The View From 1776

Playing Nice With Our Sworn Enemies

President Obama’s score card in dealing with Iran records zeros from top to bottom.

I’m not at all surprised.  As I wrote months ago, Mr. Obama inhabits a utopian dream world in which ruthless action is acceptable on the domestic political and economic scene, but servile appeasement is to be the currency when dealing with our foreign enemies.

 

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/18 at 12:54 AM
  1. I am just watching for your site now. I read so many comments and it
    Posted by Nikon d40 Lenses  on  12/18  at  06:47 AM
  2. Further evidence:

    "NO ONE IS SMARTER THAN THEIR CRITERIA." selah jfb
    Posted by Jim Baxter  on  12/18  at  10:31 AM
  3. May we assume that the View is suggesting that "ruthless action" is the advisable policy with regard to Iran? In practical terms, what do you recommend, Tom? Immediate bombing? Invasion? Threats? Please give us the wisdom of your vision on this in concrete terms.

    What specific action do you recommend the United States take against Iran that would raise Obama's "score" from zero?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/18  at  12:40 PM
  4. Mr. Jay:

    I have no original tactics in mind, just the many proposed actions that horrify one-world, socialist-government liberal-progressive dreamers:


    First, cease trying to be buddy-buddy with Ahmadinejad, while "respecting" Iran's murderous Muslim regime.

    Second, stop dragging feet while trudging across diplomatic ground worn to a deep furrow over the previous 8 years by the Bush administration, acting through England, France, and Germany. This means recognizing that no matter how many resolutions or sanctions the UN may agree upon, none of them will be enforced.

    Third, freeze every bank account in the United States associated with Iranian government entities and banks.

    Four, stop putting roadblocks in Israel's path when it endeavors to protect itself against annihilation by the murderous Muslim government of Iran.

    Fifth, until further measures are required, take the Ayatollahs seriously when they declare that the United States is their mortal enemy, the Great Satan which they intend to destroy. That means abandoning what Jim Baxter calls childish patty-cake.

    Finally, doing these things promptly, before Iran has operative nuclear weapons and well tested missile delivery systems.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/19  at  12:54 AM
  5. Mr. Brewton,

    You wildly overstate the position of the State Department as attempting to be "buddy-buddy" with Ahmadinejad. Since the recent bogus election in Iran, there is a strong undercurrent of rebellion against Ahmadinejad's illicit government that many believe may prove far more effective in overturning that regime than could ever be achieved by US threats, or use of force. Such belligerent behavior on our part would be welcomed by Ahmadinejad to give him an outside "enemy" to rally the populace against, to divert the attention of the restive population now building resistance against himself.

    By our toning down the bombast, Ahmadinejad lacks a "great Satan," and is left naked, trying to suppress an ever more restive population.

    You are historian enough to realize that our relationship is viewed suspiciously by the Iranians through the lens of the CIA-supported coup of the democratically elected Moussedeq in 1953, and the disastrous Reagan / Ollie North Iran Contra affair.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/19  at  01:36 AM
  6. Mr. Jay:

    Ahmadinejad doesn't need any provocations from the United States to portray us as the Great Satan. That adversarial posture has existed since Jimmy Carter's wimping to Kohmeni.

    The only new diplomatic salient Obama has introduced was his studious ignoring of the recent popular uprisings against Ahmadinejad, a failure that made clear to all the world that the United States would not stand up for human rights, despite its socialist one-world rhetoric.

    Face it. The Obama Chicago-neighborhood-socialist-agitator style of government is a complete zero in real foreign policy. Obama talks a good game, but it's all aimed exclusively at people on the domestic front who share your views. The rest of the world had taken Obama's measure and found him to be a Carter-wimp clone. From Russia to Cuba rulers feel no reluctance to ridicule or humiliate Obama, because it's clear that there will be no consequences. We'll just unilaterally give up our defense elements without reciprocal actions from the other side.

