Multiple apologies aren’t enough!
Moody: Come on Obama, you’ve done it before
and we know that you can do it again!
Appeasing, placating (and just looking like you’re soft) thuggish regimes, will produce the exact opposite desired results. Obama’s “opened fist” policy towards Iran and other unfriendly regimes is being met with open defiance and ridicule. In other words, It’s not working. With the recent exposure of Iran’s second uranium enrichement facility, comes the call for Obama to apologize yet again.
The Independent: “If nonplussed that the plant’s cover has been so dramatically blown, Iran’s President insisted his government was in compliance with the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency. “This does not mean we must inform Mr Obama’s administration of every facility that we have,” he said. Mr Obama’s claim “simply adds to the list of issues to which the United States owes the Iranian nation an apology over“.
But there’s another side to consider. Barry Rubin, director of the GLORIA center, recently wrote about Iran, and the propensity for such regimes to actually undermine their own set of strategic goals, through their own stupidity, hubris and intransigence.
By that I mean that the enemies of peace, progress, and democracy–Islamists and radical Arab nationalists, terrorists and silly people in the West alike–are so intransigent, obviously lying, and dangerously wrong about society that they will convince and force most people to reject and combat them.Even when thrown lifelines, even when confronted with naiveté, they reject concessions, turn up their nose at compromise, go too far, and make their nonsense so illogical and apparent, as to either teach the naïve in political and intellectual power or persuade others push them aside in order to survive.Today offers some examples of this idea:The presidency of Barack Obama and the relatively soft stands of European states have given Iran a great opportunity. Tehran could have made a show of flexibility, a strong pretense about being cooperative, and met with Obama. This would have forestalled a higher level of Western sanctions, while Iran could still work secretly on nuclear weapons.After all, even after a virtual coup by the most hardline faction, the stolen election, the strong repression, the show trials of dissidents, and the appointment of a wanted terrorist as defense minister [that’s a pretty amazing list, isn’t it?], the West was still willing to deal with the regime.Instead, Iran produced an “offer” to negotiate so minimal that even the Europeans rejected it. While this doesn’t mean all is well—Russia and China will block and sabotage even moderate sanctions; the West Europeans will oppose really strong ones—at least Iran’s last-minute effort to derail the process altogether will fail.Imagine what the Iranian regime could have done if the ruling establishment had let someone less extreme than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad get elected, then claimed this showed what a moderate and democratic state they were running. A charm offensive could have defused the nuclear controversy and the sanctions would have fallen away. Iran would have been set loose and a few years from now could have finished its nuclear program in a relaxed manner.
But this analysis of how this particular mindset works, is indeed valuable, insofar as the West (most importantly the US) does not succumb to an even more stupid approach vis-a-vis the Iranians, where every act of defiance and intransigence is met with even more naive supplications and groveling in order to stave off the inevitable, armed conflict. KGS