How to talk tough to Ahmadinejad
WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will use his visit to the United Nations General Assembly later this week to emphasize to Iran that the “door is open” to them for international engagement, the White House said on Monday.
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters during a telephone briefing that in order for Iran to walk through that door, it would have to demonstrate the peaceful intent of its nuclear program.
Translation: we’re too weak to stop you from getting nuclear weapons, but we’re prepared to let you humiliate us if that will make you be nicer. Maybe we’ll offer you a prize of some kind — then you can pocket it and go on with your program. Because why shouldn’t you?
Sometimes we do things that are so stupid! See Harold Rhode on the sources of Iranian negotiating behavior.
What might work is this: “If you don’t stop your nuclear program, we’ll do x.” Of course x has to be very bad for them, and we have to be ready to really do it if they don’t stop. But if we’re not prepared to do this, then we are better off saying nothing at all.
Somebody recently asked me if I thought the present negotiations would bring peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. No, I didn’t think so. “Then what will happen?” I was asked.
What will most likely happen will be the second round of the war with Hizballah. Most analysts expect that this will be a major war, with major consequences. Jeffrey White of the Washington Institute writes,
If war does in fact come to Israel’s northern border, it would bear little resemblance to the 2006 conflict in Lebanon. Instead, it would in all likelihood be a transformational, even fateful, event for the region—certainly for Hizballah and Lebanon, probably for Syria, and perhaps even for Iran. Israel and its regional standing would likely undergo substantial alterations as well.
Today neither side wants war: Israel because it knows well that both military and civilian casualties would be significantly greater than in recent ‘little’ wars; and Iran, because the regime would like to be left alone to develop its nuclear weapons. A war between Israel and Hizballah would open up all kinds of possibilities — Iran could fire missiles at Israel and provoke retaliation, Iran could take action against oil supplies and precipitate a strike by the US, etc.
But it seems to me that the stated goals of the Iran-Syria-Hizballah axis, made concrete by the huge array of short- and long-range rockets arrayed against Israel in Lebanon and Syria, make this war inevitable. Either they will attack Israel, or Israel will preempt an attack. The rockets will not be left to rust away.
I think that most of the instability in the Mideast today comes from Iran. If Iran and her proxies are defeated, it can only be an improvement. Of course, the other epicenter of anti-Zionism and antisemitism in the Mideast is Saudi Arabia, which will be strengthened in this case.
With the Palestinian Arabs, it will mean a whole new ball game. Nobody’s crystal ball sees that far.
What everyone’s been waiting for (right): Now you can follow FresnoZionism on Twitter! Presently I am only tweeting links to new posts, but I’m still looking into possibilities for more functionality. Maybe a hat like Roland Hedley’s would help.
You can find some of Hedley’s tweets here.
Update [1419 PDT]: I just saw this:
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 21 (AFP) Sep 21, 2010
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday in New York that if the United States started a conflict with Iran it would be a war with “no limits,” US media reported.
“The United States has never entered a serious war, and has never been victorious,” Ahmadinejad told a meeting with US media owners and editors. “The United States doesn’t understand what war looks like. When a war starts, it knows no limits,” reports of the event quoted him as saying.
The limits on American exercise of power are political. The power is there. Ahmadinejad is confusing the disinclination to use power with the lack of power. He is the one who is threatening to remove the limits. It’s hard to express how irresponsible it would be for him to try to carry out his threat — unlimited war against the US would mean tens of millions of dead Iranians.
It’s time to remove this madman from power and preferably from this earth.