve got - short of nuclear weapons.

Those who say that we shouldn’t be sending our boys in harm’s way in a war 7000 miles away from the mainland to die for a cause that has no bearing on our lives, are sadly mistaken. Islamic State’s activities do have bearing on us. One need look at all the European countries that have been attacked by individuals and groups inspired by IS or Al Quaida. One need look at the Americans that got caught in their web and beheaded. On camera!

IS inspired terrorism is alive and well on the internet. And for reasons that are beyond me, a lot of young people are becoming inspired and radicalized by them in basements and bedrooms all over the world. Including America. IS is a clear and present danger to the world. Unless we stop them, they will pursue their goal of a worldwide caliphate with everything they have. That they are succeeding is because those who can do something about it – aren’t.

The President is reluctant to send any American solider into harm’s way.  Which is as it should be. But his reluctance is so strong that it appears to be hampering his judgment. If something isn’t done about Islamic State, they will grow and continue to spread their particular brand of terror all over the world.

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick!” The point of which was to exercise intelligent forethought and decisive action in advance of any crisis. That was his rationale for building up the US military. Which came in pretty handy during World War II. The use of our military in that war made us the most powerful nation on earth to this day.

It is time to use that power for good once again - just as we did in World War II. Many Americans died fighting evil in a land far away from the US shore. There were a lot of voices opposing our entry in to that war. But President Roosevelt (FDR) didn’t listen to those voices. He knew the sacrifices in human lives it would take. But he also knew it was the right thing to do. He wanted to fight Hitler long before Pearl Harbor was attacked. But congress didn’t let him. After Pearl Harbor - he got the mandate. And he used it to rid the world of a mass murdering tyrant.

The US is in a similar position today. It is true that there hasn’t yet been the kind of carnage that justified our entry World War II. We are not even close to anything like the circumstances that led to that war and the Holocaust. But we need to realize that if Iran had the ability they would do the same thing to the 6 million Jews of Israel that Hitler did to the 6 million Jews of Europe. 

This was made clear by their Supreme Leader’s public statements to that effect. The only reason Iran hasn’t done it yet, is because they can’t. Clearly they are working on it. And we ought to do something about it before they do. Starting with bringing Iran to its knees with increased and even more crippling sanctions... and be willing to fully exercise our option go to war with them if necessary.