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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Bush's empty rhetoric and poor policy decisions have left us helpless in dealing with the Iranian threat

Iran does not currently have nuclear weapons, and would appear to be about two years away from acquiring nuclear weapons. By some time in 2006, however, Iran could be producting fissile material for atomic bombs using both uranium enriched at Natanz and plutonium produced at Arak. The Natanz facility might produce enough uranium for about five bombs every year, and the Arak facility might produced enough plutonium for as many as three bombs every year.

If Iran did acquire atomic bombs, it would put pressure on other countries in the region do the same. Many Arab countries believe it is unfair that Israel has nuclear weapons. If Arab countries, notably Saudi Arabia but also Egypt and possibly Syria, found themselves caught between a nuclear-armed Israel and a nuclear-armed Iran, it would greatly increase pressures to pursue their own nuclear options. This could result in a regional arms race in the Middle East which is likely to be quite destabilizing, given the number and intensity of conflicts and instabilities in the region.


-Global Security Fall 2004


This analysis from Global Security.org spoeaks directly to why the Reagan/Bush policy of appeasment towards Iran has put the United States in such a dangerous position in the Middle Eastern power game. Iran's election last week of Religious Conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinjab is likely to set back for years the pro-western reforms many have been seeking within Iran.

Part of Ahmadinjab's platform was to distance Iran from the European Union, whose leadership has been very engaging with the Irnaian regime despite of its consistent support of terrorism in the Niddle East, Central Asia, Europe and the Americas. Throughout the 1980s, with the United States turning a blind eye under the indecisive and weak leadership of President Ronald Reagan Europe cultivated business and economic ties with Iran which have created a windfall for European based petroluem companies.

The appeasement of the Reagan and Bush White House’s coupled with the empty rhetoric of the second president Bush has led to the overwhelming election of one of the primary leaders of the 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Tehran. The hostage crisis that ensued was resolved when President Reagan allegedly made deals with the Iranian hardliners while running for President. Four years later Reagan, Oliver North, and John Poindexter masterminded the arms for hostages’ deal that allowed the Iranians to acquire high tech Americans weapons in exchange for releasing American hostages one at a time over a two and a half year period.

Reagan, in 1986 spoke of moderate elements in Iran, but to this date, nothing of yet has become of these moderate elements. Jack Straw in 2003 declared that Iran was a budding a Democracy, but as has been the case in many developing nations, Democracy can be something that creates further destabilization and uncontrolled anti-Americanism. (See Venezuela). President George W. Bush needs to step away from his ideological rhetoric about the spread of Democracy and instead govern with America’s security interests at stake.

Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and replace a relatively harmless dictator with an unstable democracy susceptible to terrorist blackmail and infiltration has made America less secure. His decision to destabilize Iraq has destroyed the greatest buffer against Iranian aggression and expansionism. Now Bush must step up to the plate and deal with the growing threat from Iran.

As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, Iran is chief exporter of terrorism and revolution to Central Asia and the Middle East. They are key funding source of Palestinian terrorism as well as violent revolutionary actions in the Former Soviet Republics of Central Asia. Iran has also been the primary source of arms and funds for groups operating in the Balkans seeking an Islamic state in that region. (A region where the US and NATO would be wise to give assistance to other Muslim groups not associated directly with Iran).

George W. bush has neither the credibility on the International stage nor the political will to do what is necessary regarding Iran. For all of Bush’s tough talk, he like Reagan has shied away from taking strong and decisive action to reign in Iran’s exportation of International terror. Iran’s existing and documented Nuclear program whose chief international benefactors are North Korea, Pakistan and China has been largely ignored by Bush in favor of wild speculation as to the potential weapons possessed by an internationally isolated Iraq. Bush made his choice to invade Iraq and the consequences have been possibly more damaging to the United States than any International action since the conclusion of World War II.

We are now faced with a strong Iran and little ability to do anything about it unless we take strong military action to knock out Iran’s nuclear arsenal. That would however be impractical at this time with American military commitments globally having spread our forces too thin. Unfortunately, Bush’s lack of foresight means that the Europeans have to use whatever leverage they have with Iran, to try and exert concessions to eliminate Iran’s Nuclear weapons program. The United States thanks to Bush’s failures finds itself in a helpless position globally and must now rely on the same European nations that Secretary Rice and Rumsfeld belittled two years ago to achieve our security needs. How’s that for irony?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a partisan account of what has essentialy been a failure of the liberals and their allies in Europe to stop Iran. The terrorists fear George W. Bush because he has taken action to stop the terrorist sanctuaries in Iraq and he will deal with Iran.

Iran is probably going to make a deal because they fear American intervention. They took advantage of Clinton and developed Nuclear and terrorist arsenals because of his soft policy towards the terrorists and his failure to properly back Israel.

JRF said...

