NYT: This diplomacy dance with Iran isn’t really working out, is it?

posted at 6:49 pm on April 6, 2009 by Allahpundit

They’ve got a crazy hunch that Iran’s just jerking us around to buy time. The obvious solution: More diplomacy.

After 30 years of mutual isolation, we fully support Mr. Obama’s constructive tone and efforts to engage the mullah-led government. But we wonder whether this incremental, seemingly ad hoc approach is best…

The difference [with Bush] is that Mr. Obama is making a serious effort to find common ground with Iran on Afghanistan and Iraq and to dispel the Bush-era threat of regime change. The administration’s decision to invite Iran to the Afghanistan conference was a smart one. It was encouraging that Iran offered to help combat the Afghan drug trade. It would have been even better if it had also promised to stop aiding the Taliban…

Iran has elections this June, and there may be an argument for waiting to see how they play out. But we suspect that subtle and tentative approaches are not going to change much in Tehran.

Mr. Obama will soon have to decide whether to go for a potentially game-changing gesture — like offering to open an interests section or sending his secretary of state to Tehran. That could force Iran’s leaders to make a choice — and leave no doubt in Iranians’ or anyone else’s minds about what it is.

Sending Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang sure “changed the game” in North Korea, didn’t it? In fact, a Hillary visit to Tehran would probably accomplish less than Albright’s visit did for the simple reason that Iran doesn’t seem to crave U.S. recognition as an imprimatur of legitimacy to the extent NK always has. For Kim Jong-Il, having the Americans come to town and implicitly endorse his hermit state was arguably as much of a boost to the country’s prestige as having nukes was. For Khamenei, who commands a regional power, an oil weapon, and proxies in Iraq and Lebanon, owning the first Islamic nuclear weapon in the Middle East is much more prestigious, especially given the amount of nationalist propaganda they’ve poured into it. It’s easy to imagine Clinton being received cordially, promised cooperation on Iraq and Afghanistan in return for lifting the UN sanctions, and being told that nuclear issues are absolutely off the table. In which case the mullahs get their U.S. photo op and keep their trump card. Win/win for them.

Left open in the last paragraph of that blockquote, of course, is what happens if Iran chooses to continue enrichment. What does the Times imagine will happen if they “leave no doubt” in the world’s mind that they intend to press on with nuclearization? More sanctions? That depends on Russia and China, in which case, good luck. A military attack? The One will never go for it; it’s Netanyahu or nothing. In fact, in all my posts about Iran, I don’t think I’ve ever asked what we expect to happen if the diplomacy dance continues until Iran finally announces it has a working nuclear weapon. What’s the punishment going to be in that case? I’d hope that at the very least Obama would refuse to negotiate with them for the remainder of his presidency, but I have a hunch — and I’ll bet Iran does too — that, if anything, he’d be even more anxious to talk at that point to convince them to put down their nuclear scimitar. Which is to say, if Iran really does value a visit from Hillary for its own prestige, why not press on towards the Bomb and then demand she come to town?


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Comment pages: 1 2

If Reagan can fire air controllers and put a bomb in
Qadaffi’s bedroom why is it so difficult for Ed and
Allah to do the nasty to the lowlife trolls at HA?

Baracuda 2012…warts and all

LankyLou on April 6, 2009 at 6:50 PM

lol I was thinking something similar earlier today. Rip on AP regularly and ferociously and call Ed a hack repeatedly and get free reign here at HA, but call CJ disingenuous once during two years at LGF – instant ban.

So come on, AP and Ed, step up your game. :P

OneGyT on April 6, 2009 at 11:38 PM

lol I was thinking something similar earlier today. Rip on AP regularly and ferociously and call Ed a hack repeatedly and get free reign here at HA, but call CJ disingenuous once during two years at LGF – instant ban.

So come on, AP and Ed, step up your game. :P

OneGyT on April 6, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Actually, I’d prefer that they not do that. You have experienced how disgusting the antics of a CJ are when he throws a tantrum and tosses those who dare to disagree with the vaunted “Lizard Master”.

