Posts Tagged ‘lebanon’

The Continued Failure of U.S. Iran Policy

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Pajamas Media – by Joseph Puder



The Unites States’ failure to deal effectively with Iran began during the administration of Jimmy Carter when the United States restrained the shah from using “excessive force” against the Khomeinist revolutionaries. This resulted in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the radical Islamic Republic of Iran.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, advised the president not to deal harshly with Ayatollah Khomeini and his cohorts lest a split occur within the Islamic opposition to the Russian presence in Afghanistan. At the time, both Democrats and Republicans considered the Islamists as a weapon against Soviet Communism and its local clients.

Few among today’s Capitol Hill legislators, and even fewer in the Obama administration, recognize the fact that U.S. credibility and deterrence are being compromised by the current U.S. policy towards Iran. The Arab Gulf states and Lebanon are hedging their bets on Iran emerging as the winner, and Saudi Arabia is also slowly moving towards Tehran, frustrated by America’s demonstrated weakness toward the Iranian mullahs.

Iran was offered a deal last October that would require it to transfer 70% of its stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad (to Russia and France) in return for fuel for a medical research reactor. The United States gave the Iranians a deadline of December 31, 2009, to come to terms.

Long delayed, the Iranians responded by sending a memo to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), rejecting key parts of the draft deal to ship most of its enriched uranium abroad. Iran has thus made a mockery of the U.S. deadline to accept the October deal.

The Iranian regime has proven to the world just how easy it is to defy the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) without suffering any consequences. Tehran knows that the UN Security Council will not approve tougher sanctions against it. China has invested billions of dollars in the Iranian oil and gas industries, and hence would veto such sanctions. Russia, which is also heavily invested in Iran, would also not approve tougher sanctions. Moreover, Moscow takes pleasure in humiliating the U.S.

Iran knows all too well that once it is in possession of a nuclear weapon, it would deter any future U.S. military action and leave the mullahs free to stir up even greater troubles for Washington in Iraq and Afghanistan, for Israel in Gaza and from Lebanon, and for the Arab Gulf states.

The Obama administration created a difficult situation and it is ultimately limited to two choices: either bombing Iran or living with a nuclear Iran. It has allowed Tehran to ignore every deadline, while continuing a policy of appeasement.

Sky News reported on July 22, 2009, that U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton “has warned America might cope with a nuclear Iran by arming U.S. allies in the Gulf and extending a ‘defense umbrella’ over the region.” Typical of the Obama administration’s appeasement policies, she added that “we will still hold the door open (for talks with Iran).”

In his new book Accomplice to Evil: Iran and the War against the West, PJM’s Michael Ledeen points out those future students of international relations will be outraged by the persistence of American presidents in appeasing the hostile mullahs and their desperate attempts to reach an agreement with the the Islamic state since 1979.

The Clinton administration sought a mega-deal with Iran by lifting sanctions previously imposed and publicly apologizing to the Iranian mullahs for America’s misdeeds towards Tehran (as President Obama is currently doing). The Iranian supreme leader, remaining steadfast in his position, has rebuffed these gestures and in so doing exposed our weaknesses and their contempt.

President George W. Bush also made an effort to reach a deal with Iran in 2008. Jack Straw, Britain’s foreign secretary at the time, persuaded former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the Iranians were ready to halt uranium enrichment in exchange for the West lifting its sanctions against Iran. The Bush administration, believing it had a deal, prepared for Rice to make a statement attesting to the agreement at the UN General Assembly in September of that year.

This brief game of self-deception came to an end with the address of Iranian President Ahmadinejad at the General Assembly. He spoke of the coming of the 12th Imam — the Shiite messiah — and the ensuing Muslim domination of the world, but there was not a word about ending the uranium enrichment.

It is not that the U.S. lacks options. The military option is certainly available. The U.S. has the forces to eliminate both the nuclear weapons and the current repressive regime. Washington could also arm and train the Iranian minorities against the regime. It has chosen neither. The Obama administration failed to support the Iranian opposition following the rigged August elections. It shudders at the thought of forcing a regime change in Iran because of political correctness, a signature value of this administration.

Iranian minorities who comprise more than half of the population are in a state of rebellion against the regime, ready to spill their blood to end the rule of the repressive regime and Ahamdinejad, a despised and unlawful president. The people are taking up arms against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, killing and getting killed in the process. The Arabs of Ahwaz attempted and nearly succeeded in assassinating Ahmadinejad  a few years ago.

And yet the Obama administration, like previous administrations, continues with policies of dishonor, sacrificing American deterrence and credibility. To the Iranians and Middle Eastern Arabs, America appears weak and unwilling to fight the Iranian mullahs. The situation is reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler and the Nazis.

Persecution of Christians in the Arab Middle East

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

ITAIThe Interfaith Taskforce for America and Israel (ITAI) in conjunction with St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Cherry Hill, NJ, invites to participate in its program titled The Persecution of Christians in the Arab Middle East, Tuesday, October 27, 7:30 PM.

