By Con George-Kotzabasis
President Obama with his latest commitment to the war in Afghanistan seems to be harking to the realists of his political and diplomatic advisors, such as Richard Holbrooke, and is readying himself to debunk the bunk of his leftist supporters of ending America’s military involvement in the hot spots of the world and adopting and continuing the bellicose policy of the former Bush administration against the terrorist extremists. In his announcement of his ‘new’ policy in Afghanistan he very closely repeated Bush’s words that as President he would not allow Afghanistan to be a safe haven for terrorists that the latter would use once again to attack the American homeland. Hence he clearly coupled the war in Afghanistan with America’s security and therefore made it very difficult for the anti-war movement to continue influencing the silent majority, as it did against the Bush administration, toward a pacifist position since such a position would be senseless and stupid to anyone whose life was under a direct threat. Obama therefore placed himself in a politically strong position that even an increase of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan could not erode since this is the price that America will have to pay for its security. One therefore can say “hats off to Obama,” to quote Robert Kagan from his piece in the Washington Post, for his new strategy in Afghanistan.
What is most worrying however is in verity the president’s new policy in regard to Iran. In his keen propensity to detach himself from the ‘fisticuffs’ policy of his predecessor which he considered to be wrong and politically infertile, Obama, as he had promised during the presidential campaign, is opening the door of diplomacy to the ‘Mullahcratic’ regime hoping that the latter will be susceptible to the diplomatic blandishments and calls of reason that the U.S.A. and Iran could ‘live and let live’ with each other if they had the will and wisdom to change the belligerent attitudes of the past toward each other. This is a laudable aim but the question is whether it will resonate with the Theocratic regime in Tehran. President Obama in his direct address to the Iranian people, in their new year’s day, went out of his way to praise the Islamic Republic and the cultural achievements of its people. But what is in a name when one could praise in the same terms the united republics of the USSR, the republic of Mao’s China, the republic of Cambodia under Pol Pot, and a sundry of ‘genocidal’ republics in Africa with the only difference being that the scale of atrocities are not as high in Iran as they have been with the above blood-lusted republics. But who knows, with a future nuclear armed Iran the latter could surpass them all on the scale of wickedness.
It’s this great danger that a nuclear armed Iran would pose to Western nations and to the U.S. that the latter as the supreme power in the world must prevent. And the ambition of Tehran to acquire a nuclear armoury is un-ambiguous and unyielding. Only few days ago President Ahmadinejad in his address to the Iranian people proudly proclaimed that Iran would not cease its nuclear programme as its achievement is the deserved status of a great nation. It’s obvious that Ahmadinejad took his lines directly from the speech of Obama who praised so exuberantly the Islamic Republic and its cultural achievements. But in the hope of the President that by paying homage and offering peace to the Tehran regime it would de-couple the latter from its religious fanatic nucleus and its great hate toward America, Obama shows himself to be irretrievably naive and abysmally ignorant of the duplicitous enemy he is facing.
The foremost intelligence apparatus in the Middle East the Israeli one had its chief Major General Amos Yadlin saying early this month, …”Iran is continuing to amass hundreds of kilograms of low-enriched uranium, and it hopes to exploit the dialogue with the West and Washington to advance toward the production of an atomic bomb.” Moshe Ya’alon, a former army chief of staff, dismissed the possibility of a revitalized peace process, saying that “the jihadists interpret compromise as weakness.”(M.E.) He cited the withdrawal from Gaza four years ago which many had thought at the time it would debilitate the conflict, instead it encouraged it. And this is exactly how the Iranian leadership sees Obama’s ‘open door’ diplomacy, as a screeching sound of American weakness, as in its eyes the relative isolation of the U.S. among its allies, Russia and China and its inability to persuade the latter to take harder sanctions against them limpidly demonstrates this weakness. And this enfeeblement of the U.S. is further exemplified in Iran’s view by the North Korean defiance in its rocket launching, which, only few months ago in the last days of the Bush administration, was participating in direct talks with U.S envoys in regard to its nuclear programme–that that stalwart and hawk-eyed in foreign affairs John Bolton had predicted with characteristic insight that the talks would come to nothing. If miniscule N. Korea could so brazenly defy the U.S., in spite of the commitments it made during the negotiations, what the great Islamic Republic of Iran would do in future negotiations with the Americans?
President Obama and his close advisers are incapable of realising that an enemy who sees the United States as being politically compelled to negotiate from a weak position cannot be forced by diplomatic means to accept the demand of the Americans and their allies that Iran must cease the development of its nuclear programme. Hence Obama’s administration is setting up its tent of diplomacy in a barren desert where the Iranian diplomatic camels will come empty of any reciprocal ‘gifts’ to the peaceful and morally generous gestures of the Obama administration. It’s inconceivable to imagine, that if not Obama, that some of his close and more astute consigliori are unable to anticipate the futility and dangers of diplomacy with a foe who considers himself to be negotiating from a position of strength. The only result that can come out from such negotiations with the Iranians is for the Americans to come out as losers from this parley or walk out of the talks with the tail in-between their legs in a scornfully embarrassed state.
This will be the fate of President Obama’s diplomatic overture with the Iranian theocratic regime as an outcome of his total inability to “know thy enemy,” a prerequisite, according to the great Chinese strategist and sage Sun Zi, in defeating one’s mortal enemy. But the final judgment on President Obama–the constitutional lawyer and former community organizer, a rookie in the art of statecraft and who in his Prague address beyond proclaiming, with humility soaked in weakness, America’s decline, indulged himself also to make some trite ‘brandy(ed)’ derisive comments about the two great statesmen Churchill and Roosevelt who defeated the Axis powers–who as a result of the pathological hate—which neutralized even the ingrained racism that many Americans have toward blacks–that a great part of the electorate had toward Bush-Cheney and by association the Republicans, was swept by this bitter wind into the Oval Office, will be rendered by a Shakespearean Sovereign, King Lear: “Nothing comes out of nothing.”