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December 7, 2006

Daily Star: US Rout Is Iran's Condition To Talk To Washington

In an Opinion piece today at Lebanon's Daily Star, David Ignatius writes that on the eve of the release of the Baker-Hamilton report, a top Iranian official set a tough condition for Iran's help in stabilizing Iraq, saying that Tehran isn't interested in such cooperation unless the Bush administration agrees to set a timetable for withdrawing its troops. In other words, the United States of America, the world's most powerful military force, must bow down to the Islamic Republic, fold its tent, and go home with its tail between its legs, giving Iran Carte Blanche to complete its development or acquirement of nuclear weaponry, escalate violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and elsewhere throughout the Middle East. This, not to mention doing the same thing throughout the world in order to establish Islamic law on every acre of land on the planet. The Iranian regime and Ahmadinejad will make Hitler's Germany seem almost benevolent.

In short, the United States has essentially allowed Iran and its partner, Syria, to incite, arm, and perpetuate internal conflict and terrorism between Sunni and Shi'ite in Iraq, so as to gain strategic advantage in anticipation of an American made-for-Iran report to influence U.S. public opinion; and as anticipated by Iran which fully capitalized on the Democratic victory in the U.S. elections, Irans dream came true - its strategy succeeded - along came the Iraq Study Group report. Rest assured that the well-intentioned, but misguided, Baker-Hamilton Commission will someday become known as the Baker-Hamilton-Chamberlain Commission, should the U.S. actually follow it's recommendations to negotiate with Iran, because negotiating with Iran makes about as much sense as Neville Chamberlain's discussions with Hitler and will yield even more disastrous results.

The Daily Star piece is worth reading, however, one needs to keep in mind Iran's strategic objectives at this critical juncture of turmoil in the Middle East. The futures of Iraq, Lebanon and nuclear weapons in the Middle East now intertwine, and Iran is the common link.

First and foremost Iran is intent on developing nuclear weapons, and will be deterred only by military force - an action that in retrospect, should likely have been taken before Iraq. Yet achieving nuclear arms is only a stepping stone to its dreams of domination in the Middle East and the elimination of Israel. Should the U.S. fold its tent and go home, Iran will be emboldened to continue its actions to create havoc for everyone and every nation state that isn't Islamic and governed by Sharia. Iran will continue to escalate violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere throughout not only the region, but ultimately to our own shores.

As George Perkovich wrote at YaleGlobal online in August 2006:

Military action is the ultimate recourse for enforcing international rules and norms. Yet, the past year's events in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Lebanon have dissipated Iran's fear that military enforcement is forthcoming. Before the Lebanon war, Iranian leaders said that the US and Israeli military attacks on nuclear sites would unleash reprisals throughout the Middle East, and that Israel would be the first to suffer. Hezbollah's arsenal of Iranian-supplied rockets and missiles was the leading edge of this deterrent, backed by Iran's capacity to escalate violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Although Perkovich's piece focused on the need for diplomacy, his description of an example of Iran's emboldening illustrates the current situation that the U.S. has faced in Iraq, in which it has failed to halt, by its own inaction, Iran's capacity to escalate violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

America is unfortunately faced with one choice. Diplomacy with Iran has extremely limited potential to accomplish anything favorable to U.S. interests. Iran must, by military force if necessary, be forced to halt its nuclear program and stripped of its military power. Failure to do so now will, in retrospect years from now, become known as the beginning of true disaster for the entire planet. Yesterday we wrote of the report that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned Western leaders to follow the path of God or "vanish from the face of the earth". His rant went further:

These oppressive countries are angry with us ... a nation that on the other side of the globe has risen up and proved the shallowness of their power," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the northern town of Ramsar, the semi-official news agency Mehr reported Wednesday.

"They are angry with our nation. But we tell them 'so be it and die from this anger'. Rest assured that if you do not respond to the divine call, you will die soon and vanish from the face of the earth," he said.

The outspoken president also maintained Iran's defiance over its controversial nuclear programme, saying it was on course to fully master nuclear technology.

"Thank to God's help, we have gone all the way and are only one step away from the zenith.

"We hope to have the big nuclear celebration by the end of the year (March 2007)," Ahmadinejad said, echoing comments he has made on numerous occasions in recent months.

When in doubt of what our enemy intends for us, perhaps we should listen to his words.

Cross posted from Hyscience

Posted by Richard at December 7, 2006 8:27 AM

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