    The age-old diplomatic axiom still holds: it's better to be respected, even feared, than to be liked.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/19  at  12:23 PM
  7. Regarding the scary comparison that Obama will be ruthless to Americans but servile to foreigners:

    That curious behavior vividly illustrates how ass-backward our new President thinks. American citizens, whether they are clinging to their guns and faith or not, should be numero uno to elected officials--they serve at our pleasure. It is a sign of arrogance that, once elected, a sitting President should look down on any American.

    As for bowing and a..kissing every foreign dignitary, that clearly invites disrespect. But it is typical of the liberal Left's infatuation with two of their ideological ikons--1.) that foreign nations are somehow more sophisticated than we are and therefore to be emulated and embraced, and 2.) that diplomacy is the only rational and gentlemanly way of handling world crises.

    Two of the worst gaffes of the Clinton administration was when Madeleine Albright danced arm in arm with the North Korean dictator, and when Hillary and Bill let the arch terrorist Arafat into the White House. After that, no negotiating progress could be made with either gentleman!

    Now, with Obama, we are seeing the same failures. The prevailing intellectual view is that the love we get from France is important--something to be sought after. France! the provoker and loser of wars on the Continent for centuries. France, whose diplomats placed such burdens on Germany after WWI that they made WWII inevitable--and then they caved at the first sight of German uniforms, betrayed from within by a Fifth column out to destroy them! Looking to France for guidance is like asking Bill Buckner how to scoop up a ground ball--and he only erred once, while France's foreign policy has been making error after error for a thousand years.

    And to evidence the danger of losing the respect of potential adversaries we have Neville Chamberlain to remember. His failure at Munich was accompanied by German invasion of the mineral rich disputed territories adjoining France. Those were the initial tests of Allied resolve by Hitler, and he liked what he saw.

    These are not just dim echoes of the past. We hear today that Iran has moved troops into the Iraq oil fields and seized territory under our very noses. Deja vu all over again anyone?

    I bet Obama's response is a "major" speech, or maybe he'll appoint a task force. He has already indicated his "softness" when he imposed new stringent "rules of engagement" that hinder our troops ability to defend themselves. That decision, that will cost many American soldier's their lives, was all that Ahmadinejad needed to read Obama's weak resolve and excess concern for "world opinion."

    Obama is more interested in gaining world opinion than saving American lives! He'll close Gitmo, and limit air cover for our ground troops. Guess what? Ahmadinejad, I'm sure, likes what he's seen so far. Do you think Obama knows that dictators like the Iranian read "Mein Kampf" for ideas, tactics and inspiration?
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/19  at  08:41 PM
  8. We shouldn't forget that the Bush regime enable Iran, helping make it the thorn in the side it is today. Prior to the war on terror and the war in Iraq Iran was more manageable. Also, Bush&Co; inadvertently helped Iran with its nuclear program.

    Bush was president for eight years? What did he accomplish on the international scene? Absolutely nothing! In fact, he made more of a mess of it. He created a lot of hurdles for Obama to overcome. And The View expects instant results from him?

    The US contained the USSR for more than forty years until it finally collapsed. The US should use the same tactic with Iran. The alternative is unthinkable as it was with the USSR. However, at the time, prior to containment, conservatives like the ones on this blog were all for going to war with the USSR. Now this is what they are foolishly proposing with Iran.

    Talk about economic ruthlessness look how ruthlessly Bush dealt with New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/20  at  06:49 PM
  9. David Airth is spot on with his analysis. Prior to the Cheney/Bush toppling of Saddam, Iran and Iraq were self limiting adversaries. Bush conveniently knocked off Saddam, Iran's greatest foe, and the Hallelujahs were heard in Tehran.

    The conservative love to threaten and strut, pound their chests about how tough they are (but ironically, have you noticed that they appear to be shaking in their boots about the "DANGER!!!" of trying KSM in a New York court. "Guard your daughters! Terrorists in the city!", they scream. "Be afraid! Be very afraid!!!")

    Gee, wilikers!
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/21  at  12:42 AM
  10. The last two comments, instead of addressing the current foreign policy issues alluded to on the above post, resort to a backward thinking name calling against former Republican administrations.

