Reply to American To Miss Opportunity for Rapprochement with Iran Will Have Big Consequences

By Con George-Kotzabasis

It will have even bigger consequences if it succeeds by wishful thinking.  Rapprochement in itself is meaningless unless there is clear and unambiguous understanding and agreement between the parties about the conditions of such rapprochement. It would be a mistake to deduce from the rhetorically conciliatory statements of President Rouhani that Iran has abandoned its desire to acquire nuclear weapons. And to differentiate himself from the holocaustian statements of his predecessor, Ahmadinejad, is hardly an indication that the new regime is repudiating its clandestine goal to develop a nuclear weapon. Only if Rouhani allows open and rigorous inspections in all areas of Iran where Western intelligence cogently suspects the secret development of a nuclear weapon will the experts be convinced that Iran has changed tack in regard to its nuclear arsenal.

It is more probable, because Rouhani perceives a weak president in the United States, he will be exploiting that weakness to achieve Iran’s historic and Islamic aim to enter the nuclear club by persuading Obama about the peaceful purpose of Iran’s nuclear build-up. Rouhani is aware that Obama needs and desires a suspension of tensions so he will have the excuse to take all options off the table and thus as an incompetent and effete president tranquilize himself by false hopes. And Rouhani and his advisors know, that this détente can be achieved on promissory notes that will never be cashed. Thus by providing Obama the confidence that he can come to a reasonable agreement with Iran, Rouhani achieves two diplomatic goals. (1) He defers USA action from resolving speedily and decisively the issue of nuclear weapons by creating the euphoria that this matter can be resolved by prolonged negotiations, a dilatoriness that Obama is most happy to accept as he desires to push the hard options, if they are needed, in the future ahead with the hope that they will never be used, and which also suits Rouhani perfectly as it will give Iran more time to achieve its strategic goal to build the bomb. And (2) weakening Israel’s resolve to unilaterally attack Iran’s nuclear installations, if other Western states are found to be wanting in stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear armaments, by isolating Israel from its major ally, the USA, and from other Western nations, and thus making it more difficult for Israel to strike.

It is for this reason that Clemons should be more restrained in his optimism of the opportunity of reaching a rapprochement with Iran when a more sinister and malign opportunity could be hidden behind the apparently benign talk of Rouhani.

 

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The Diplomatic Peregrinations in the Holy Land of a Lacklustre Strategist

I’m republishing the following article that was written on October 2011 for the readers of this blog, as Leo Panetta has been replaced by President Obama by an even worse politician Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

By Con George-Kotzabasis October 7, 2011

The “lion” appointed by President Obama to the office of Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, who purportedly is defending America and the West from deadly foes, in his latest visit to the Middle East is advising Israel, from his Olympian heights, ‘to take risks for peace.’ This advice, however, is redundant, superfluous, and otiose and Prime Minister Netanyahu has every reason to reject and oppugn such crass “displaced” advice. Israel had already taken risks in the past with no benefit accruing to it, least of all peace. It had withdrawn from Gaza and re-settled its citizens within the borders of Israel with the result that Gaza was taken over by the terrorist organization Hamas and Israel had to defend itself from a rain of rockets fired by the militants of Hamas; and it had likewise withdrawn from South Lebanon only for the latter to be taken over by the other blade of the terrorist scissors Hesbollah, that also started firing rockets against Israel forcing the latter to invade South Lebanon to protect its citizens from being killed. Israel had taken all these risks for peace. But what did it get in return, a deluge of rockets. What other risks Secretary Panetta has in mind for Israel that would bring the up till now eluding peace to the Middle East? For the Israelis to wait until Hamas and Hesbollah load the tips of their rockets with nuclear devices supplied in the near future by Iran? And what precautions and preventive measures the U.S. is taking to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

The answer to these questions lies in the further advice that the Secretary of Defence is giving to Israel. He tells it not to take “lone” action against Iran in its threat to develop nuclear weapons. Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal, he says, is the responsibility of major nations taking concerted diplomatic action. But this is a “Looney” policy that the Secretary is recommending to the Israelis. It has been tried so many times in the past and it has failed resoundingly. The Islamist regime is not going to change course in its determination to possess nuclear weapons by a truckload of diplomatic carrots but only by an “armada” of bristling porcupines that will pierce its thick skin. Diplomacy can succeed with the Iranian regime only if it is accompanied by the explicit threat of arms.

