22 July 2007

Diplomatic insanity with regards to Iran

Iran, the hostage-taking, lovely Islamic Republic of Iran is back up to its old tricks of taking Americans hostage and then looking to get America to back down for the fact that Iran has taken hostages. Got that?

This thing started in 1979 with the Iran Hostage Crisis, when Iran committed a casus belli against the United States by invading the Embassy in Tehran, Iran, taking hostages and looting the place. You know, the 'nest of vipers' from the CIA - the Embassy of the United States. And do you remember the response of President Carter?

First was condemnation of the act!

“I ask that you release unharmed all Americans presently detained in Iran” - President Carter.

And then the diplospeak of appeasement: “I have asked both men to meet with you and to hear from you your perspective on events in Iran and the problems which have arisen between our two countries. The people of the United States desire to have relations with Iran based upon equality, mutual respect and friendship.”

Actually, before that was the internecine squabbling inside the National Security Council between Zbigniew Brzezinski, who wanted to back the Shah of Iran 'to the hilt' and had guaranteed the Shah that this would be done, and Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State, who wanted to come to terms with the Khomeini regime. These two would have had some basis in that outlook if the Khomeini regime would play the 'Great Game' and resume its place as a strategic ally or at least neutral to the US.

That, however, was not to be as it would not commit to the Soviets or the US, but put forth hostility to both. The schizophrenia on the part of the Carter Administration was due to the fact that President Carter really had no conception of what the role of the US was in the Middle East, beyond protecting oil supplies. It was this incoherence and swinging back and forth that originally led to having the Shah left in Mexico as the coup happened, then, when the Shah needed medical treatment for his cancer, having pressure from Henry Kissinger and Nelson Rockerfeller, convincing Carter to then let the Shah into the US for treatment. That ticked off the Ayatollah and led to the hostage taking which *then* got us the condemnation of that act. Because the US couldn't decide who to support in the 'Great Game' of 'Geostrategic Politics' with respect to Iran.

Yes, 'Realism' and not supporting democracy in and of itself, so that criticism could have been put against the Shah, Khomeini and anyone without regard to alignment in the 'Great Game'. Iran was a 'buffer state' and ally of the US and seen as a means to keep the Soviet Union from expanding power into the Middle East, but only if you were aligned along the 'Realist' mindset. Khomeini was not, and President Carter could not hold to any formulation of supporting democracy across-the-board due to what understandings he had about foreign policy. Mind you, the folks in Iran didn't like the repressive Shah, would have hated an autocratic Communist regime and came to detest their hijacked revolution as the radical Islamists took power.

Got that? Brzezinski could have dealt with the Iranians if they cooperated, but they wouldn't, and Vance wanted to cooperate no matter what (diplomacy is *always* the right choice). And there was a loud absence of anyone trying to stand up for actual people to have a right to self-government.

There are some that are putting forth the idea that President Carter pushed an Islamic 'Green Belt' between the US and USSR in the Middle East, to form up a number of 'moderate muslim nations' that would serve as a bulwark against Communism and that this was supported by Brzezinski. A few push this idea further back to support of Saudi Arabia and countering Nasser. While some objective concepts are seen via this, like the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood into something that would become a terrorist sponsoring and ideology hot house to put Soviet sponsored regimes at threat, they do not account for Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Libya and a number of other Nations that had Nationalistic outlook that also had strong elements of secular rule. Mohamar Ghadaffy would attempt to sponsor his *own* Islamic organization to sponsor terrorism to counter MB and other regimes have been able to keep out Islamism either via autocratic and dictatorial rule, like Iraq and Syria, or via a secular means like Turkey. In either event, the support of Brzezinski was more aligned with the direct, Nation State containment system that was not theocratically aligned. This is not a dismissal of the concept out of hand, but putting forth that if it *was* a conception carried through by the likes of Kissingers, Brzezinski, Baker, Scowcroft, and other foreign policy 'Realists', it remains one that is so low key as to be unrecognizable.

Ah, now back to that great ideal that President Carter put forth: "The United States of America will not yield to international terrorism or to blackmail."

One of the things that President Carter didn't do, before this, was actually address the FIRST time the US Embassy was invaded in Tehran nine months previously. That FEB 1979 break-in and invasion was left unaddressed by the Carter Administration as a whole, but it avoided any confrontation with the new regime in Tehran over that. So we did, indeed, yield to international terrorism BEFORE the hostage taking by not addressing the terrorism of that first go-around. To put forth this concept after the second break-in and full hostage taking is disingenuous by President Carter: the time to speak up is whenever National Sovereignty is broken and even in the 'Great Game' that is a necessary thing to do so as to extract any advantage over the other side whenever possible.

Of course it would have helped if the US Ambassador to the UN would have spoken up in a disapproving manner after that first break-in, also. But even that was not to be done when Ambassador Andrew Young put forth that Khomeini was “a Twentieth Century saint”. Add that to the initial openness of Brzezinski and is it any wonder that things got *worse*?