    These negative and unresponsive ripostes suggest strongly that there is no defense, or even an excuse, for the incompetence of the current administration's policy. Otherwise they would have been articulated by the two gentlemen involved.

    Of course, as noted in another section of this site, abstract thinkers of high IQ rarely have the cognitive skills of logic, rationality,and sound judgment that we lesser mortals possess.

    I could dredge up some dreary and derogatory comments, say about Jimmy Carter, but what would that prove--(except beware of Democrats!) But I won't--it's Christmas, and besides, the list of Jimmy's failures would exceed all reasonable limits for blog comments.
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/21  at  12:14 PM
  11. Whatever you say bill. But there is no denying that the last administration left quite a debacle in foreign policy and America in weaker international position.

    And why are you holding back on railing against Jimmy Carter. It is unlike you to miss an opportunity to strike out when you can. Don't hide under the skirt of Christmas.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/21  at  05:21 PM
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    Posted by cosmetic dentist  on  12/23  at  01:46 PM
  13. Bill Greene,

    The original post contends that Obama is weak because he has not struck a belligerent and bellicose tone with Iran, perhaps threatening an invasion. The response of Airth was exactly on target, pointing out that that exact recipe, belligerence and attack, used by the weak minded George Bush (not an "abstract thinker of high IQ", in your words) produced disastrous results that we are all now paying dearly for. The disaster can be counted not only in lives needlessly lost, but by the geopolitical unbalancing of the region, putting Iran, to their delight, in the cat bird seat.

    If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/23  at  03:59 PM
  14. Mr. Jay:

    What specific policies of President George Bush led to disastrous results in our dealings with Iran?

    What specific disastrous results ensued?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/23  at  07:47 PM
  15. Mr. Jay-- I must correct your faulty premise: The original post was not so much about being belligerent with Iran, but with the idea that Obama is tougher on our citizens than on our enemies-- e.g., He plans to jail and fine any American who doesn't buy Health care coverage, but trembles at the thought of unfairly jailing terrorists!

    On your unproven point that the attack on the terorists was disatrous: Do you support Obama's decision to follow GW's playbook by sending 40,000 more troops to fight and die in the area? Would it be "smarter" to send 40,000 of the uninsured? Or perhaps the Congressmen and Cabinet officials should lead the road-side bomb-clearing effort? (If you answer "yes" to the 1st question, you should certainly answer "Yes" to the 2nd and 3rd to maintain any consistency in logic at all)
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/23  at  07:50 PM
  16. Mr. Brewton,

    The disastrous policy cited of George W Bush (only one among many) was the decision to invade Iraq (allegedly to "save" the USA from nuclear WMDs and to avenge Saddam's alleged "connections" to 911).

    The disastrous result of that policy was the destabilizing of the Mideast (to say nothing of the needless loss of the lives of thousands of people). Iran (Shia) and Iraq (Sunni) were at each other's throats for the previous several decades, effectively keeping each other in check. When GWB took it upon himself to knock over Saddam, that made Iran the defacto power in the region, to the delight of the Ayatollahs and Ahmadinejad.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/23  at  11:48 PM
  17. Mr. Greene,

    I think Obama will live to regret sending 40,000 more GIs into the endless wastes of Afghanistan, and I do not support that decision.

    The Hamid Karzai regime is fully corrupt, and the country is really not a country at all but an area divided into primitive illiterate war lord fiefdoms. There is no justification for our troops being there.

    I believe the chances of any success in "winning" anything in Afghanistan are about the same as the chances of Sarah Palin becoming President.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/23  at  11:57 PM
  18. "The disastrous result of that policy was the destabilizing of the Mideast"

    Because the Middle east was the staging ground for terrorists planning to attack American soil, the strategy of destabilizing the area sounds appropriate. It made it harder for the terrorists to train and plan their attacks. Dubya chased them all so they're hiding in caves instead of being out with many resources to work with.

    Also, the Middle East has been a hornet's nest for centuries. Saying we destabilized it is like saying that Marylyn Monroe corrupted JFK!
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/23  at  11:58 PM
  19. Mr. Greene,

    The 911 plot was hatched and plotted out of Germany, not out of the Mideast. Osamma in Afghanistan was involved to some degree, but the main effort of the plotting took place in Hamburg, by the "Hamburger Terrorzelle."

