Monday, March 23, 2009

Chai Hopes

Rather than blathering endlessly about my "pet peeve" also known as the resurgence of widespread, blatant antisemitism, I'm going to let the following do the dirty work.

"With his bold message to Iran’s leaders, President Obama achieved four things essential to any rapprochement.

He abandoned regime change as an American goal. He shelved the so-called military option. He buried a carrot-and-sticks approach viewed with contempt by Iranians as fit only for donkeys. And he placed Iran’s nuclear program within “the full range of issues before us.”

By doing so, Obama made it almost inevitable that one of the defining strategic issues of his presidency will be a painful but necessary redefinition of America’s relations with Israel as differences over Iran sharpen. I will return to that below.

The innovations in the president’s Persian New Year, or Nowruz, overture to Tehran were remarkable. He referred twice to “the Islamic Republic of Iran,” a formulation long shunned, and said that republic, no other, should “take its rightful place in the community of nations.” Here was explicit American acceptance of Iran’s 30-year-old clerical revolution.

He said establishing constructive ties would “not be advanced by threats,” a retreat from his own campaign position that the military option must always remain on the table. Instead he offered “mutual respect.”

I was in Iran in January and February. The visit convinced me that confrontational American high-handedness has been a disaster; that facile analogies between the Iranian regime and the Nazis dishonor six million victims of the Holocaust; that the regime’s provocative rhetoric masks essential pragmatism; and that the best way to help a young, stability-favoring population toward the reform they seek is through engagement.

Obama has now taken all the steps I called for then. The policy changes emerged from an interagency review of the failed Iranian policy of recent years. The shift demanded courage.

One of the people involved in the review told me he had been bombarded by warnings from Israel and Sunni Arab states that engagement with Iran would lead nowhere. Of course they would say that; any Iran breakthrough will shake up current cozy U.S. relationships from Jerusalem to Riyadh.

Obama’s overture represented a victory not only over such lobbying but also over officials’ favoring tightened sanctions or delaying any American initiative until after Iran’s June presidential election.

The hard part has just begun.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded to Obama with a scathing speech at the country’s holiest shrine in Mashad, recalling every past U.S. misdeed, describing prerevolutionary Iran as “a field for the Americans to graze in,” and demanding concrete steps — like a lifting of sanctions — rather than words.

View all that as an opening gambit. Khamenei also quieted the crowd when it began its ritual “Death to America” chant and he said this: “We’re not emotional when it comes to our important matters. We make decisions by calculation.”

That’s right: the mullahs are anything but mad. Calculation will demand that Iran take Obama seriously.

The country’s oil revenue has plunged, its economy is in a mess, its oil and gas installations are aging. It has deepening interests in a stable Iraq and an Afghanistan free of Taliban rule. Its nuclear program involves a measure of brinkmanship that must be carefully managed. Khamenei’s essential role is conservative — the preservation of the revolution. He can only be radical up to a point.

Iran’s apparent inclination to take up a U.S. invitation to attend a conference on Afghanistan later this month may be more significant than Khamenei’s words. In any event, overcoming a 30-year impasse will take time and consistency.

The clock is ticking — and Obama’s will not be the same as that of Israel’s prime minister designate, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Already divergent U.S. and Israeli approaches to Iran were evident in Israeli President Shimon Peres’s coupling of his own Nowruz address to the Iranian people (not its leaders) with a statement predicting that they would rise up and topple “a handful of religious fanatics.”

A senior Israeli official told me Iran has 1,000 kilos of low-enriched uranium and will have 500 more within six months, enough to make a bomb. It could then opt for one of three courses.

Rush for a bomb by shredding the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, adapting its centrifuges and producing enough highly enriched uranium within a year.

Move the process to a secret site, in which case getting a bomb would take longer, perhaps two years.

Or continue making low-enriched uranium so that “it would have enough for 10 bombs if it decides to rush at a later stage.”

And where, I asked, is Israel’s red line? “Once they get to 1,500 kilos, nonproliferation is dead,” he said. And so? “It’s established that when a country that does not accept Israel’s existence has such a program, we will intervene.”

I think there’s some bluster in this. Israel does not want Obama to talk, talk, talk, so it’s suggesting military action could happen in 2009, within nine months.

Still, this much is clear to me: Obama’s new Middle Eastern diplomacy and engagement will involve reining in Israeli bellicosity and a probable cooling of U.S.-Israeli relations. It’s about time. America’s Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy has been disastrous, not least for Israel’s long-term security."

This piece of trash was penned by a Mr. Cohen (Jewish?) in the March 23 edition of the NY Times, or more succinctly, the newspaper that has become nothing more than radical left wing trash. I was reared on this rag when it was something to admire. Learning in journalism class how to fold the monstrous paper into three parts for easier viewing. Why, if you wrote for the NYT, you were on your way to a Pulitzer. Sadly, the closest I've come to a Pulitzer is dating the grandson (sorry Justin).
All throughout the primaries we who read this drivel, suffered through Maureen Dowd's pounding of Hillary and orgasmic delight in all things BO. Reems of paper were filled with so-called journalists fawning over the second coming, ignoring the fact that New York's own Senator was Hillary Clinton, front runner in the Dem campaign.
But this, this has me further floored. In a city dubbed Hymietown, lest you've forgotten, that was uttered by the fabulous Rev. Jesse Jackson (it's ok to bash the Jews, very little reverberation there), one would imagine that such anti-Israeli crap would be scorned. What am I thinking. Everything old is new again! It's fashionable once more to hate Jews, insist that the United States stop its alliance with Israel, and bring a "terrorist" home for lunch. To those who refuse to equate the hatred of Israel to antisemitism, I say, bullshit.

Here, educate thyself...a taste of hatred, the acceptable kind.

Good old Louis Farrakhan, an eager endorser of our Resident, uttered the following at that time:
"A storm of protest erupted, and Jackson at first denied the remarks, then accused Jews of conspiring to defeat him. The Nation of Islam's radical leader Louis Farrakhan, an aggressive anti-Semite and old Jackson ally, made a difficult situation worse by threatening Coleman in a radio broadcast and issuing a public warning to Jews, made in Jackson's presence: "If you harm this brother [Jackson], it will be the last one you harm."

Like I said, everything old is new again. Welcome to the Fourth Reich.


navyvet48 said...

Right have it nailed. It is the hatred of Jews that has me seeing red most days...and it is truly anti-semitism...a culture of hate that Bambi is encouraging in his every misstep on "foreign policy"... one point I don't think Bambi and his cabal, Hillary included have a foreign policy...yet...I forgot Bambi is to busy by on gallows humor while the country goes bankrupt...

petunia politik said...

navy, i often feel that you and i are alone in a sea of puma leftists:)

your support means a lot.

Infidel753 said...

And this is why Israel was very, very wise to build a nuclear force of its own.

It's too soon to tell what Obama's real intentions toward the Iranian regime are. I hope he's just naƮve; if that's the case, experience dealing with the mullahs will cure him eventually.

But if all else fails, Israel can deal with the Iranian nuclear program on its own.

Talk of "reining in" Israel is sheer fantasy when an existential threat to its survival is involved. There is no threat that can work to force someone to commit suicide.