Our success in Iraq will lead to a settlement with Iran. the Iranians have seen how swift our men in unform can overwhelm an inferior Middle Eastern fighting force in Iraq. Iran does not want to have the same thing happen. Like Libya, they will make a deal while they can.

Joe said...

Bush's policy towards the middle east has been unfocused and uneven. He had put America in great harm and yet the public thinks he's so tough and so cool.

Well, I guess the idiot public gets what they voted for. An inept chief executive who is outmanuevered on the global stage.

JFR said...

How can you claim our policy has been unfocused and uneven? We have one focus- protecting America from the terrorists. It was after all Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton whp gave away Iran and sold Israel's security away to the Arabs.

Jeff said...

Our policy has been worse than unfocused and uneven. It has led to the deaths of almost 2,000 Americans for no reason other than Bush's desire to raise gas prices and control the world's oil supply.

Anonymous said...

We've put ourselves ina position where the world hates us. We can't do anything about Iran because nobody will follow our lead.

JFR said...

We lost 3,000 inncoent Americans on 9/11. That's why we are in Iraq. We want to weed out the terrorist sanctuaries and impose a culture of democracy on the arab world, a world that includes Iran.

Joe said...

Do you have evidence linking Saddam to 9/11. If so, please share it. I have not seen any.

Jill said...

This war in Iraq has been completely illegal and has gotten too many young Americans killed for no reason.

I do not believe Iran is worthy of American blood. I guess from reading this that Kartik wants to attack Iran but admits that we cannot because of he mess Bush has made of diplomacy and foreign policy. Is that your view?

Kartik said...

We lost 3,000 inncoent Americans on 9/11. That's why we are in Iraq.

The two have nothing to do with one another. Anybody who remotely follows the politics of the Middle East realizes that chief sponsors of anti-american terror are Syria and Iran. They were not Iraq as Bush claimed nor Saudi Arabia as Michael Morre likes to claim

We want to weed out the terrorist sanctuaries and impose a culture of democracy on the arab world, a world that includes Iran.


First off, Iran is NOT an Arab nation. Very few Arabs live in Iran. Iran's primary religion is Islam but they are not Arabs. Mulsims in Indonesia or India or Turkey are not Arabs either.

Secondly, if you want someone to blame for the creation of terrorist sanctuaries in Iraq, blame this administration. They are the ones that created this atmosphere in Iraq and made the ground fertile for terrorists.

JRF said...

Kartik----you're comments linking the administration to the increase in terrorism shoots any credibility you may have once had. It's a shame you have bought into the conspiracy theories of the left wing media cabal that is trying to undermine our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mark said...

JFR (or JRF), whichever one you are choosing-

I read your comments, and I became incensed. 9/11 was the worst day in this country's history. For you and your fellow right-wingers who continue to exploit the brutal murder of 3000 of our brothers and sisters is unconscionable. How dare you? There will be a special place in hell for those of you right-wingers who see 9/11 as a political opportunity as opposed to the way patriotic Americans see it - which is as a sad day in history that changed the country forever. Shame on you and your right-wing friends for dishonoring the dead!

Your comments about Kartik accusing the Bush administration of increasing the number of terrorists in Iraq is misguided. Kartid didn't say that; the Bush administration did. For months, we heard that the people killing our troops were Iraqis. Now the Bush administration and those in the Pentagon are admitting that we are seeing an increase of terrorists flowing in from over the border. Again, the premise that the Bush administration has caused an increase of terrorists in Iraq was not made by Kartik. It was made by the Bush administration.

JFR - as one who recognizes your comments as totally misguided and informed, I have one message for you - PLEASE KEEP POSTING! You make liberals look so good and best demonstrate the truth that Republicans are weak on terrorism and continue to put America at risk. Just like Ronald Reagan, you right-wingers are weak and pathetic!

Mark said...

I am somewhat surprised that JFR/JRF is willing to concede that Ronald Reagan is partly responsible for 9/11!

As we have learned in recent weeks, Saddam has bragged about what a great friend and ally Ronald Reagan was to him. Saddam has also informed the soldiers guarding him that many of the weapons used to kill our troops came from the 40th President.

If you want to believe that Iraq is linked to 9/11, then you must also acknowledge that Reagan was linked to Iraq!

Is that a connection that you right-wingers really want to make?

JRF said...

Mark,

How do explain Libya's decision to give up its Nuclear program days after we invaded Iraq? Why did President Clinton not deal with the threats from Iran, Iraq, Libya or Syria. ALL CLINTON DID WAS MAKE ISRAEL COMPROMISE ITS SECURITY FOR A PHONY PEACE WITH TERRORIST ARAB NATIONS.

We have not had a single terrorst attack since 9/11. Had John Kerry been elected we probably would have another attack or maybe two on the order of 9/11 by now.

Mark said...

Hey JRF, Thank you! Your rambling comments continue to make my job easier and easier.