    I fully agree that the Middle East has been a hornets next for centuries. But in this case it was the wasps fighting the hornets. George bush took care of the hornets, leaving the wasps with free reign to buzz all over the region with impunity.

    To carry the metaphor one step further, in essence, adolescent George Bush took a stick and whacked the hornets nest. His catastrophic decision (based on his gut feelings, we now have learned) CREATED thousands of terrorists, where there were none previously.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/24  at  12:07 AM
  20. "His catastrophic decision. . . CREATED thousands of terrorists, where there were none previously."

    Really! Who flew those planes into the Trade Center?
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/25  at  05:38 AM
  21. Bill Greene,

    Almost all of the 911 thugs were Saudis, from whom we continue to buy our oil, and with whose leaders George Bush walked hand in hand in a number of famous photographs.

    None of them were from Iraq or Iran, contrary to what Dick Cheney would have you believe.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  04:44 PM
  22. Mr. Jay--

    The war on terrorism is not against specific nations but against an assortment of fanatical Muslims with a destructive vision of their Islamic Faith. They are spread out across more than half the world.

    These organized cells of zealots are financed and encouraged by the calculating Machiavellian Princes in almost all the Middle Eastern states. There was no totally logical target for America to strike back at if your choice was so limited as to consider only the various origins and staging grounds of the actual hi-jackers.

    Terrorism is one part of a puzzle that in 2002 included Israel's future, the Palestinian problem, Syria's aggression in the area, the flow of terrorist materials in the area, the relative strength of each state, the source of the free world's oil, the mutual hostilities between the Mid-East nations, and the needs of a long-term geo-political strategy.

    Now, perhaps we should not have struck back at all, but the actual choices were pretty good. Sadaam was unpopular in the area, he was subsidizing Israel's bombers, our armed columns had 10 years earlier gotten familiar with the terrain from Kuwait to the gates of his palace, and the country sits neatly between Iran and Syria. And of course, the Taliban was camped in Afghanistan. Curiously, most of the complaints were from our liberal Left! Not Iraq'a neighbors.

    And, while the Middle East had always been de-stabilized, they were no worse off after the Iraq invasion, AND now it was the terrorist camps that were de-stabilized. Plus, there have been no subsequent major terrorist successes on our soil.

    Your idea that we should not have invaded Iraq just because the 911 thugs were Saudis, is like saying the FBI, to thwart the Mafia in New York, should invade Italy! You need a broader, more pragmatic and knowledgable perspective to make the kinds of complex real-time decisions that Dubya was faced with as a result of Clinton's allowing the terrorists to gain an international network throughout the nineties.
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/26  at  08:17 PM
  23. Bill,

    You must know by now that our invasion of Iraq was sold on the basis of the danger of WMDs and the alleged connection of Iraq to 911, which were all blatant fabrications, excuses to achieve Cheney's long sought goals of his "New American Century." Yes, there are now terrorists all over the world, but prior to our invasion of Iraq, there were vastly fewer. Our actions generated them! We invaded the Holy Land of Allah!

    I am not, of course, defending terrorists! Far from it! But I strongly advocate using the policies that are most appropriate to the dangers at hand. We have had terrorists for decades. There was a terrorist bombing of Wall Street in 1920 that killed 38 and injured 400.

    For exactly the reason you state, "Terrorism is not a war against a specific nation," the best means to battle international terrorist is via international police action. Terrorists should be treated as thugs, and not elevated to invincible gods as Bush did for ABL.

    Invading Iraq was a 3 trillion dollar blunder that will haunt this country for decades.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/27  at  03:27 PM
  24. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION GAVE SEVERAL REASONS FOR INVADING IRAQ. IT WAS THE MEDIA THAT ENDED UP CLAIMING THAT WMD'S WAS THE SOLE REASON. IN ADDITION, AT THE TIME OF INVASION, IT MAY HAVE BEEN FOOLISH TO MAKE THE REAL REASON PUBLIC. GOOD COACHES NEVER DISCLOSE THEIR STRATEGY BEFORE, DURING, OR AFTER THE GAME!

