The Obama Watch

Obama’s Iran Blunder

Playing politics with Jewish lives.

By 6.17.09

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On its current course, the Middle East is headed for nuclear war. The only question is whether someone will act to take history off that course. That won't be the left wing extremist/narcissist we now have in the White House, who is lost in his own dream world.

Like Adolf Hitler, the theocrats who run Iran have told us exactly what they plan to do. They plan to build nuclear weapons, and use them to "wipe Israel off the map." They have said this plan is rooted in their fundamental religious beliefs and doctrines regarding the return of their God to Earth. They have said they will not abandon this plan for anything, not trade concessions, financial aid from the West, or security guarantees. Their conduct is consistent with carrying out this plan.

Is it remotely rational to laugh off this threat as mere talk? Can Israeli leaders responsible for the security of their people do that? Is that a reasonable national defense policy for an American President responsible for the defense of the American people, who campaigned on maintaining our security commitment to Israel in return for a strong majority of Jewish votes?

Of course not. But so what? That is the policy of our own intellectual elite, the Democrat party controlled national media, and maybe ultimately of our President as well.

The Tottering Iranian Regime

Last weekend's election fiasco in Iran revealed how weak the mullah fascist dictatorship really is. The record turnout with the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad universally recognized as highly unpopular, plus widespread rioting since then, shows the people are fed up with theocratic dictatorship, despite the Potemkin, sham vote tally. The regime's fear of the people is further confirmed by the crackdown on private Internet and cell phone communications, and on opposition rallies. If the country's security forces reach the point where they refuse to shoot unarmed civilians, the mullahs and Ahmadinejad will be gone. But the security forces are not there yet.

The people are not in the streets because they are wild about the top contender on the ballot, Mir Hossein Mousavi. He was only on the ballot because he was mullah-approved in the first place, with hundreds of true reformers denied mullah approval to even run. Mousavi actually started Iran's nuclear program when he served as Prime Minister under the mullahs from 1981 to 1989. As President, he would just continue the mullahs' theocracy, and the nuclear threat to Israel. It would have been a good trick by the mullahs to let him win, which would have deceived most of the West as a fundamental turning point for Iran.

The Iranian people rallied to him only because he was the only game in town. The motivating factor at work is really disgust with Ahmadinejad and his trashing of the economy, his repressive theocratic policies, and his overly aggressive foreign policy talk, which has only stirred up worldwide opposition. But the mullahs stand with him because he truly represents their philosophy, policies, and religious doctrines. Ahmadinejad may also have total, personal control over the Iran Revolutionary Guard, where he originated, and the secret police.

Given this political reality in Iran, and the grave threat the current regime poses for both Israel and the U.S., if America were still a serious country our policy toward Iran would be regime change, to remove the mullahs and their theocracy completely from power, and to establish true democracy. That should begin at a minimum by following the Reagan Doctrine towards the Soviets, with American arms for the Iranian opposition. Sanctions alone would not accomplish much. But trade embargoes adopted in particular by suppliers of refined gas would further weaken the regime, and its military control over the country. That could be upgraded to a full-scale naval blockade, and even military strikes to weaken control over the country by the Revolutionary Guard and other military forces. These steps would be recognized as aiding the revolutionaries. No American invasion would be necessary, just as it was not necessary to bring down the Soviet bloc.

The Obama Narcissism Doctrine

But Obama is not considering any of this. He remains committed to the self-loving, delusional, Narcissism Doctrine he campaigned on. He is still planning to sit down with Ahmadinejad and the other mullah tyrants and sweet talk them into giving up their nuclear program and their aggression against Israel.

This doctrine is based on the utterly false premise that Bush refused to talk to the Iranians, because "not talking to them was somehow punishment for Iran." Quite to the contrary, during most of the Bush Administration multiparty talks proceeded with Iran over its nuclear weapons program through leading European powers, complete with headlines regarding the packages of aid and incentives then Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice was developing and proposing for Iran. The Bush Administration also negotiated with Iran over its activities in supporting counterrevolution in Iraq.

