Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Krauthammer's Folly - Negotiating with Iran

In his Washington Post column today (via FrontPageMag.com), Charles Krauthammer snatches defeat from the jaws of victory by pulling a typical bone-headed pragmatic conservative move. First, he correctly identifies Iran's devious motivation in demanding bilateral negotiations with the United States, i.e., to delay the West until Iran can produce deliverable nuclear weapons, and the Left's predictably mindless agreement with this demand:

All of a sudden, revolutionary Iran has offered direct talks with the United States. All of a sudden, the usual suspects -- European commentators, American liberals, dissident CIA analysts, Madeleine Albright -- are urging the administration to take the bait.

It is not rare to see a regime such as Iran's -- despotic, internally weak, feeling the world closing in -- attempt so transparent a ploy to relieve pressure on itself. What is rare is to see the craven alacrity with which such a ploy is taken up by others.
Then, even after having stated the obvious conclusion, i.e., no negotiations with the Iranian mullahs, Krauthamer abruptly undercuts his own case at the very end and offers the Left, the Europeans and the Iranians an offer that they could not refuse:

We should resolutely say no.

Except on one condition. If the allies, rather than shift responsibility for this entire process back to Washington, will reassert their responsibility by pledging support for U.S. and/or coalition military action against Iran in the event that the bilateral talks fail, then we might achieve something.

You want us to talk? Fine. We will go there, but only if you arm us with the largest stick of all: your public support for military action if the talks fail. The mullahs already fear economic sanctions; they will fear European-backed U.S. military action infinitely more. Such negotiations might actually accomplish something.
As I posted today at FrontPageMag.com, the idea of negotating with the world's #1 state sponsor of terrorism should never have come into consideration in the first place:

I agree with the first twelve out of fifteen paragraphs of Charles Krauthammer's article.

In that thirteenth paragraph, Krauthammer foolishly suggests that the U.S. negotiate with Iran if the Europeans give an iron clad promise to back U.S. millitary action against Iran should the negotiations fail.

First of all, Krauthammer already knows that the Iranian mullah's main priority is to delay the Western powers to give themselves enough time to generate deliverable nuclear weapons. Nothing would do more to generate delay than to get the U.S. tied up in a long negotiation process.

Second, Krauthammer should know that, if the U.S. were to ever claim negotiations failed, the Iranians and the Europeans can simply claim that the U.S. has not truly exhausted "all avenues of the negotiations process". The same thing sort of thing delayed the U.S. invasion of Iraq for almost a year and allowed Saddam Hussein to prepare his post-combat insurgency strategy and probably hide his WMD (with the help of the Russians).

We need to step back and look at the big picture:

1. Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism for eight of the past nine years according to the U.S. State Department's Pattern's of Global Terrorism report.

2. Iran President Ahmadinejad is a religious fanatic, who thinks he is going to bring about the emergence of the Muslim messiah by initiating a war with the Great Satan United States.

3. Iran has been funneling IED's into Iraq that have killed American soldiers.

4. Iran is trying with all its might, via its surrogate Moqtada al-Sadr, to get a theocracy installed in Iraq.

5. Iran has supported Syria in its funneling of foreign terrorists into Iraq to kill American troops.

6. Neither America nor any free nation should negotiate with terrorists or terrorist-
sponsoring nations. Hello!

The longer the overthrow of the terrorist-sponsoring Iranian regime is delayed, the greater the chances that they will be able to produce a deliverable nuclear weapon and prepare their terrorist network for a counter-attack against the U.S. and its allies.

The U.S. should attack Iran now - not negotiate.

Further I would propose that the U.S. investigate whether it would be more feasible to attack the Iranian leadership and the bulk of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, rather than attacking Iran's nuclear sites as the mullahs fully expect by this point. I am not a millitary expert, but I imagine the U.S. millitary has the weapons technology to effectively take out these two groups to a large degree. In other words, cut off the head of the snake, and then go after the nuclear facilities with the help of the Iranian people who support us.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Folly of Israeli Disengagement

While I do not agree with all he says in his Opinion Journal piece yesterday, the words of James Woosley, the former Director of Central Intelligence, ring wise and true concerning The Folly of Israeli Disengagement:

