Republicus

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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Iran Plays Toughguy (Behind Bodyguards)


(AP Photo/Hans Punz)
By GEORGE JAHN
(Associated Press )

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Iran threatened the United States with "harm and pain" Wednesday for its role in hauling Tehran before the U.N. Security Council over its disputed nuclear program.

"The United States has the power to cause harm and pain," Iran said a statement meant for delivery at the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board meeting in Vienna on Iran's refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.

"But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll
."

note by Republicus: Whoa. Hold it right there. Did Iran just say "Bring it on?"

"Surely we are not naive about the United States' ... intention to flex muscles," said the statement. "But we also see the bone fractures underneath."

note by Republicus: Yes, Iran did say "Bring it on"!

This explains a lot about what has been going on (from the Iranian-backed violence in Iraq to the incitement of violence over the Dutch cartoons in the Arab street across the region): Iran thinks that the United States is "walking wounded"--with a fractured skeleton behind its rippling physique-- and is close to tipping.

It is wagering--like Bin Laden did--that the U.S. is "a paper tiger," if not by mettle (as Bin Laden misjudged), then, by now, of ability.

The highway of American history has plowed through and paved over the miscalculations of many sabre-rattlers as it stretches--untenuated--towards its manifest--and benevolent-- Destiny.

Others who lost the bet--to name a few-- include Great Britain, Mexico, Spain, the Kaiser's Germany, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Quadaffi's Libya, Noriega's Panama, the Soviet Union, Taliban Afghanistan, and Saddam's Iraq.

There are many reasons why Iran thinks that the United States may have reached a tipping point, and those will be discussed in a pending post, but one of the reasons that seems to encourage Iran's own gambit (ours is Iraq) is the belief--as pounded ad nauseum by antiwarriors for years and as supported somewhat in international polls-- that the U.S. is "hated" by the world over and is now isolated and, "in fact," attenuated, and ripe for plucking.

But that has always been nonsense. Such a mischaracterization--i.e. that President Bush is so wickedly inept (or incompetently evil) that the whole civilized world now hates us-- is simply part of the rabid Bush-Hating Left's WAY over-the-top propaganda that raises the volume of any sound made by the administration to a Spinal-Tapesque "11" (and hence every sound made cacophonically loud and unbearable).

Incidently, what helped fuel the charge that "Bush unconscionably offended our best allies and now the whole civilized world hates us" was, first of all, Bush's rejection of the Kyoto Treaty ("Ooo! How dare he?!?"), and then his head-butting and bowling over of the corrupt United Nations in order to get to Iraq.

Both of those "unilateral" actions angered--first and foremost-- anti-industrial/corporate environmentalists and those who desire globalization not with the United States at the vanguard (or at the very least as a primus inter pares), but under the auspices of the United Nations, which itself had been infiltrated by anti-Western Dictators and Jihadists, and was manipulated by such "allies" that were doing under-the-table business--in spite of the U.N.'s own resolutions!--with Saddam Hussein, namely: France and Germany.

Much of the Bush-Hating propaganda was rubber-stamped by those very camps (including anti-Western dictators and Jihadists).

But former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder-- a fierce critic of the Bush administration, an outspoken Hillary-supporter for '08, and one who warned the US to back away from the possibility of military action against Iran over its nuclear program-- was voted out of office (and is now a shill for an oil company!).

French President Chirac, for his part, threatened--on January 19-- to unilaterally launch a nuclear strike against any country that sponsors a terrorist attack against French interests.

They've been Bushified.

They've come to their senses and are providing a unified front--with the United States at the vanguard, if not a primus inter pares-- against Iran's game of chicken.

France, Germany and Britain spearheaded the February 4 IAEA resolution and cleared rthe path for Security Council action, warning that what is known about Iran's enrichment program could represent only "the tip of the iceberg."

"Tip of the iceburg" is the same kind of talk you heard coming out of the Bush Administration vis-a-vis intelligence on Iraqi WMD.

They've come around, this time around.

"We believe that the time has ... come for the U.N. Security Council to reinforce the authority" (of the IAEA and its board), said a draft statement by the three European countries.

The shoe is on the other foot now (where it belongs), in regards to who's "isolated" and mistrusted by the civilized, Western world: It is Iran, not the United States.