Leon Panetta has the sinews of a lamb disguised under the skin of a lion. His peregrinating debut in the Holy Land and his attempt to bring, as the “envoy” of the also weak President Obama, Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiating table will prove to be an abject failure, like all the previous efforts of his predecessor Senator Mitchell, also appointed by Obama. As we have predicted, the Obama presidency is a circus of under-performing political tyros, both in the international and domestic arena and more and more Americans are realizing this and are becoming disenchanted with Obama’s performance. The “sprightly colt”, who won the race to the White House with overwhelming support only two and a half years ago, is presently underwhelmed and is conceding to be the underdog in the 2012 elections. (See Obama’s interview with George Stefanopoulos on the ABC.)

Left is Wrong: Deterrence Will Not Work

By Con George-Kotzabasis April 3, 2012

A reply to: Right is Wrong: Deterrence Will Work by Fareed Zakaria

The Australian March 20, 2012

The American political commentator, Fareed Zakaria argues in the above titled article in The Australian that even if sanctions against Iran fail to prevent the latter from acquiring a nuclear arsenal, it can be deterred from using it by the preponderance of the U.S.A. in the firepower of its own nuclear weapons. Therefore, such a policy, according to Zakaria is better and safer than a policy of preventative military action with all the imponderable dangers that would stem from it. And he ridicules and is scornful of the conservative right, such as The Heritage Foundation and The American Enterprise Institute, for arguing of the ineffectiveness and futility of deterrence against the regime of the Mullahs, and, therefore, proposes a major military strike to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. In support of his policy of deterrence he quotes the conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, from an article the latter wrote in The New Republic in the eighties—while making fun of him since Krauthammer now is in favour of a military strike–that “deterrence, like old age, is intolerable until one considers the alternative.” Topping up his argument or should I rather say bottoming it down, Zakaria alleges that a strike against Iran would only delay its nuclear programme by only “a few years while driving up domestic support for the government in Tehran.” And he sedately poses the question that “if deterrence does not work then why are we not preparing preventative war against Russia which still has a fearsome arsenal of nuclear weapons?”

Zakaria completely disregards the fact that Russia today is not a deadly enemy of the West as it was in the past, unlike the Theocracy of Iran which clearly is. Further, as a serious commentator surprisingly he does not make a distinction between attacking a country that is fully armed with nuclear weapons that would open the doors of the MAD house to both combatants as such attack would lead to their Mutual Assured Destruction, and a country that lacks a nuclear stockpile as Iran at this stage is. It was precisely this mutual annihilation hovering like a Damocles Sword over the heads of the two rational superpowers that prevented them from attacking each other during the cold war. And the Cuban crisis was a limpid illustration of how both superpowers withdrew from the brink of this mutual destruction. But in the case of a nuclear armed Iran, one would have to be highly optimistic against the grim fact that the animus of a religious fanatic leadership, whose aim is to set up the new Caliphate of the twelfth imam Mahdi, would be supplanted by the dictates of reason and would desist, either directly or through its terrorist proxies, to launch a nuclear attack.

