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expatriate's picture
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Why Iran Matters

Here's why I get concerned when Obama deals with Iran from a position of weakness.

The big issue here is not a nuclear threat to the US. It's a nuclear threat to Israel. Israel knows its national survival is at stake, and cannot afford to risk a nuclear Iran -- especially given Ahmadinejad's rhetoric about wiping Israel off the map in terms involving fire.

Israel also has a history of demonstrating that it will not accept such a threat. In 1981, they launched a daring long-distance raid that destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor -- and Saddam at the time wasn't being near as beligerant towards Israel as Ahmadinejad is now.

Israel is counting on the US and the world to dismantle Iran's program. But their patience has limits. How do you think Obama is going to respond when Israel uses American aircraft to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities? Now is not the time to be naiive and indecisive -- he can make tough choices now, or make even tougher ones in the future.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1239488114997&pagename=JPost%...

CVC
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Why Iran Matters

Please explain more about how he is dealing with Iran from a position of weakness?

I think we should talk to Iran - not talking to them hasn't worked. I don't think we should act to appease them, but talking is good.

expatriate's picture
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Why Iran Matters

Iran is an extremist nation, led by a guy who thinks its his destiny to hasten the return of the Hidden Imam -- a sort of Shiite messiah. He has been supplying arms and aid to insurgents in Iraq. He's been pursuing nuclear armament in defiance of international condemnation, and building long-range ballistic missile programs. He has repeatedly discussed his desire to achieve the destruction of another state.

Diplomatically, dealing from a position of weakness involves the stronger party approaching the weaker one in a submissive position. Liberals like to think that if you act submissive and non-threatening, your enemies will be appeased and stop being so aggressive. But all the thugs see is weakness and lack of will.

Check out Obama's video message to Iran in the first link, and compare it to Iran's response in the second. In the world of diplomatic confrontation, the first person to blink gets rolled -- and Obama's blinking big time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ee0wrjVtkk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZhS1c_0KsU&feature=related

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Why Iran Matters

Expat as usual makes a pretty good point. We have never had a president or state department that has been entirely successful at dealing with the middle east. We are usualy too weak (Carter) or too heavy handed (Bush II ). Bush 1 did a fairly decent job but even he blew it in the beginning along with Ambassador April Gallespie in miss interpreting signals from Sadam in the first place in Iraq 1. I wish Obama luck in his dealings with this difficult and volitile area. I believe dialoge is needed but he is, I think taking too humble a stance. This may prove dangerous down the road. Iran could very well prove to be the trigger that sets off the middle east. Time will tell.

expatriate's picture
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Why Iran Matters

One problem that has always plagued US foreign policy in the Middle East is that we have a bad tendency to project our own views on their culture, and to view things not as Iranians see them, but as we think we'd see them if we were Iranians. That sort of wishful thinking is coming out right now, and I sincerely hope Obama breaks through his naiive notions and starts dealing with realities soon.

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Why Iran Matters

Expat wrote,

Quote:
One problem that has always plagued US foreign policy in the Middle East is that we have a bad tendency to project our own views on their culture, and to view things not as Iranians see them, but as we think we'd see them if we were Iranians

It took me a paragraph to say what took you a couple of sentences and I still didn't do as good a job. That's it in a nutshell in my opinion.

expatriate's picture
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Why Iran Matters

Here's an example of why I'm worried. The administration is considering backing off the demand that Iran stop its program before talking. In other words, we're saying we won't make any progress toward stopping Iran's nuclear program unless we allow them to keep advancing their program.

This is kind of like walking onto the scene of a domestic and finding a man with a shotgun and a box of shells, threatening to kill his wife. Bush's answer was to demand that he put the gun down. Obama's answer is to tell the guy to go ahead and keep loading the shotgun, because it's important to him and we don't want to look like we're being too forceful. He'll no doubt be more agreeable if we let him lock and load.

Any used car salesman knows that if the customer shows he's willing to give in to your terms before you've given up anything, it's time to find out what else he'll give in to. You can't negotiate successfully if you show your opponent that you're willing to abandon your position at first contact. Concessions need to be purchased, not given away for free. The problem I have with liberal foreign policy is that the more belligerant an opponent becomes, the more concessions they throw on the table. So any idiot can figure out that the smart thing to do is to be as belligerant as possible.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/world/middleeast/14diplo.html

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