    AS I INDICATED IN MY POST #22 THE DECISION WAS BASED ON A COMPLEX OF LONG TERM CONSIDERATIONS AS PART OF A PLAN FOR THE ENTIRE REGION. OBAMA SEEMS TO AGREE WITH THE OVER-ALL STRATEGY SINCE HE IS EXTENDING AND ADDING TO THE SAME GAME PLAN THAT BUSH/CHENEY INITIATED.

    WE WILL NEVER KNOW FOR SURE IF IT WAS A MISTAKE BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF WE HADN'T REACTED. WE WILL KNOW IF IT WAS A GOOD DECISION WITHIN 5-15 YEARS DEPENDING ON WHAT DEVELOPS.

    HOWEVER, IF IT TURNS OUT BADLY, IT MAY BE DUE TO OBAMA NOT FOLLOWING THE PLAN CLOSELY ENOUGH--HE HAS ALREADY SCREWED UP GITMO WITH HIS ILLINOIS DEAL AND PUBLIC TRIALS; AND, OVER THERE, HIS NEW GENTLER RULES OF ENGAGEMENT ARE HANDCUFFING OUR SOLDIERS.

    BUT, WHY DON'T YOU EVER RESPOND TO THE ACTUAL POST ?? --WHY DOES OBAMA BOW TO OUR ENEMIES BUT WANT TO JAIL ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS IF THEY DON'T PURCHASE HIS HEALTH PLAN COVERAGE! WHO COMES FIRST ?? OUR CITIZENS OR THE POMPOUS TYRANTS ABROAD ??

    INSTEAD OF ADDRESSING THE POST, YOU CRITICISE CHENEY! IT'S LIKE YOU ASKING WHY WE BOMBED HIROSHIMA WHEN I ASK YOU WHY YOU STOLE MY WALLET!
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/27  at  05:15 PM
  25. Bill,

    Two points (in lower case letters):

    Bush and Cheney may have had a lot of sneaky reasons up their sleeves for invading Iraq, but the reasons they flimflammed Congress with were WMDs and Sadam's connections to 911. "We don't want the smoking gun to become a mushroom cloud."

    Obama was dealt a horrible hand by Bush, and is doing his best to play the remaining cards he has left to get out of the game without losing all the chips on the table. His attempts to close out Bush's two disastrous wars should not be viewed as endorsement of Bush's actions.

    But as you note, the original post was on the question of why Obama is not being more belligerent with the Iranians.

    The news from Iran of the last several days is startling confirmation of the wisdom of the Obama approach. Iran is in increasing turmoil. During weekend Ashoura observance, the Iranian reformists were fired upon by the government, killing at least eight. The people are rebelling against what is becoming clearer is a police state. Amadinijad and his cohorts are trying to claim that the US and Britain are responsible for the increasing upheaval. But fortunately, because Obama has kept a low profile on the unrest, the Iranian people are not buying the party line.

    Iran is certainly a messy, bad situation, and the turmoil will probably not end well for anyone. But Obama is charting the best course of action in the US national interest and, in the interest of the Iranian people.

    Interestingly, Republican calls for grandstanding and threats have become decidedly more muted as the situation develops.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/29  at  02:38 PM
  26. Part 1 of 2

    JJ,

    I am curious. Since no one else has asked this (though a number have abundantly refuted things you and David said in posts #8 and #9), exactly what was it that David wrote that you consider
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/30  at  08:02 PM
  27. Part 2 of 2

    Assertion/observation 3:
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/30  at  08:03 PM
  28. P.S.

    I meant to credit Herman Cain of WSB Radio Atlanta for the S.I.N. acronym ( http://www.hermancain.com/news/press-opinion-082409.asp ). Great talk-show host, tax-reformer, and business-leader. Well worth a listen ( http://wsbradio.com/inside/herman_cain.html ).
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/30  at  08:29 PM
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