Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't Anger the Ayatollah

"U.S. Struggling for Right Response to Iran." That's the title of an article in today's Washington Post. But the subhead really caught my attention:  "Obama Seeks Way to Acknowledge Protesters Without Alienating Ayatollah." Alienate an inveterate enemy of the U.S.? Oh no, we can't possibly risk that. Here's how the Post puts it.
The political unrest in Iran presents the Obama administration with a dilemma: keep quiet to pursue a nuclear deal with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, or heed calls to respond more supportively to the protesters there -- and risk alienating the Shiite cleric.

This one paragraph illustrates just how clueless the Obama administration is when it comes to foreign policy. The so-called "dilemma" is false. A "nuclear deal" with Iran is a terrible idea in the first place. As usual, Democrats and their enablers have learned nothing from their past support of failed appeasement policies. Any deal with Iran will simply assist it in obtaining nuclear technology. Iran hasn't spent all this time and effort, and endured various sanctions and difficulties in international relations, to give up their nuclear program. It's time to stop being delusional. Let's drop the pretense that some sort of deal with an untrustworthy regime can magically make the problem go away.

U.S. support for the protesters is another questionable proposition. Here's where I differ with many on the right. Why should the U.S. care if another enemy takes Ahmadinejad's place? As long as the clerical rulers retain supreme power, the results of their sham election don't mean all that much to the U.S.  Can we destroy the regime by backing the protesters? If we could, then I'd be all for it. But open support by the U.S. will give credence to the regime's claims of foreign interference. At this point, expressing U.S. support would appear to be nothing more than a possibly counterproductive feel-good exercise.

I don't know what kind of intelligence assets we have in Iran. But if we do anything, that would appear to be the best way to go. Give clandestine support to any anti-government efforts, try to keep the pot boiling, and hope the situation snowballs, causing the collapse of the regime. That's probably an unlikely scenario, but you never know.

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