Moreover, Zakaria is oblivious of two substantial factors that make incomparable the situation existing during the cold war and the present situation of the hot war of multi-franchised ‘anarchic’ terror, in regards to deterrence. One of them is technological and the other is the strategically unidentifiable non-recognizable enemy until the moment he acts. Advanced technological knowhow is being easily accessed through the internet by the masses giving any individual with rudimentary knowledge the ability to construct lethal weapons, and, indeed, nuclear ones once their components are provided by rogue states, and has at the same time opened variable avenues to their portability to the countries against which they can be used. The second factor is the ample supply of Islamist mujahedin martyrs, in their ardent chase of the seventy-two virgins, camouflaged in civilian clothes, has also opened innumerable strategically invisible conduits for the delivery of these lethal weapons that can be used by any Islamist regime against the ‘Great Satan’, America, and its offspring in the West. Iran therefore can use stealthily these terrorists as ‘rocket launchers’ laden with nuclear weapons against any Western country it wishes to attack without identifying itself as the culprit that would immediately trigger a counterattack by the West. In such a situation therefore deterrence is totally a futile and ineffective strategy, and most dangerous to boot, in preventing an Islamist regime to launch a nuclear attack on America or on any other Western country. How can anyone deter fanatics from becoming nuclear weapon carriers in their pursuit of God-given paradisiac boudoirs? How can anyone deter the Islamist theocracy of Iran, with its virile libido dominandi to be the dominant power in the region and the paramount leader of Islam, from recruiting terrorists, with the cult of death as their banner, and ‘donning’ them with a panoply of nuclear weapons to be used against the infidels of the West? Or use them directly against Israel and thus fulfil its Godly agenda in annihilating the Jews? Zakaria by not seeing, and even not contemplating, this changed war milieu that exists presently in comparison to the cold war, makes his strategy of deterrence against Iran a folly of unprecedented magnitude in the annals of strategic thinking.

As to his comment, that a strike against Iran would only delay its nuclear programme while lending support to the Mullahcratic regime, he is blind to the great potential that such a surgical strike, whose target will not only be its nuclear facilities but also will have in its scope to effectively destroy the hated leadership of Tehran and the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, the Quds Force, contrary to his dire prediction, could bring on its heel a regime change by ushering the Opposition in power that would be friendly and amicable to the West and would accept and conform to the requests of the latter to stop all Iran’s activities toward developing nuclear weapons in the future. Another great danger, of which Zakaria appears to be unconcerned, is that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran would start a nuclear race by other nations in the region to acquire them too and hence would augment the probability of a nuclear war either by deliberation or by accident. No deterrence could nullify the calculus of probability based on increasing numbers. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by a greater number of nations would lead with mathematical precision to a first strike by a nuclear device. Zakaria’s proposal of deterrence as an effective strategic instrument against Iran is not worthy of consideration by serious policymakers.

I rest on my oars: your turn now…

 

Obama Plays the Rich Pay Tax Card amidst the Poorness of his Stewardship

By Con George-Kotzabasis—February 18, 2012 campaign, obama,

In his State of the Union address President Obama has abandoned the “hope and change” of his past presidential campaign and replaced it with “equality and fairness” for his future one. How is he going to accomplish the noble values of equality and fairness, by changing the tax code that would severely tax the incomes of the rich; by organizing watchdog agencies that would round-up Wall Street miscreants; by sending the seals to capture Chinese DVD pirates; and by compelling students to stay in high school until the age of 18? The former community organizer-enforcer that threatened bankers in his Chicago days with law suits if they were unwilling to provide loans to non-creditworthy borrowers, is now to enforce the rich to put their pound of flesh on the tax scale weighing at least 30% of their income, according to the “Warren Buffett Rule.” It is by such measures that the physically sprightly moving president will bring with Mercurial speed to the door of every ordinary American the goodies of “equality and fairness.”

Obama cannot run on his record—he barely mentioned in his Union address Obamacare and the stimulus, his major but questionable legislative achievements-but only on a re-run of new false promises. Equality and fairness cannot be achieved by minor legislative measures that he proposes but only by major ones, such as tax reform and entitlement reform, the core measures that would spawn the seeds for the growing of those noble values. The first generates social equity plus economic efficiency, and the second generates social justice plus debt reduction. It is by economic efficiency and debt reduction that the vital spirits of capitalist entrepreneurship will be incentivized and in turn set in motion the productive process that will increase the wealth of society and by spreading it to a greater number of people will reduce inequality and unfairness among Americans.