9/11 - The GOP's Legacy

First, let's deal with your comment about 9/11. Last time I checked, 9/11 occurred on Bush's watch. In fact, Reagan appointee Richard Clarke and Bush II's own Paul O'Neill have stated that the Bush administration took their eye off the ball and chose to ignore the threat of terrorism. Instead they thought that we should focus on Iraq. What happened? 3000 lives were lost and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with it. 9/11 is a true legacy of the GOP.

Iran - Reagan's buddies

As for Iran, Reagan was their buddy and is largely responsible for their strength today. In 1980 while Jimmy Carter was fighting for the release of our hostages, Reagan was negotiating with these terrorists in order to help his own election. Then we all remember Iran-Contra. For our Republican readers who are unfamiliar with US history, Ronald Reagan sold weapons to Iran in violation of federal law. He should have, and would have, been impeached, but the Democrats gave him a pass. (Idiots!)

Libya - Bush embraces terrorists

Libya did disarm, but it had nothing to do with the War in Iraq. It was because George W. Bush broke the number one American rule - he decided that it would be OK to negotiate with terrorists. (Maybe he is a lot like Reagan after all!)

Libya gave up their nuclear program because the US offered to back off economic sanctions. Instead of treating the government that sponsored the downing of Pam Am 103 in Lockerbie like the terrorists that they are, Bush and the Republicans thought we should greet them with hugs and kisses. (How can the GOP face the victims of flight 103 after this treasonous act?)

Iraq - The Saddam-Ronnie Love Affair

As has been reported in recent weeks, Saddam and Reagan were allies and close friends. (There was enough love between these two men to make even Charlie Crist blush!) Saddam speaks fondly of the 40th President, and he should. Reagan and the GOP created this madman and put him into power. Saddam was a dispicable man. He gassed the Kurds (with a nod and a wink from Reagan), then slaughtered the Shiites after Bush I encouraged them to rise up, only to cut 'n' run, leaving them defenseless against the Republican (coincidence?) Guard.

When Clinton took office, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. As we have sadly learned, Saddam lost those weapons of mass destruction under the leadership of Clinton. (Maybe if you Republicans had done your homework instead of dismissing everything related to Clinton, we wouldn't have lost 1800 troops looking for weapons that never existed!)

Syria - Arafat dies, Bush takes credit

Bush didn't do a damn thing. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Enough said!

Israel - Bush sells out our ally

Anyone who takes an objective view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict knows that Clinton did more to help the region than any president in recent years. Bush II, at the beginning of his administration, ignored the issues with Israel, turning his back on our greatest ally in the region. And let's not forget that Bush reprimanded Israel for its attacks against Palestinian terrorists. Huh? Siding with the terrorists over Israel? That's just disgusting.


And in response to your ridiculous John Kerry comments, I would like to know where that came from. My guess is that you were desperate and probably so upset that you wrote something stupid.

Well, I guess that's it. I addressed all of your slanderous comments and proved them wrong. Again, I am begging you - please keep posting. And invite some of your Republican friends to post too! You guys are a lot of fun to play with. It is so easy to fight right-wing anger with the truth!

Tommy said...

You liberals will continue to blame Bush for everything. Go back and watch Michael Moore and come up with more conspiracy theories.

This blog and commentary is total garbage.

Tommy said...

Iran is hardly a threat. If they mess with us, we will bomb them back into the stone age like we did with Libya. Notice how quiet they were after Reagan took care of them?

Matt said...

Anybody who claims that Bush's actions in Iraq have made the world safer from terrorists is smoking some good stuff. Not only have we given the terrorists a great organizing ground, but we have motivated a whole new generation of jihadists to hate everything about America. Nice work, shrub.

Mark said...

It looks as though JFR and Tommy aren't talking to one another.

JFR says that Iran is a threat. Then Tommy says that Iran is not a threat. There appears to be a mix-up among the GOP, but I think I can help.

Each of you - JFR and Tommy - go grab your Republican Party talking points that you were sent today and ordered to read to anyone willing to listen. Did one of you forget to receive the most up to date talking points from the RNC? If you guys are going to read from scripts and not think for yourselves, you have to be on top of stuff like this. Page numbers, dates, titles at the top of the page, etc. This shouldn't be difficult for you guys.

Why don't you two just call it a night. Obviously this blogging thing has taken a lot out of you and you're already making careless mistakes. Just go to sleep and pray that tomorrow I go just a little easier on you.

Nightie night!

Anonymous said...

I loved that comment about the Florida GOP's version of Jim McGreevy. That made me laugh!

Matt said...

Mark,

Understand something about the idiot Republicans who have posted here. They are not on the same page because the GOP isn't consistent with regards to Iran. Iran is a threat when the economy is bad and Bush's numbers are in the tank, but they are a budding Democracy and a partner against terror in Afghanistan and Iran when Bush's numbers are higher and Social Security is the emphasis of the GOPs talking points. Ever hear of the movie wag the dog, guys?

