Joined: 24 Feb 2003
|Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:56 am Post subject: A nuclear Iran would be gravest threat - By Jeff Jacoby
|A nuclear Iran would be gravest threat
By Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
November 9, 2011
RON PAUL, the Texas congressman and isolationist would-be president, is against using tough economic sanctions or military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. How then, he was asked on “Fox News Sunday,’’ would he persuade Tehran to abandon its quest for the bomb? “Well,’’ Paul suggested, “maybe offering friendship to them.’’
Hmm, there’s an idea. How might it work in practice?
Perhaps Paul could demonstrate his friendly intentions by announcing that, if elected, he would be prepared to meet Iran’s rulers without preconditions. Perhaps he could launch his presidency with an inaugural address urging “a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,’’ and promising the mullahs and their ilk “that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.’’ Perhaps he could follow that up by taping a video greeting for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, in which he quotes Persian poetry and assures the “leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran’’ of his eagerness for “partnership and commerce.’’
If the Iranian regime rigs an election or unleashes a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, Paul could continue “offering friendship’’ by muting criticism of its repression and violence, and reiterating his wish for “direct dialogue between our two countries.’’ If Tehran repeatedly blows off deadlines to come clean about its nuclear program, a Paul administration could respond with wishy-washy messages that won't change the Iranians' behavior. And if, despite everything, the mullahs continue to flout international law, to pursue nuclear weapons, to ruthlessly mistreat dissidents, to sponsor terrorist proxies, and even to plot a high-level assassination on US soil, Paul could make sure that America’s reaction doesn’t go beyond ineffectual sanctions and vague claims that all options, including a military strike, “are on the table.’’
Sounds like a plan. It sounds, in fact, a lot like Barack Obama’s persistent attempts at “engagement’’ with Iran . The offer to meet without preconditions , the flowery New Year’s wishes , the lack of support for Iran’s domestic opposition , the loophole-ridden sanctions , the muddled signals on using military force - for the better part of three years, the Obama administration’s approach toward Iran has been indecisive and ineffectual. Its repeated diplomatic overtures have accomplished nothing. The Islamist dictatorship in Tehran is still a dangerous enemy, still a deadly threat to its neighbors and its people, still a profound force for evil in the world. . . . [More]
To comment, click the "Post reply" button below.
Help us stay online!