The taxing of the rich will bring negligible revenue for Obama to accomplish his grandiose scheme of equality and fairness. On the contrary it will sterilize the vital spirits of entrepreneurs and stifle capital investment, especially in conditions of recession, hence retarding economic growth, and indeed, deepening the slump, as Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said in his rebuttal of Obama’s State of the Union address.  Therefore Obama’s proposal to tax the rich is another seductive but false promise, like his past promises, by which he is attempting once again to mislead and delude Americans that by taxing those who earn more than a million and by ‘barking’ against Wall Street greed he will create a socially fairer America.

Another central feature of his Union address was the praising of the armed forces for their solidarity and discipline, with which they achieve their great missions, and using them as a template to be adopted and imitated by all Americans, so they too can accomplish their aims in their pursuance of building a more prosperous and equal America. It is good to see the anti-war Obama extolling the virtues of the military and making them a model for the United States. But he overlooks the fact that the virtues of war are not applicable to, and are not, the virtues of civil peace. The qualities of solidarity and discipline are a prerequisite in war for defeating an enemy; but are an obstruction in search of knowledge that enhances techno-scientific economic development. Copernicus and Galileo had to break the disciplinarian regimen of the Catholic Church to make their breakthrough to their great scientific discovery. Great minds and their discoveries do not flourish in the restricted practices of solidarity and discipline but in the spiritual freedom that has no constraints.

One can hardly think that Obama is ignorant or unaware of this distinction. Therefore one must deduce that the admiration of Obama for the military virtues is only a post sop to the warriors of Iraq and Afghanistan, whom before he became president and in the initial stages of his presidency, consider them to be inept and useless in their fight against Islamic terror, and whom he would replace with his soft power policy and highfalutin diplomacy which completely failed to entice either al Qaeda or the Taliban, as well as the regime of terrorist sponsoring Iran, to come to the negotiating table. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The respect of President Obama for the military is shown in his latest proposal of cutting the army by 100,000; by the delayed production of helicopters and stealth jets; and by the elimination of one-tenth of the Air Force’s tactical fighter squadrons. And the savings of these cuts in a budget of over a trillion dollars will be for this year 4.5 billion dollars. It is by such tricks that Obama proposes to reduce the budget spending of the government while at the same time truly reducing the hard power of America that is the sine qua non  in its security and stability, and, indeed, of the rest of the world in our very dangerous times. As for being praised for killing bin Laden what else could he do, once he was informed by the CIA that a highly placed al Qaeda subject was living in the compound with the possibility that this subject might be bin Laden himself, other than sending the seals to kill him? The American electorate would have never forgiven him if, having this knowledge, he had done nothing.

Obama failed in his stewardship as president, due to his wont to imitate the social democratic policies of Europe—Obamacare was his top example—internally to improve the economy and reduce markedly unemployment, and externally in his foreign policy to effectively constrain the rogue states of N. Korea and Iran from continuing their belligerent threats toward the U.S. and the rest of the West, and in particular preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The latest proposal by Iran to participate in negotiations to discuss its nuclear programme is a ruse on its part with the purpose to check Israel from attacking its nuclear facilities and thus saving its nuclear bomb that is rocked in its cradle. And the Americans according to the statement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have accepted with alacrity this Iranian proposal without any preconditions. Thus the Iranians have rolled out the Persian carpet of diplomatic deception and subterfuge for the Obama Administration to walk on.   Further, Obama in his attempt to “reset the button” with Russia has been effectively aborted, as exemplified by his inability to persuade the latter either in the case of Libya or Syria not to use its veto in the Security Council. It is for the purpose of covering all the above failures that Obama plays the rich pay tax card amidst the poorness of his stewardship, and in his goal to win a second term by cunningly deceiving Americans once again.

I rest on my oars: your turn now…

Is Clemons Serious a Muslim President in our Times?

