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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

... And The World Breathed A Sigh Of Relief ...

... that Iran didn't go nuts, and launch out some wacky, all-out attack on its neighbors (especially Israel) today. As of the beginning of this post, it's 3:30 a.m. in Israel, and she is still standing. Iran wasn't silent today (No, they unveiled no Imam), but they did answer the president's call to negotiate over their uranium enrichment. They's open to talking, but don't want to give up their nuclear program:

Iran said Tuesday it was ready for "serious negotiations" on its nuclear program, offering a new formula to resolve a crisis with the West. A semiofficial news agency said the government was unwilling to abandon uranium enrichment - the key U.S. demand.

Iran delivered its written response to a package of incentives offered by the United States and five other world powers to persuade Iran to roll back on its nuclear program - and punishments if it does not. The world powers, the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany, have given Iran until Aug. 31 to accept the package.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said Washington will "study the Iranian response carefully" but was prepared to move forward with sanctions against Tehran if it was not positive. The White House held off commenting until it had studied the text. The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said the document was "extensive" and required "a detailed and careful analysis."

Iranian officials offered no details of the response, but it appeared geared at enticing those countries into further negotiations by offering a broad set of proposals vague enough to hold out hope of progress in resolving the standoff.

OK, this may seem like headway to the diplomats in the world, but to real-thinking people, this is more stalling. They want to talk, but they don't want to end enrichment. Um, that's a deal-breaker. Bolton needs to move forward with sanctions. The WHOLE POINT of these negotiations is that they would start, and the incentives would be agreed to, AFTER they ended their enrichment. If they want that off the table, then it sends a signal to us (and Marcie and I have already discussed this) that they are continuing the process, unfettered by outside interference. The IAEA was told no by Iran just a day or two ago. The enrichment is continuing.

And this is the sort of games we can expect from Iran, and I doubt that our diplomats have the fortitude to hold the line. We have seen, all too often, State Department diplomats giving away the farm. We did it in the late seventies with supplying a reactor to North Korea, then in '94 when Madeline Albright bungled the negotiations for nuclear fuel. We saw Jimmy Carter reduced to begging Khomenei in '79 for the release of our hostages, and a half-hearted rescue attempt that was an abject failure. In the end, Carter was forced into negotiations where he promised the US wouldn't get involved in internal Iranian matters, the US would unfreeze 8 billion dollars in assets, and that Iran would be immune from any lawsuits filed against it. Again, we capitulated.

And that's what we fear from these negotiations. Don't get me wrong. We have our gripes with the president--a fair number of them--but we are willing to give the president a bit of leeway on this issue. We just can't go into these negotiations with guns blazing. We need to work with them, but we also need to abide by one of Reagan's most important lessons from the Cold War: "Trust, but verify." We can trust Iran, but we should demand that they will be open to inspections. We're offering a whole helluva lot here, and the last thing we want is for this to come back and bite us in the backside like North Korea has. Likewise, we can ill afford to twiddle our thumbs with the international community for twelve years like we did with Saddam. I keep hearing people (so-called experts) that state Iran doesn't have what we suspect. I'd love to take their word for it, but for each expert that comes up on one side, I can offer up a counter-expert that tells them that they're full of BS.

Regardless of who is right in this debate, this issue must be confronted. A nuclear armed Iran would be the biggest threat in the Middle East. We have gamed this out, and each time we see nuclear blackmail used by Iran to obtain alliances in the region. That already stacks the deck against the West, and it makes Israel a sitting duck. (Anyone who doesn't think Israel has it in them to lauch a nuke in response to a nuke is a fool.) The possibility of a nuclear confrontation is raised exponentially with Iran having nuclear weapons. and even IF they are telling the truth, it wouldn't be long before they started experimenting. My bet is on the fact that they already are experimenting, and they are well on their way towards creating a nuclear warhead. And contrary to earlier predictions (that we and others made based on the rhetoric) it makes no sense for Ahmadinejad to use his one and only nuke against Israel.

You don't go into a gun-fight with only one bullet when your opponent is not only out of range of your pistol, but has a rifle that can hit you, and it's fully loaded. Ahmadinejad may be nutty, but he's not stupid. A smart leader doesn't waste 68 million soldiers, and that's pretty much what Ahmadinejad is trying to do. He's doing what he can to unite the Muslims with the lie that we're trying to kill all of them. We're not. We aren't waging a war against Islam. Right now, we're dealing with an extremely violent and archaic strain of Islam; one promoted by Mohammed himself. But there are moderates around the world that see that our beef isn't with their religion, but rather with some who speak on their behalf without their approval. Should they be more vocal in their opposition? You bet. CAIR's line on Laura Ingraham's show this morning--that Muslim leaders shout from the rooftops condemning terrorist acts--is a lie. Few, very few, have spoken up, and most of the big name moderates (Ayman al-Hrsi and Salman Rushdie among them) have had fatwas issued against them, and calls for their deaths. And yet we hear no denouncements. Silence, it's assumed, is the simplest form of assent, and it's most insipid.

We can't afford to take chances, but if this can be resolved through peaceful means, we're willing to give it a chance. To paraphrase Captain Marko Ramius, give them a chance, Vasily; one chance only. That's right, we're willing to give it one chance, but the first time things start to fall apart, then we need to abandon the effort. I'm hedging bets here that Iran will torpedo these talks right off the bat. As a matter of fact, I predict the first time that the ending of their enrichment program is brought up is going to be where the talks should end. They won't give it up, no matter what we offer them. (Unless we offer up Israel on a silver platter, and I doubt even that would get them to stop.) If they are deternined to keep their program, they're not going to end it, no matter what they agree to, and any group sent in to observe them will either never see their secrets sites, or will blocked--as Saddam Hussein did--and denied access.

These negotiations, I feel, are a joke to begin with, and sort of like sticking your head in the lion's mouth. Especially when we consider who their business partners are.

Publius II


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