In fact, every President all the way back to Jimmy Carter conducted talks with Iran, begging it to end hostilities. But we never got anything out of it. Carter begged for release of the American hostages, but the Iranians held them until the very moment Reagan was sworn in. How fascinating that during his administration Carter the fool publicly pressured the Shah of Iran endlessly over human rights, until the Shah fell to the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic revolution. But now we hear not a word from Carter about human rights under the far more repressive Islamic theocracy, though Carter is still running his damn fool mouth, even recently approving of Ahmadinejad's "reelection." This is explained by Carter's anti-Americanism, as the Shah was a loyal ally of America, while Iran's Islamic tyrants today are bitterly anti-American.

For Obama, supporting regime change, revolution, popular rule, and human rights would only alienate Ahmadinejad and the rest of the Iranian mullah tyrants he plans to cut a deal with. Any such grand deal would sell out the Iranian people, and the Israeli people as well, who would then be on track for Obama's Holocaust 2.0 by Iranian nuclear annihilation. Given his Muslim sympathies, Obama does not seem to be concerned about that.

Obama seems committed to continuing his talks with Iran's fascist dictators to the very day they conduct their first successful nuclear weapons test, and beyond. During the campaign, he even touted Roosevelt's negotiations with Japan before World War II as a model. Those negotiators were still in Washington on the morning of Pearl Harbor.

When Obama was trying to appear moderate during the campaign despite his history of left-wing extremism, he proclaimed that allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons would be unacceptable. Now that he is safely elected, as Benny Avni wrote in Monday's New York Post: 

The Administration…seems to be backing away from Obama's campaign promise that Iran won't go nuclear on its watch: Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday on "Meet the Press" that "we are not going to allow Iran to go nuclear any more than the rest of the world is going to allow [emphasis added] it."

Indeed, in his wildly overhyped June 4 speech in Cairo, Obama suggested that American nuclear weapons are no more acceptable than Iranian nukes, revealing his inner flower child by saying,

I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. And that's why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.

This anti-American sentiment is common among the Left in America and elsewhere. It is unfair for America to have nuclear weapons, but then to insist that other nations cannot, to the point of threatening war to stop them. This opinion comes from viewing the issue as a citizen of the world, rather than as an American. From an American perspective, I am not interested in being fair to terrorist-sponsoring dictatorships like Iran or North Korea or Syria or anyone else who threatens America with nukes. I am interested in the national defense of America and its people. America has a moral right, and Obama as President of the United States has a moral duty, to stop any nuclear threat against America before any such attack happens, as a matter of national defense.

To have a President of the United States who does not understand this is a developing tragedy for the American people, not to mention Israel, whose own nukes Obama has already suggested are no more legitimate than Iranian nukes. This is the underlying attitude Obama brings to talks with Iran. Not too promising.

Vindication for the Bush Doctrine

Contrary to Obama's delusions, events across the Middle East are now, in fact, vindicating Bush's doctrine of achieving peace by promoting democracy across the region. In Lebanon, elections this month actually increased the margin of the pro-Western governing coalition that chased Syria's army out of the country a few years ago, despite enormous financing out of Iran for the Hezbollah coalition. In Pakistan's elections, the country voted overwhelmingly for secular parties and leaders, rather than Islamist theocrats. The same is true for elections held in Iraq and Kuwait, where even women were voted into the national assembly.

Now elections in Iran have discredited the Iranian theocracy for all to see. Sen. Joe Lieberman has been trying to explain that Bush's doctrine of spreading democracy and human rights around the world was originally the liberal Democrat position. But Obama embraces instead the old Nixon doctrine of Realpolitik, seeking to cut deals with the established dictators from Iran to North Korea to Russia and across the globe.

Obama and his Administration revealed their hopeless naïveté, and again narcissism, in foreign policy by sensing last week a developing Mousavi victory, and seeking to take credit for it as a result already of Obama's knock 'em dead, June 4 Cairo speech. The Democrat party–controlled national media dutifully played this Democrat party line, raising the possibility that the Cairo speech would already show powerful impact in the electoral downfall of Ahmadinejad. But in so brazenly stealing the election, the mullahs have shown how childish Obama and his people were to have believed in the integrity of the Iranian political process. This foolish naïveté comes from the same people who do not even allow free elections in their hometown of Chicago.

