Source: Family Security Matters
By Ben Shapiro
On Memorial Day, the Bush Administration committed an international blunder of catastrophic proportions: it ended the 27-year diplomatic freeze with Iran, commenced after the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979.
Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker met with Iranian envoy Hassan Kazemi Qomi in the Iraqi Green Zone offices of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday; the meeting was reportedly “businesslike,” with Crocker explaining, “the level of policy and principle, the Iranian position as articulated by the Iranian ambassador was very close to our own.” He added: “What we would obviously like to see, and the Iraqis would clearly like to see, is an action by Iran on the ground to bring what it’s actually doing in line with its stated policy.”
Middle Eastern politics works on the basis of force. Threat of force can achieve policy goals; unwillingness to employ force demonstrates weakness to the enemy. The Bush Administration has recognized this basic truth since the beginning of the decade. Yet on Monday, the Administration thrust that truth aside in favor a listless foreign policy based on the wild hope that somehow, some way, we can all just get along.
The reason for the Administration’s policy collapse is clear: as the Democrats continue to pound away at the Iraq war – as the 2008 presidential election nears – the Bush Administration sees its window of opportunity closing. If Iraq is a mess during the 2008 election cycle, an anti-war Democrat could win the White House. If an anti-war Democrat wins the White House, American involvement in Iraq will come to an inglorious conclusion. Iraq will sink even more deeply into murderous chaos.
In short, the Bush Administration realizes that it must get something – anything – done. If that means kowtowing to Iran, the Bush Administration is clearly willing to do it. If it means allowing Shia terrorists like Muqtada al-Sadr a place at the political table, the Bush Administration is clearly willing to do that, too.
The Democratic anti-war machine has achieved its purpose: it has brought the American war effort to its knees. But that does not absolve the Bush Administration of its responsibility not to surrender to the greatest sponsor of Islamist terrorism in the world today. President Bush’s legacy is the War on Terror. By paying obeisance to Iran, that legacy looks less and less Reaganesque and more and more Carteresque.
In 1998, Osama Bin Laden stated that his goal was to strip away Western pretensions to power – particularly, American pretensions. After Somalia, Bin Laden stated, Muslim terrorists “realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat. And America forgot all the hoopla and media propaganda … about being the world leader and the leader of the New World Order, and after a few blows they forgot about this title and left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat.”
Bin Laden made it his mission to reinforce the image of America as paper tiger. But where Bin Laden failed, Iran has succeeded. In the past year, Iran has moved ever closer to full development of nuclear weaponry. The West has done nothing. In March, Iran kidnapped and humiliated 15 British sailors. The West did nothing.
Throughout the Iraq war, Iran has aided, funded, and sent terrorists to kill innocent Iraqis and American troops. Now America joins Britain in her fecklessness.
And the consequences will be grave. Iran already has its tentacles wrapped around Iraq. Those tentacles are wrapped so tightly, in fact, that the Iraqi coalition government currently houses the Iranian agent and terrorist, Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, who bombed the French and US embassies in Kuwait in 1983.
Now America sits at the negotiating table with Iran – the same Iran that has pledged its unremitting hatred for America and Israel. Iran can offer peace, but only in return for influence – influence that will undoubtedly be used to turn Iraq into an Iranian client state.
The cost of immediate peace is Iranian victory. And an Iranian victory would make the current situation in Iraq look like a walk in the park.