JRF said...

The above post is bordering on a criminal slader of our President. Look at what the terrorists did today in London. That would be the USA if not for Bush's strong actions against terror.

Matt said...

Slander? Oh you must be an Ann Coulter fan, I get it. The same Ann Coulter who said after 9/11 about the Middle Eastern Countries, " We should kill all of their leaders and convert the nations to Christianity." Do you subsribe to that sort of thinking, sir or madam?

JRF said...

I am huge Ann Coulter fan but do not agree with the above statement. I in fact doubt she ever said such a thing. More liberal slander.

Mark said...

JRF, do you read? Who has not heard of that infamous quote from Ann "I Hate America" Coulter. Here's the actual quote:

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.

Interesting approach - kill civilians when you disagree with their leaders. Funny, that seems to be the same logic that Osama used when he ordered the terrorists to attack us on 9/11. The PLO also uses the same justification when they murder innocent Jews in Israel. When someone like Ann Coulter uses her religion to justify the methods of the terrorists, she defames Christianity.

The saddest part is that her column was calling for revenge against Osama bin Laden. It's a shame that Bush backed off at Tora Bora and let him go. Then Bush gave Osama a free pass by shifting the focus to Iraq because it would be an easier target - or so he thought.

You can find Ann's un-American quote on her web site at:

http://www.anncoulter.org/columns/2001/091301.htm

By the way, I'm a big fan of Ann Coulter too! Her extremist talk makes us look so good!

Anonymous said...

Holy S^&t! What an F'n you know what. How can people continue to take that rotten woman seriously when she essentialy declares a medival crusade. What a wacko.

Jill said...

Bush's bad decisions got us what happened today in London. Thanks You W.

Tommy said...

This whole terrorist mess could have easily been contained by Clinton. At that time the terrorists weren't strong and we could have crushed them.

But Clinton and his leftist buddies wanted to see the terrorists succeed. Clinton was so into forcing multicultalism on the American people: Hey the terrosits weren't bad they were just misunderstood: The only bad people in thw world were practicing Chrisitans.

The baby killers and dictators weren't bad, they were just misunderstood freedom fighters. The US military however was bad and were murderers. So went the Clintonian logic.

Mark said...

Here goes Tommy and the typical right-wing Blame America First attitude. This is why the American people have lost respect for the Republicans - because they have let right-wing extremists like Ann Coulter take over their party. The GOP is no longer the party of Lincoln, TR, or Reagan. It's the party of Delay, Coulter, Dobson, Falwell, and now Tommy!

So Tommy - these were pretty strong words - do you have any facts to back them up? You said that Clinton and the leftist wanted to see the terrorists succeed. Anything to support such a statement? I didn't think so.

Let's talk honestly though. I was reading comments from around the world today regarding the attacks in London. One common theme has emerged among writers that tend to be hawkish and committed to fighting terrorism. They conclude that by Bush giving up in Afghanistan and moving the US operations to Iraq, he essentially gave the terrorists a free pass and allowed them to plan and carry out more attacks, like those in Spain and now London. This is an extremely accurate statement.

As the Bush administration has now been forced to concede, Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and there was no link between the two. By shifting our focus away from fighting terrorism and instead toward "liberating the Iraqi people" or whatever the rationale is this week, the Bush administration has put this country at great risk and has given the terrorists the freedom to plan and carry out attacks like we saw in Spain and in London yesterday.

Lee said...

Mark,

Bush did not give up Afghanistan when we went into Iraq. I am a Republican and voted for Bush twice. I still believe he is good President and I support his domestic agenda on family values and social security very strongly.

I also will be the first to admit the Iraq war while in my mind justified was poorly planned and even more poorly executed. We cannot come home right now because we have a job to finish, but the Pentagon and yes the White House need to admit they have made mistakes and develop some new ideas on how to put down the insurrection and stop the terrorists from using Baghdad as a staging ground for worldwide terror attacks.

Mark said...

Good for Lee. It is always encouraging to see Republicans who are reasonable enough to admit that Bush has made mistakes. God knows that Bush will never admit that.

Anonymous said...

Richard Calrke former Director of Terrorism was on ABC the other day and he said point blank that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has made Iran a much stronger power in the region. He even used the word Hegemon to describe them which is very very scary. Thank you George W. for making our enemies stronger and our nation much weaker.

Joe said...

Clarke is right. The Iranians are now effectively using IRAQ as a staging ground for terrorism and Islamic Revolution. Yet the Republicans would lead you to believe that the problems in Iraq are thanks to Clinton. I say once and for all had Clinton still been president 911 would not have happened. Bush and Rove's reaction to 911 has been so appauling it borders on sick.

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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.

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