Monday, February 2, 2009

Iran: You Fail, America

It's what foreign policy hawks have been saying all along: if you make overtures of conciliation and admission of guilt to the world, it will see you as weak:
US President Barack Obama's offer to talk to Iran shows that America's policy of "domination" has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

"This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed," Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

"Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change," he added.

After nearly three decades of severed ties, Obama said shortly after taking office this month that he is willing to extend a diplomatic hand to Tehran if the Islamic republic is ready to "unclench its fist".

In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh tirade against the United States, demanding an apology for its "crimes" against Iran and saying he expected "deep and fundamental" change from Obama.
Now Iran admits as much.

What do we expect when our new president goes to Egypt and speaks of the need to "repair" our relations with the Arabic world, even apologizes for U.S. actions? The U.S. has nothing to apologize for. And even if it did, what does apologizing accomplish? What does a foreign policy of guilt and self-incrimination accomplish? Nothing but the weakening of U.S. power, just when a professed enemy like Iran is at its weakest.

Of course now we see news stories everywhere about how Obama is initiating talks with Iran, Syria, etc. Not like that cowboy Bush, who wouldn't talk to them. Except, his administration talked to Iran 28 times. He just didn't make big public relations farces out of those events, turning them into propaganda for the Iranians like Obama is.

"Talking to the Iranians" is nothing new. We have been doing it since 1979. It's just that under Democratic administrations the Iranians get more propaganda value for their buck, ratcheting up their profile and influence, and under Republican ones they face tougher sanctions, less of a willingness to be played for public relations purposes, and a hard line against weapons development (but not hard enough).

Now that the mullahs will imminently have nuclear weaponry, it is not the time for conciliation. It is the time to support Iranian dissidents, completely discredit and legitimize the Iranian leadership, and exert pressure on the rest of the world not to trade with or give aid to Iran.

It is not the time to speak of reaching out, unclenched fists, and common ground. The Iranian leaders are criminals and tyrants. Is America on the side of freedom and the rule of law? Or is it on the side of terror? As it stands, Obama (and Bush before him) supports the criminals who systematically persecute the Iranian people.