Indeed, as Ralph Peters wrote in Tuesday's New York Post,

The ruling mullahs' contemptuous handling of Iran's presidential election was their response to "the Cairo effect" announced a tad prematurely by the White House. Our president's public flagellation of America only emboldened the junta in Tehran -- leaving Iran's power brokers more defiant, determined and dismissive than they've been in years. And the strongest response Obama can muster to the blood in Tehran's streets is: "I am deeply troubled by the violence that I've been seeing on television." How bold, how manly, how inspiring….

As Peters concludes:

But the point really isn't whom the voters chose. It's that Iran's entrenched interests read Obama's meant-to-be-conciliatory remarks as a confession of weakness, a signal that the United States is at the end of its strategic rope. The result was that the mullahs and state corporatists no longer saw a need to play pretend. Bush worried them, Obama doesn't. They judged correctly that Washington wouldn't so much as issue a tough minded statement in response to this mockery of an election. And they were right.

The Netanyahu Doctrine

Instead of pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear threat, Obama instead browbeats Israel for the continuing conflict with the Palestinians. He stated in his Cairo speech,

[I]t is also undeniable that the Palestinian people…have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they've endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations -- large and small -- that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.

But this situation for the Palestinian people is not caused by Israel, which did not drive them out of Israel in the first place, and which has long agreed to a Palestinian state. It is caused by the Palestinians themselves, who have always insisted that they will not live with Israel in peace. Their founding organizational documents, their public statements, their public education, their TV and radio broadcasts, their rejection of more than reasonable Israeli peace proposals all insist that their goal is the destruction of Israel.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last Sunday:

[T]he simple truth is that the root of the conflict was, and remains, the refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own, in their historic homeland. In 1947, when the United Nations proposed the partition plan of a Jewish state and an Arab state, the entire Arab world rejected the resolution. The Jewish community, by contrast, welcomed it….

The Arabs rejected any Jewish state, in any borders. Those who think that the continued enmity toward Israel is a product of our presence in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, are confusing cause and consequence. The attacks against us began in the 1920s, escalated into a comprehensive attack in 1948 with the declaration of Israel's independence, continued with the fedayeen attacks in the 1950s, and climaxed in 1967, on the eve of the Six Day War….All this occurred during the 50 years before a single Israeli soldier set foot in Judea and Samaria."

Netanyahu added:

Many good people have told us that withdrawal from territories is the key to peace… Well, we withdrew. But…every withdrawal was met with massive waves of terror, by suicide bombers, and thousands of missiles….In 2000 and again last year, Israel proposed an almost total withdrawal in exchange for an end to the conflict, and twice our offers were rejected. We evacuated every last inch of the Gaza strip, we uprooted dozens of settlements and evicted thousands of Israelis from their homes, and in response we received a hail of missiles on our cities, towns and children. The claim that territorial withdrawals will bring peace…has up till now not stood the test of reality."

Netanyahu noted that Israel is rooted deep in the history recounted by the Bible, which the Palestinians have also rejected:

The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel has lasted for more than 3,500 years. Judea and Samaria, where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, David and Solomon, and Isaiah and Jeremiah lived, are not alien to us. This is the land of our forefathers. The right of the Jewish people to a state in the Land of Israel does not derive from the catastrophes that have plagued our people. True, for 2,00 years, the Jewish people have suffered expulsions, pogroms, blood libels, and massacres which culminated in the Holocaust….There are those who say that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the state of Israel would not never have been established. But I say that if the state of Israel had been established earlier, the Holocaust would not have occurred.

The Obama Administration fundamentally misconceives the problem of Iran and Islamic terrorism. It is not due to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is the same problem that the Communists and the Fascists had with us. Just as it was with them, the Islamists' ultimate goal is world conquest and domination. And just as did they, the Islamists recognize that America stands in the way of that goal.

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About the Author
Peter Ferrara is Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy at the Heartland Institute, General Counsel of the American Civil Rights Union, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Senior Policy Advisor on Entitlements and Budget Policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.