By Con George-Kotzabasis

And at the end a reply by Steve Clemons of the Washington Note

If Obama, a non-Muslim, has a Muslim advisor and America has a Muslim Ambassador to the UN then the corollary to this is, if Clemons follows his logic rigorously, that America whilst is engaged in a mortal fight with Muslim extremists in a long war, could also have a moderate Muslim, like Zalmay Khalilzad, as president.

Is Clemons, as the impresario of the liberal left, staging a burlesque comedy of American politics, hoping the hopeless, that it will have box office success in the present circumstances? (Read the November Congressional elections.) But I guess it’s a great virtue and “knightly” intellectual bravery to be optimistic in the most pessimistic circumstances.

Steve Clemons replies,

Dear Kotzabasis — In this presidential race, we have had competing the first viable female candidate, the first African-American candidate, and the oldest to ever to run as his party’s nominee — This is historic. Yes, if we had a Muslim president, a gay president, an Asian-American president, a Jewish president, a Hispanic president — in our future….America would be well off I think if the person in question could prevail over the challenges of the day.

Thanks much for your attention, which is always dramatic, and appreciated.

best, steve clemons

vvvvvvvv

The Intellectual Cheating of Liberals

A short reply to a Liberal –By Con George-Kotzabasis

Clearly your vocation in the ‘market of argument’ is to be a peddler in non sequiturs. Why are you shifting the ground of the argument, is it because your pockets are empty of all coins of counter reasoning on the issue? The question as was initially put by Clemons’s use of the Bolton quote was not whether Israel’s and America’s wars were self-defensive or not but whether there was “moral equivalence” between the deliberate and non-deliberate killing of civilians. Clemons by cheating intellectually, by speciously transforming this argument of moral equivalence into an argument of devaluation of “Muslim and Arab lives” has made himself intellectually and morally persona non grata.

Talleyrand, eloquently and boldly said the following in the face of Napoleon, when the latter deposed the legitimate Ferdinand II and placed his own brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, “Sire, un enfant de famille may gamble away his last farthing—the heritage of his ancestors—the dower of his mother—the portion of his sisters—and yet be courted and admired for his wit—be sought for his talents and distinction—but let him once be detected in cheating at the game, and he is lost—society is forever shut against him.” You likewise, in partaking in this Napoleonesque cheating of Clemons “at the game,” have become your own ‘guest’ as an intellectual and moral pariah.

 

 

Letter Sent to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

July 13 2004

Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defence
1000 Defence Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Mr Secretary,

The enclosed document has been sent by e-mail both to the President and vice-President, as well as to the American Embassy in Australia, in late August 2003. For obvious reasons, it has not been sent to any of the media outlets for publication. Now however, it will be publicised in a book of mine titled, ‘Unveiling The War Against Terror’ and its subtitle, ‘Fight Right War Or Lose The Right To Exist’ in the middle of next August in Melbourne.

As you can see, the axiom of my proposal is that the Iraqi people should be the major equity holders in the profits of oil. In my humble opinion, this will engender three strategic outcomes favourable to your position. A. It will confer unassailable legitimacy to the Interim Government in Iraq. B. It will lead to the total isolation of the terrorist insurgents, and hence facilitate their complete defeat, which will have devastating effects on the global terrorists. And C., it will provide a historical paradigm to all the countries, and their peoples, in the Middle East and Africa which are endowed with resources of oil, to imitate the Iraqi Government.

Furthermore, it will implant the democratic ethos among their peoples, as the latter will witness that it was a democratic government in Iraq which has made its people the major owners of its primary wealth.
Hence, with one strategic fell swoop you will augment your chances of achieving your strategic goals in the region, as well as expediting the defeat of global terror.

For sure, there are some risks involved in this paradigm, especially for Saudi Arabia, as it may lead to the destabilization of the current regime there due to the political turmoil it could generate, and the exploitation of the latter by Muslim fundamentalists. But the U.S. government could take the necessary and preventive measures for all kinds of inimical eventualities foreseeable that could emanate from the implementation of this democratic paradigm.

Yours respectfully,

Con George-Kotzabasis