Or is it?

Iran is not a mouse that's roaring, but the third-grade, playground punk that's behind two body-guarding sixth-graders:

"Stronger action may elude the council. Russia and China, which have Security Council vetoes, may use them to foil any resolution in that chamber that would meaningfully increase pressure on Iran, their political and economic ally." (GJ)

Interestingly, a re-alignment seems to be occuring that resembles the Cold War geopolitical configuration, with this difference: With an eye on a common rival for resources--i.e. the West-- and the long run, China and Russia may see the practicality of getting chummy (a relationship they failed to nurture and capitalize on during the Cold War) and counteracting what will be favored American access to Iraqi petroleum (and you can be damn sure that when Bush said that Iraqi oil will pay for the war, he meant it) by getting their very own pipelines into Iran.

Whatever is going on in the minds of geopolitical power-players, one thing is certain: Iran must not be allowed to cook uranium at this juncture.

9 Comments:

Blogger the liberal samurai said...

John,

I have to disagree with your assessment of France and Germany as "Bushified". Chirac said he would attack if terrorist nations attack France. Even a lefty like myself had no problem with bombing the bejeezus out of Afghanistan. Its a pre-emptive strike against a country with only circumstantial evidence is what we had a problem with. Iran is BOASTING about its plans to join the nuclear club. I don't see our allies coming to our way of thinking anymore than I see us showing restraint by not advocating immediate regime change.

1:20 PM  
Blogger John said...

Sanjay said:

"I have to disagree with your assessment of France and Germany as "Bushified". Chirac said he would attack if terrorist nations attack France.... I don't see our allies coming to our way of thinking."

I don't think Chirac would've sabre-rattled The Bomb as advertised retaliation for a generic "attack" by terrorists if there wasn't a dramatic seachange in temperament.

What would Chirac--among others-- have said if Bush made a similiarly explicit threat, not too long ago?

Can you imagine what Chirac would've said if Bush--without any ado-- nuked the Taliban (with all the environmental consequences)?

He'd be crying foul to high heaven.

You applaud the fierce bombing of Afghanistan (which isn't typical of all lefties, as many--if not most-- Left-wing antiwar outfits damn both military operations alike), but what would you, also, have said if Bush bypassed the Daisy Cutters and MOABs and--what the hell--opened the silos?

And even the "war-monger" Bush has never used the "N" word (i.e. "Nuclear"), but only went so far as to say "All options are on the table."

It's quite possible that Chirac merely had a belated, French fit of pride after all the abusive jokes about France's sorry war-record and their pattern of least resistance (which is unfair, as the French Resistance of WWII was as dogged as any Iraqi insurgency--though, of course, far more gallant) and blurted that out to re-assert his Gallic manhood, but that's the kind of macho cowboy talk that he had quite recently ridiculed Bush for, again not too long ago.

More significantly, when I said that they've been 'Bushified" (i.e. came to their senses, heh) I was not referring so much to any political swaggering and toughguy rhetoric but to their realization of the reality of the Bush Administration's warnings and rhetoric about the very real threat of the rising tide of Jihadism, warnings that were ridiculed as xenophobic paranoia by the proud, wordly Frenchman and other European sophisticates, once again, not too long ago.

Europeans now question their once hallowed sense of multiculturalism in which Muslim minorities were not encouraged to assimilate at home and Islamic terrorists abroad were seen as anomalous, militant extremists with a limited issue against Israel--and so were contained-- rather than enemies hell-bent on destroying the West.

But then you had the bombings in Madrid and London, riots in France, the fatwa and murder in liberal utopia Holland, vaunted European diplomacy failing with the theocrats in Iran, and the burning of embassies and continental upheaval over cartoons, all of which compelled the hitherto suave charmer Chirac to straighten up and stuff a nuclear missile in his crotch.

And it's about time.

Jihadists do not appreciate--or respect-- the "Let's be fwendz" shtick.

They see it as weakness, and as an opportunity to deceive.

When Israel dragged it's own people away from their homes in the Gaza Strip FOR PEACE, Republicus approved, but ONLY because it would show--to the whole world, once and for all--the respective true colors.

Was Israel's efforts at peace--the sacrifice of her own national interest-- appreciated?

No. It was interpreted as weakness, and inspired another round of exulting "Death to Israel!"

