Sunday, November 29, 2009

Obama's Amateurism and Iran

Obama's amateurism is showing up nowhere as clearly - and arguably nowhere as dangerously - as in relation to Iran. The clock has been ticking on the Iran problem for years. Yet Senator Obama led the charge to tie President Bush's hands in dealing with the mad mullahs. Since being sworn in, Obama has bent over backwards to treat the mad mullahs as legitimate rulers. His efforts have been not merely fruitless, but worse, they have emboldened the mad mullahs. Not only have the mullahs rejected every offer from the international community regarding their uranium enrichment program, not only have the mad mullahs brought the IAEA investigation of their nuclear program to a standstill, but today the mad mullahs announced that they intend to build ten more nuclear plants similar to the once "secret" military plant under construction just south of Tehran.

The stakes in the kabuki dance Obama is playing with Iran's mad mullahs could not be higher. Iran is the single most destabilizing influence in the Middle East. Its regime is wholly illegitimate, ruling its populace by brute force and terror. It is a regime that is on the brink and becomes ever more unstable as its hold on power is threatened. Every day Iran is allowed to continue its nuclear program is a day closer to war in the Middle East - at first between Iran and Israel, then likely expanding into a larger conflagration involving Iran's many surrogates and the U.S. Moreover, every day Iran is allowed to continue its nuclear program is a day closer to the reality of nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East - the ultimate nightmare scenario.

Obama, from his days running for the President, demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the motivations of Iran's mad mullahs. Obama the amateur thought that they were rational. They are not. Obama the amateur thought they would respond to economic incentives to better the plight of Iranians, but the truth is and has always been that the regime's motivation is to, first and foremost, spread the radical Khomeinist revolution. The mullah's see becoming a nuclear power as central to their goal. Obama the amateur attempted to assure the regime that we pose no threat by defunding every program that we had in place to further regime change in Iran. Obama the amateur showed the regime he could work with them by ignoring the regime's brutality and human rights violation in their treatment of protesting citizenry. The regime responded by ever more brutality against protesters and sending a team into Iraqi territory to capture three U.S. hostages - all of whom are still being held. Obama the amateur now has demanded that the regime cease work on their nulear enrichment. Is it any wonder that the response of the mad mullahs is to say no, but rather that they will build ten more nuclear reactors.

Obama has no sense of history and a world view so distorted as to border on fantasy. History would have informed Obama that the one and only thing that the Iranian regime responds to is a threat to their hold on the country. Thus, Obama's two best options, were to articulate a credible threat to use military force against Iran and to make robust those programs designed to reach behind the regime and connect with the most combustible force in Iran today, its citizenry. Both of these acts would have given teeth to Obama's negotiations with Iran. Further, once it became clear that Iran was a tinder keg with much of the population in open revolt, Obama should have upped the ante, focusing the world's attention on the regime's illegitimacy and expanding covert operations inside Iran to stymie the regime's efforts to shut down communications platforms that would allow the citizens to talk to one another.

Obama forswore all of the above under the beliefs that everyone wants a world without nuclear weapons, that no country should attempt to dictate terms to another, and that if we just appeased the mullahs, they would cooperate. Thus Obama has severely limited our options and emboldened an Iranian regime that is the closest thing to pure evil as I have seen in my lifetime. An emboldened Iran is now less likely to respond threats of force as it will not see them as credible, and every day it grows closer to a nuclear arsenal. Obama is well on his way to painting us into a corner where the only remaining options are actual use of force - or complete appeasement, a la Chamberlain's England. The latter will only get more Americans killed in the long run. That is what it means to have an amateur in the Presidency.

1 comment:

Rose said...

Good to see you back. Well said!