And when nice words and appeals to a religious radical who has taken over a Nation don't work? Then we see freezing of assets, ending oil imports from Iran (as if the world oil market cared), expelling Iranian diplomats, and actually expelling Iranians in the country ILLEGALLY. So that's what it takes to get a Democrat to move on this? Holding an Embassy's staff hostage? No *wonder* we have so many illegals in the US....

Finally, somewhere in there, President Carter realized that this was being done in 'bad faith' and he would cut off diplomatic relations and then stage a failed rescue attempt. Plus go to the UN and get those ever-so-handy sanctions that other Nations can bypass and ignore. Iran finally got tired of the game when Saddam invaded and gave President Carter a final tweak by releasing the hostages after he left office. No thanks to the UN, 'international community', 'sanctions' or the like.

That moves us onto the lovely era of Ronald Reagan where... hey, no fair reading ahead and getting to Iran/Contra where zealous staffers thought it would be 'a neat idea' to NEGOTIATE with Iran by giving them arms to release hostages and use those same connections to help funnel Saudi money and illegally gained money through intermediaries to fund the Contras. And one of those was a Syrian! No, those would only come *after* Iranian sponsored Hezbollah had attack the US Embassy in Beirut, bombed the US Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut, force the US to leave Beirut and then, for good measure, bomb the Embassy AGAIN! Then all the NEW hostage takings in Beirut would have the Administration working behind the scenes to do the above. You see, we wouldn't 'reward terrorism'.

So what is that called when terrorists bomb your Embassy, kill your soldiers, kidnap your government officials and then you deal with them by trading arms and utilize one of the intermediaries to buy arms for someone else... and his cut then goes to help those that had done all of that? Ronald Reagan was a great foe of the USSR, yes. His ability to actually hold terrorists accountable to anything they did against the US was lackluster at best and actually encouraged them at worse. Remember, if you like the McFarlane/North/Poindexter/Secord thing, then you *also* support the idea of paying Syria to support Hezbollah via that and reward it for getting our Embassy bombed and our Marines killed. This is not a 'neat idea' it is rewarding terrorists.

What other great ideas were presented on Iran, beyond rewarding them for killing Americans? President Reagan sent a cake to Ayatollah Khomeini. Let us hope that this remains only 'purported' to have done so...I do applaud President Reagan for the things he got right. I do shake my head that in getting other things wrong, he set the Nation up for long term problems that would go unaddressed and get worse because they remained unconfronted.

Then the grand total of George H.W. Bush's attitude towards Syria was to 'reward' it for not doing much of anything during the first Gulf War. And what was that reward? About $5 billion. Not bad for 16,000 men not doing much of anything, isn't it? Don't mind you that their hands are bloody from helping Hezbollah kill Americans... that is far too un-'Realistic'.

Now President Clinton, what did he do to stop the Iran-Syria axis from expanding? Did he finally punish either of them? Confront them at least? Hold them accountable for *anything*?

Heavens, no! That might take some forethought, guts and standing up for the US, its ideals and actually blaming other Nations for things they have *done*. Can't have that! Instead the Clinton Administration helped Iran expand its influence into the Balkans by dithering on doing anything about Bosnia. They would also reach out to help bomb the Israeli Embassy and cultural center in Argentina and establish themselves in the Tri-Border Area of South America and further expand influence into Chechnya and begin interfering with Turkish politics, beyond their regular nasty work with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Yes, not only not confront Iran or Syria but actually ensure that nothing was done to stop their spread and, even, *encourage it* via inaction! What a great President, no? To hold no one accountable for the killing of American Embassy staff and Marines? Plus do nothing to stop them from killing more Americans like in the Khobar towers attack. Can't do anything about it, don't you know, someone might get a bit upset.

Just step around the dead Americans, nothing to see here...

Save for three American hostages in Iran and thank you to Mark Steyn and h/t to Scott Johnson at Powerline for pointing this out! Apparently this is a great 'secret' that the MSM doesn't want to release and that the Bush Administration doesn't want to talk about. Because, as Scott Johnson points out, there will be a 'diplomatic push' coming up.

With Iran.

Can't interfere with diplomacy!

Thank you, America, for 28 years of cowardice and being unable to stand up to tyrants, despots and dictators. The Nation seems to have run its course after confronting Communists.

All ideologically tuckered out.

And freedom bartered away for 'diplomacy'.

Bake them a cake before talking with them, these kidnappers and killers.

It is traditional.

Before you appease them.

And weaken the Nation more.

And forget that President Jefferson won respect by fighting, and meant what he said about 'not one red cent for tribute'.

And that the first US vessel to circumnavigate the globe was a warship, sent by President Jackson to deal with Pirates who threatened us, literally on the other side of the planet.

Apparently the only cakes involved then, were of gunpowder.

That was the international language for dealing with them.

Sent a clear message, too, come to that.

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