"...anymore than I see us showing restraint by not advocating immediate regime change."

It's not, as you suggest, "restraint." We can't, and we shouldn't. The Iranians--like the Palestinians--played by the principles of Democracy and won, fair and square.

That doesn't mean we have to embrace the result.

But it does mean that the problem is even deeper than we thought, i.e. we hoped that, given a chance, "The People" would throw the theocratic bums out by voting for moderation and modernity.

But they didn't. They validated them. And that's unfortunate, but was a noble miscalculation.

"Iran is BOASTING about its plans to join the nuclear club."

Are you suggesting that it's an empty boast? That we shouldn't take them seriously, and even humor them?

Iran's behind a lot of the destabilizing bloodshed in Iraq and the rabble-rousing across two continents.

6:26 PM  
Blogger the liberal samurai said...

I do think we should treat them seriously; but at the same time rely on what kept all the members of the nuclear club in check during the cold war. Mutually Assured Desctruction (MAD fitting isn't it!) If we're really worried about terrorist getting ahold of them; lets not forget that Pakistan (Where Osama remember him) is hiding out has had it for years. I think Europe is just talking, until I see them put some muscle behind their talk; I won't be convinced they've been Bushified.

7:27 PM  
Blogger John said...

"I do think we should treat them seriously; but at the same time rely on what kept all the members of the nuclear club in check during the cold war."

The Soviets or the Red Chinese weren't willing to commit suicide if it meant taking out their hated enemy.

"Mutually Assured Desctruction (MAD fitting isn't it!)"

Yup. But it did work with a sane opponent.

I'd never want to go through that again--though it appears that's what's keeping India and Pakistan in their respective corners of the ring.

Nevertheless, the allowed, Clinton-era nuclear-arming of Pakistan was a mistake.

"If we're really worried about terrorist getting ahold of them; lets not forget that Pakistan (Where Osama remember him) is hiding out has had it for years."

But that's only because of Musharaff. If he's overthrown by a Jihadist coup (quite possible), I would expect the United States to neutralize any delivery systems.

"I think Europe is just talking, until I see them put some muscle behind their talk; I won't be convinced they've been Bushified."

Yes, they've got a ways to go, but you can be damn sure that they're rueing the day they opened the door for a new Al-Andulus by the river Seinne.

7:58 AM  
Blogger amy said...

AH, it's been too long since I've seen Sanjay debate a Rightie. *sigh* Good times.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Lol at "Bushified". I would agree with this statement even more if France blew up or went to war with the wrong country.

As for your debate on whether the threat made by Iran to join the nuclear pack is empty: A threat is a threat. Even if Iran is just bluffing, can we really afford to sit back and take that chance?

3:37 PM  
Blogger John said...

Jessy laughed:

"Lol at 'Bushified'. I would agree with this statement even more if France...went to war with the wrong country."

Ha, ha, ha.

OR...if Chirac managed to preside over less than a 5% unemployment rate for his country!

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John said:

"Nevertheless, the allowed, Clinton-era nuclear-arming of Pakistan was a mistake. "

Wow,,,Clinton was responsible for that too? Amazing since Pakistans nuclear program began in the early 70's and exploded their first nuke in the mid to late 80's.

What else is Clinton responsible for?

So when are we going to attack Iran?

1:55 PM  
Blogger John said...

John said:

"Nevertheless, the allowed, Clinton-era nuclear-arming of Pakistan was a mistake."

Anonymous responded:

"Wow,,,Clinton was responsible for that too? Amazing since Pakistans nuclear program began in the early 70's and exploded their first nuke in the mid to late 80's."

Yes. Republicus stands corrected. He was thinking of North Korea.

Thank you for pointing that out.

Nevertheless, it was Clinton era appeasement that allowed all sorts of WMD-technology to circulate from China to Pakistan to North Korea with impunity.

The North Koreans proved Clinton a fool.

And he paid them to do it.

"What else is Clinton responsible for?"

Clinton era appeasement was greatly responsible for the increasing ruthlessness of Islamic terrorism throughout the 1990's, giving Bin Laden cause to characterize the United States as "a paper tiger" and spin the 9/11 plot in full confidence.

"So when are we going to attack Iran?"

Ask Israel.

6:03 PM  

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