We are all nominally adults here (trolls excepted) and can simply skip past the trolls when they post. Best solution for getalife, capitulation or whatever it calls itself, and the other trolls is to simply ignore them. When you don’t feed a troll, it whithers up and blows away. Well, maybe getalife, I don’t think a bot script cares whether it is ignored — but this would certainly work with the other trolls. It’s not so bad if a leftie could post a cogent argument, but a troll just posts dem talking points followed by a desultory “Heil Obama” and then comes back with ad hominems for refutation when called on it. Those are the trolls to ignore.

Banning should only be for those posting spam or engaging in overtly abusive behavior.

AZfederalist on April 7, 2009 at 12:09 AM

AZfederalist on April 7, 2009 at 12:09 AM

Agreed, actually.

OneGyT on April 7, 2009 at 12:38 AM

BREAKING: people don’t always say what they really mean.

sesquipedalian on April 6, 2009 at 7:38 PM

When Saddam said that Kuwait is part of Iraq, everybody thought he was just employing ‘empty arab rhetoric’. In one book I read, they used that as an example to show that Arabs are satisfied with words, and don’t need acts. One day, Iraq invades Kuwait. The world was just *shocked*. So what if Saddam warned everybody for a whole decade.

Phoenician on April 7, 2009 at 1:24 AM

MB4 on April 6, 2009 at 8:34 PM

Where did you hear that Israel possesses H-bombs? That wasn’t the impression I’ve gotten from my reading.

CK MacLeod on April 7, 2009 at 1:35 AM

Sending Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang sure “changed the game” in North Korea, didn’t it?

She’s actually the basis for the Korean legend of the Bulyeowoo, a wolf that is more than 100 years old and can be disguised as a woman.

Jim Treacher on April 7, 2009 at 4:15 AM

Come on…we know what’s gonna happen. Let’s just admit it.

Obama’s not gonna do squat let alone accomplish anything
Netanyahu knows this
Netanyahu will not hesitate
Netanyahu will not notify
Saudis and Jordan will give a winkwinknudgenudge to IAF since they don’t want Iranian nukes either
IAF strikes Iran
Iran fires back
Iranian ballistic missiles go towards US forces & US forces HAVE to respond
Netanyahu can then use US forces as buffer to Iranian attacks since Americans are literally caught in the middle

The only questions left are:
WHEN
and
How can it end?

scottm on April 7, 2009 at 6:55 AM

It was encouraging that Iran offered to help combat the Afghan drug trade. It would have been even better if it had also promised to stop aiding the Taliban…

The Iranians only care about the drug trade because they have a raging opium problem within their own borders. This should come as no surprise to the “no blood for oil” crowd.

What’s the punishment going to be in that case?

Much like the punishment they got when they took those hostages and held them for 444 days: Begrudging acceptance.

Kafir on April 7, 2009 at 7:46 AM

kafir: taking those hostages lost carter an election. but bambi doesn’t know his history. he is losing his next election every day as we type.

kelley in virginia on April 7, 2009 at 7:52 AM

Pardon my assumption, but does the above indicate that Tel Aviv would not be enticing/important to the Iranians?

i don’t think so. dropping it would be the ultimate call, and while they would hit a large number of citizens in tel aviv, there are few military or government targets in the area. israel would still have a relatively large standing army, functioning government and nuclear counter-strike capability. and it’s not “wiping israel off the map” either.

sesquipedalian on April 7, 2009 at 8:05 AM

Above his pay grade.

bluelightbrigade on April 7, 2009 at 8:09 AM

Maybe they’ll give up the bomb if we promise never to send that dimwitted, overbearing and undereducated old nag in curlers, Hillary Rodham.

She’s ready to take that 3 a.m. call – from Bill, he’s drunk again and he wants a divorce.

NoDonkey on April 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Banning should only be for those posting spam or engaging in overtly abusive behavior.

AZfederalist

I like to think that AP knows that his arrogant, condescending, snarky sarcasm will be returned in kind. I suspect he may enjoy it. Ed doesn’t drip with nearly as much sarcasm so most disagreements (trolls excepted) tend to be polite. Well, maybe a little snarky.

SKYFOX on April 7, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Comment pages: 1 2