Posts Tagged ‘War’

Fighting Islamic Terrorism Precludes Engagement

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

By Joseph Puder

Last March, soon after his inauguration, president Obama called for “Engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect with Iran .” In its attempt to differentiate itself from the previous Bush administration, the Obama administration has premised its Middle East policy and parenthetically fighting terrorism (the Obama people would never conceive of being politically incorrect by calling it Islamic terrorism) on “engagement” with Iran rather than Bush’s alleged confrontational style.

Under normal circumstances “engaging” with an adversary would be a standard feature of western diplomacy, involving elements of compromise vis a vis territory, resources, or some other material element.  If the U.S. or Israel were to deal with countries like Belgium , Sweden , Thailand or France , engagement would be welcomed.  War or resorting to violence would be inconceivable and confrontation unnecessary.

Even Cold War communist adversaries like the Soviet Union and China , though ideologically motivated, did not believe then nor believe now in the total destruction of their enemy.  Furthermore they are not ready to sacrifice their own people in order to achieve the goal of totally annihilating the U.S.   In short, neither China nor Russia is motivated by a messianic religious ideology.

Israel , the U.S. and the West are facing a different kind of ideology and for that matter an unfamiliar enemy.  The notion of a collective “suicide bomber” as we witnessed in the Iran -Iraq War, which saw the Ayatollah Khomeini handing the “keys to heaven” – paradise with 72 virgins – to Iranian teenagers, who would throw their young bodies against Iraqi tanks, or step into minefields, is still inconceivable to a westerner.

Americans experienced this phenomenon in Beirut in 1983, when Iranian trained and directed Hezbollah suicide bombers attacked the U.S. embassy and the Marine compound with a truck full of TNT and ready-to-die terrorists in order to maximize the number of Americans they could kill.  Their tactics resulted in the death of 241 Marines and the wounding of hundreds.  And, again in 1996, Iran planned and Hezbollah operatives executed the attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 U.S. servicemen and injured scores of others.  Unfortunately, the Obama administration considers Jihadist suicide bombers a criminal justice matter rather than an religious/ideological war against the U.S. and the West.

Israel witnessed the same cruel worship of death when Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists used teenagers as expendable cannon fodder to kill a record number of Israeli teenagers in discothèques and pizza parlors.

The brainwashed teenagers whose handlers sent them to die were told that they will die as martyrs or Shaheeds – for Allah’s sake.  Cynically, the handlers did not send their own sons and daughters to martyrdom in the name of a cause that is motivated by a genocidal blood lust “to wipe out the Jews,” because Allah wills it…

Egyptian born Islamic scholar, Dr. Tawfik Hamid has pointed out that “In the case of dealing with an enemy who wants to commit a crime or declare a war, it is usually feasible to negotiate with such an enemy as his ambitions are typically focused on tangible things. Negotiations that can result in giving this enemy some satisfaction in achieving some of his worldly desires may be successful in ending the problem. Furthermore, the enemy in these circumstances will be more likely to surrender if he is going to die and will certainly hesitate to use WMD if his opponent is ready to use them against him as well.”

“The Jihadists,” on the other hand, Dr. Hamid adds, “cannot be satisfied by giving them some materialistic gains as their target is subjugating others to their ideology as Aiman Al-Zawaheri stated clearly that Al-Qaeda will stop terrorism if the US converted or surrendered to Islam. Furthermore, Jihadists are unlikely to surrender even if their decision will result in their annihilation or will cause a total destruction for their nation. Additionally, the Jihadists and ideologically motivated Islamists will not hesitate a second if they can use a WMD against their opponent as they evidently do not care for human life including the lives of their own Muslim people. Indeed, they will be happy to die in jihad for the “cause of Allah.”

It is inconceivable that America would negotiate with Al Qaeda, much less “engage” this murderous Jihadist group, so why would the Obama Administration consider “engaging” Iran , a country whose leadership possesses the same uncompromising ideology? The reigning Ayatollahs in Iran recognize their inability to destroy America outright, but they still believe in some sort of Armageddon that would usher in the appearance of the hidden 12th imam – the Shiite messiah.  One can hardly compromise with an entity – be it a state or a terrorist organization – that seeks to annihilate you because of your religion and way of life or force you to live under the constraints of Sharia law.

Israel ’s engagement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the subsequent signing of the Oslo Accords is another example of asymmetric negotiations.  Israel sought a solution to the Palestinians’ statelessness by agreeing to territorial compromise.  The Palestinians however are determined to replace the Jewish State with an Arab-Islamic entity.

Since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, Israel ’s relationship with the world has not changed for the better.  It is shunned, boycotted, condemned at the UN and by EU states and, subjected to constant pressure from the U.S. to make unilateral concessions.  At the same time, neither the Palestinian nor much of the Arab world have recognized the Jewish State’s right to exist, despite Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, and its willingness to accept a Palestinian State.

President Obama’s attempted engagement with Iran has been ridiculed and rejected by the Iranian regime.  Obama and the U.S. now appear to be weak and indecisive not only in the eyes of its Arab allies but especially in the minds of the Iranian Mullahs and the Islamic terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and al Qaeda.  Engagement attempts have only served to embolden these deadly Islamist ideologues.

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.