A New Approach To Syria, Iran and North Korea

Right From the Start

There is something in the psychological makeup of politicians and career diplomats that drives them to the same conclusions time after time after time despite overwhelming evidence that they are just dead wrong. No, I’m not talking about President Obama’s one-note tune on taxing the rich although it is a perfect example. Nor am I talking about the “aspirin between the knees” birth control philosophy of people associated with Sen. Rick Santorum’s campaign, but that too would be a good example.

This time we are referring to the psychological disorder reserved to the boneheads in the State Department and the politicians who actually listen to and give credence to their diplomatic jabberwocky. It’s like “Groundhog Day” in which the same thing recurs with the same response and the same outcome and nobody learns a damn thing from any of it.

In the past week the same three rogue regimes – Syria, Iran and North Korea – have been in the news. Unfortunately it isn’t new news; it’s the same old thing. President Bashar al Assad, continuing forty years of thuggery begun by his father, Hafez al-Assad, is about to, for the umpteenth time, violate an agreement to stop murdering his own people. But each time he says that he will stop, the diplomatic corps and world leaders hail it as a triumph. If Charlie Manson, or Ted Bundy, announced that they would stop murdering people would the police and prosecutors hail that as a victory? How about the second, or third, or fourth time they made such a pronouncement only to violate it? Every guy on the street knows that would be insane but somehow each pronouncement by Mr. Assad is celebrated as a victory by the diplomats even though it will inevitably fail.

President Mahmoud Amhadinejad, through intermediaries, has signaled – again – that the radical theocracy in Iran is willing to consider concessions on its nuclear weapons program. Predictably, the diplomats and national leaders are all atwitter that a resolution is at hand. But every guy on the street knows that the Iranian leaders are lying – again. You don’t need a degree from an Ivy League school to know that the talks will drag on and a pretense for terminating the talks or ignoring the outcome will be found by Iran. That all of this is just a means of stalling while they complete work on their nuclear weapons. If a woman believes the repeated assurances from a serially cheating spouse that he will never do it again, we all know that she is either stupid or terminally naïve. (The same is just as true for a man responding to the assurances of a cheating spouse.)

In North Korea the newest generation of a homicidal family, has – in violation of previous agreements – announced the near term launch of a long-range missile – a missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. In response the world’s diplomats and leaders have, once again, rushed to the table to see what it is that they can give North Korea to keep it from violating the last agreement that they paid it to accept. Every man on the street knows that a blackmail scheme never ends – that there is always one more demand, one more threat, and one more concession.

And yet, here are the Druids of Foggy Bottom – pulling on their Meerschaums, and twirling their Courvoisier – in perfect nasal unison, urging another round of pointless negotiations with international criminals. How many years, how many generations, how many failures must the diplomatic corps accept before they come to the conclusion that diplomacy only works among civilized nations both seeking a solution to a common problem? It has never worked in dealing with tyrants, despots or religious fanatics. Every guy confronting a bully knows that. Someone once opined that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Let me suggest an alternative approach to these recent events.

In Syria we should conclude that no matter what we do, a despotic regime will rise to power and continue another 1,500 years of autocratic or theocratic repression and tyranny. The Arab Spring envisioned by Mr. Obama and his diplomatic corps is a myth. There are no “democratic forces” in a position to succeed in Syria and America’s participation in the conflict – directly or indirectly – will only succeed in increasing the wrath of the next despotic regime. We would be far better off increasing the security of the common borders of Israel and Turkey to ensure that our true friends remain safe.

In Iran, we made a major mistake through the last two administrations of gradually increasing economic sanctions. We should have dropped on Iran like a ton of bricks and basically shut them off economically from the rest of the world in one fell swoop. Having failed to do that, and having observed the minimal impact of the “gradualism” of economic sanctions, we should now give Israel the “green light” and the newest bunker buster to ensure the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities. At the same time we should quietly inform the Arab nations in close proximity to Israel that America will protect Israel from any retaliations and that any increased hostilities will be at their own danger.

In North Korea we should, like with Iran, drop the whole load of economic sanctions and further isolate that rogue regime from the civilized world. In addition, we should monitor any intended rocket launch and, once it leaves the borders of North Korea, shoot it down. We possess the capabilities of doing so and by doing so we will both deprive the North Koreans of any performance data and send them a clear message that we are prepared to do it again.

Diplomacy works among people of goodwill; only demonstrable strength works with tyrants, despots and other bullies.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Iran – The gradual increase of sanctions was an absurd strategy, but about the only one available within the UN. The UN is a feckless body and to expect more of them is probably unrealistic.

    Gradual increase of pressure is generally not a good strategy. It tends to only increase resolve as we saw in Vietnam and WW2.

    Within the context of the UN you cant expect much more with Iran, as there are countries with diametrically opposed interests to ours.

    With regard to NK, I am not so sure shooting down a rocket in mid flight is a good idea. Frankly I think it could easily be taken as an act of war. I can understand the motivation, but the repercussions from such an act would be huge.

    Syria – God knows. I feel sorry for these people, but with conditions as they are this is probably one they will have to win on their own.

  • Bob Clark

    Regarding Syria, it’s who is the tyrant that counts.  Assad isn’t Sunni, but rather of a third religious sect -the other being Shite.  His religous sect is in the minority, and Sunni’s are actually the majority of Syrians.  Assad has aligned himself and his dictatorship with Iran.  We should support more vigorously a change out in the Syrian dictatorship to one of Sunni support.  This would be a major loss to Iran’s ambition to dominate the Arabian continent, and allow the Arabs to stop the Persians from domination.

    Syria and Iran are not so much about Israel as they are about Sunni versus Shite (Saudi Arabia versus Persia (Iran)).

    Actually, the big error we made which was a result of emotion rather than logic (after 911) was to displace Sadam Huessin in Iraq.  Altho a declining force, Iraq was effectively a counterweight to Iran then.  Now Iraq is more easily dominated by Tehran, Iran.  Of course, there might not have been a 911 if hadn’t been for the first gulf war, which moved Osama Bin Laden to target the U.S more vigorously (because of our military presence in Saudi Arabia).

    Although I don’t care for the socialistic leanings of Kenneth Galbraith, he did have something with his theory of counterveiling forces.  We can’t possibly do everything ourselves to bring world order but we sure can try to form cooperative alliances to provide counterweights to rising Persian and Chineese power.

  • JoelinPDX

    Obozo is a wimp. Do you really expect him to get tough with any of the rouge regimes? Our only hope is to elect Mitt Romney in November and put some guts in our foreign policy. 

    Obozo had no foreign policy experience when he became president and unfortunately he holds the same level of foreign policy experience today.

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