The presenters include Dr. Monir Dawoud, a native of Egypt, and President of the American Coptic Association.  Dr. Dawoud is a practicing medical doctor who studied theology in Egypt.  He has closely monitored the condition of his Coptic Christian brethrens in Egypt.

Joseph Hakim is a native of Lebanon, and vice president of the International Christian Union, which brings together the Christian minorities from throughout the Middle East.  Mr. Hakim’s family traces its origins to the early Christian community of Antioch in today’s Turkey.

For  ticket information and directions please contact St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church at 856-424-2229 or Joseph Puder at or call 856-772-3001.

Bush, Obama Take Two Different Approaches to Muslim Democracy

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
Pajamas Media – by Joseph Puder

It may be a historical curiosity that both Condoleezza Rice — President Bush’s secretary of state — and President Barack Obama chose Cairo University as the venue to send their messages to the Arab world. Egypt, the most populous Arab country and the largest Arab recipient of U.S. foreign aid, is also the country from which President/dictator Hosni Mubarak pledges his support for the U.S. and the West, causing his countrymen to hate America for its support of their dictator. Mohamed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 al-Qaeda suicide bombers, was an upper-middle-class Egyptian.

What is significant about the two speeches delivered at Cairo University is the difference in tone and substance. Secretary of State Rice spoke to the Arab world by way of the Egyptian student audience with 9/11 very much on her mind when she said:

In our world today, a growing number of men and women are securing their liberty. And as these people gain the power to choose, they create democratic governments to protect their natural rights. We should all look to a future when every government respects the will of its citizens — because the ideal of democracy is universal …

For 60 years my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in the Middle East — and we achieved neither. Now we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people.

The George W. Bush administration surmised correctly that terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam was due to the absence of democracy and pluralism in the Arab world. Under dictators such as Abdul Nasser in Egypt, the failure of Arab socialism and nationalism to provide liberty and prosperity for their people made Islam the only safe avenue for protest and change. The mosque became the outlet for the frustration. Dr. Ayman al-Zahawiri, the second-in-command of al-Qaeda, found it easy to recruit future terrorists among privileged students who did not see a future for themselves in Egypt.

Obama’s Cairo speech was ostensibly meant to “repair America’s relations with Islam.” However, the tone of his June 4, 2009, speech was appeasing and apologetic. Obama blamed the West and America for the failures of Arab countries, rather than the Arab dictatorial leaders:

Tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

Has President Obama deliberately lost sight of the fact that India, Singapore, and other South Asian countries were also colonized by Western powers, and that they too were treated as proxies? Modernity and globalism were visited upon these countries as well, and yet they have succeeded in bringing liberty and prosperity to their people without resorting to hateful terrorism in the name of Allah.

Obama continued:

Each nation gives life to this principle [democracy] in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. … America does not presume what is best for everyone.

From Obama’s words, are we to conclude that treating women as second-class citizens and excluding most of them from political life and the workforce is a fair and acceptable tradition because “each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its people”? In his partiality towards Arabs and Muslims, President Obama ignored the fact that there are universal standards for human rights and democratic behavior which are clearly outlined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and they are more grossly abused in the Arab-Muslim world than by any other group, region, or people on the globe.

Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Obama went on to give Syria a free pass by ignoring its subversion of democracy in Lebanon and the murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. Meanwhile, he appeased Iran’s theocratic dictatorship, saying:

I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect.

In contrast to Obama, Condoleezza Rice was firm regarding these two terrorist supporting nations:

The case of Syria is especially serious … because as its neighbors embrace democracy or other political reforms, Syria is harboring or directly supporting groups committed to violence … in Lebanon, in Israel, in Iraq, and in the Palestinian territories.

In Iran … people are losing patience with an oppressive regime that denies them their liberty and their rights. The appearance of elections does not mask the organized cruelty of Iran’s theocratic state. The Iranian people are capable of liberty. They desire liberty. And they deserve liberty.

Such direct language did not come from Obama — not even after the 2009 fraudulent election results in Iran brought millions of Iranian protesters to the street.

The only bold statement Obama made in Cairo, for which he received his loudest applause, was when he used Israel as bait and exhibited misplaced moral equivalency. Bush’s secretary of state did not need to resort to blasting the only democracy in the Middle East.

While it is true that mistakes were made by Bush in his campaign for democracy in the Middle East — including his insistence on allowing Hamas to compete in the 2006 Palestinian elections before building democratic institutions — the Bush campaign for democracy did, however, give Middle Eastern Arabs and others hope.

In the end, Obama’s politically correct Cairo speech that excused Arab and Palestinian behavior has done little to further democracy or give hope to millions of oppressed Arabs as well as persecuted minorities (Baluchistan, Kurds, and Christians), let alone affect change.