"Three major Israeli efforts at accommodation in the last 13 years have not worked. Oslo and the 1993 handshake in the Rose Garden between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat produced only Arafat's rejection in 2000 of Ehud Barak's extremely generous settlement offer and the beginning of the second intifada. The Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000 has enhanced Hezbollah's prestige and control there; and the withdrawal from Gaza has unleashed madness. These three accommodations have been based on the premise that only Israeli concessions can displace Palestinian despair. But it seems increasingly clear that the Palestinian cause is fueled by hatred and contempt."
Woosley succinctly points out that the Israeli and American governments need to wake up to the reality that al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Iranian Revolutionary Guard units are not going to disengage from Israel once Israel disengages from the West Bank:

"The approach Israel is preparing to take in the West Bank was tried in Gaza and has failed utterly. The Israeli withdrawal of last year has produced the worst set of results imaginable: a heavy presence by al Qaeda, Hezbollah and even some Iranian Revolutionary Guard units; street fighting between Hamas and Fatah, and now Hamas assassination attempts against Fatah's intelligence chief and Jordan's ambassador; rocket and mortar attacks against nearby towns inside Israel; and a perceived vindication for Hamas, which took credit for the withdrawal. This latter almost certainly contributed substantially to Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections."
When will reality start setting in? We can only hope soon. So far, the lessons of history seem to have been lost on Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Bush.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Iran and Hezbollah: America's #1 Enemies

It's time for President Bush to break down the intellectual barrier in his brain that separates anti-Israeli terrorists from anti-American terrorists. The N.Y. Post reports:

"The Hezbollah terror group - one of the most dangerous in the world - may be planning to activate sleeper cells in New York and other big cities to stage an attack as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up".

According to the story:

"The nationwide effort to neutralize Hezbollah sleepers in the United States, being spearheaded by the FBI and Justice Department's counterterrorism divisions, was triggered in January in response to alarming reports that Iran's fanatical president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met with leaders of Hezbollah and other terror groups during a visit to Syria.

"Among those attending the meetings, according to reliable reports, was Hezbollah's chief operational planner, Imad Mugniyah - considered one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world - who is responsible for the bombings of the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and who, more recently, provided Iraqi guerrillas with sophisticated explosive devices."

Don't Be Very Worried

Some worthwhile facts to know about environmental issues in general and the global warming debate in particular can be found at OpinionJournal - Outside the Box

Inconvenient Truths Indeed

Some Inconvenient Truths to be aware of before seeing Al Gore's new shlockumentary. Hat tip: RealClearPolitics.com.

Immigration Quotas vs. Individual Rights: The Moral and Practical Case for Open Immigration

Highlights of Immigration Quotas vs. Individual Rights: The Moral and Practical Case for Open Immigration by Harry Binswanger -- Capitalism Magazine:

"One has rights not by virtue of being an American, but by virtue of being human."

"A job is a role in the production of goods and services"

"Before the 1920s, there were no limits on immigration, yet our standard of living rocketed upward. Self-supporting immigrants were an economic benefit not an injury."

"Immigrants are the kind of people who refresh the American spirit. They are ambitious, courageous, and value freedom. They come here, often with no money and not even speaking the language, to seek a better life for themselves and their children."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Iranian President Declares War on U.S.?

Was Iranian President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush last week a diplomatic overture or a declaration of war? Given Ahmadinejad's millenialist belief system and the Iranian leadership's de facto war with the United States since the 1979, it is not a stretch to conclude the latter is true.

Iran Mocks While Europe Talks

When will the sophisticates of European (and American) diplomacy pull their heads out of the sand and realize they are wasting their time trying to negotiate with Tehran? Hopefully, before the mullahs have the Bomb and it is too late. The Iranian president takes Western diplomatic overtures about as seriously as he takes the rights of his own people, i.e., not at all.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Oil Industry Unapologetic for High Profits - Yahoo! News

Oil Industry Unapologetic for High Profits .....as well they should be given the facts presented in this article:

For their part, the oil companies have been emphasizing that they make far less money on each dollar of sales than many other industries that aren't being excoriated for their capitalism.
Taken together, Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips made a profit of $8.19 on every $100 in sales. In contrast, Internet bellwethers Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc. collectively turned a $19.20 profit on every $100 of their combined revenue.

Calm at the Center of the Storm - New York Times

This excellent piece in the New York Times Op-Ed section today demonstrates how events in Iraq can go right by describing an area in Iraq where events ARE CURRENTLY GOING RIGHT, i.e., where terrorist groups and sectarian millitias are being handled effectively by the local Iraqi police.