A Naïve President and a Nuclear Armed Iran

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

The so-called Arab Spring began in the middle of December, 2010. Its inauspicious beginning arose from a Muslim fanatic in Tunisia that was so offended by being slapped by a woman police officer that he set himself on fire in protest. In all probability the term was a media-generated fanciful wish that sought to compare the accompanying and prolonged violence we are witnessing in the Middle East to a legitimate movement toward democracy known as the Prague Spring. Other than the common usage of the term “Spring” there is not a single, legitimate element of commonality.

In February of 2011, less than a month after Marc Lynch writing in the political journal Foreign Policy coined the phrase, I wrote an article that noted at the outset:

“Enough Already. The naïve euphoria over the “popular uprising” in Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations has caused America’s mainstream media to enter a mental state reminiscent of a thirteen year old’s crush on Justin Bieber – unreasonable, unfathomable and unsustainable. The euphoria is fueled by like-minded simpletons in the State Department who, despite consistent failure, still believe that diplomacy will conquer the violent will of ruthless men.

“Is the Middle East on a historical march to freedom and democracy? What, are you crazy? The most likely outcome of these “popular uprisings” is the replacement of brutal, autocratic despots with brutal, theocratic despots. It is possible that Egypt, solely because of its armed forces, might temporarily resist the wave of Islamic fundamentalism but even that will be of relatively short duration.”

Time wounds all heels. The passage of two years has proved me right and President Obama, his barely able cabal in the State Department, and the mainstream media wrong –dead wrong. As I noted in October of 2011:

“The naivete of politicians when it comes to dealing with tyrants, madmen and genuine evil in the world continues to astound me. I recently finished reading Wilson Miscamble’s The Most Controversial Decision – the detailed and well documented decision by President Harry Truman to drop the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The most startling thing about the book was not the difficulty that Truman had with his decision to drop the bombs – he made that decision before the bombs were fully developed or tested and never wavered – rather it was the extraordinary naivete of his belief that he could deal personally with Joseph Stalin and that Stalin was the “moderating” force in the Soviet Union.

“Mr. Truman’s mistaken belief was a holdover from his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the “diplomats” running the State Department. It was only after repeated aggressions by Mr. Stalin and the emergence and conversion of Secretary of State Dean Acheson that Truman adopted a more aggressive policy of containment reinforced by military action.

President John Kennedy succeeded President Dwight Eisenhower and re-established the politics of naivete. Mr. Kennedy was so regularly irresolute over the continuous advance and aggression of the Soviet Union that he was finally forced into a showdown with Soviet Union over the Cuban Missile Crises – a confrontation that should never have happened except for pusillanimous pussyfooting of the “diplomats” at his State Department. One only has to remember the disaster at the Bay of Pigs to understand how cowardice in the face of aggression breeds further aggressive actions.

President Jimmy Carter smiled his way into the presidency after the disaster of President Richard Nixon. Mr. Carter presided over the rise of the Iranian theocracy – Ayatollah Khomeini – highlighted by the invasion and capture of the United States Embassy and the holding of 52 Americans hostage for nearly 450 days. His “turn the other check” form of diplomacy was engineered by Cyrus Vance – a patrician Wall Street lawyer – so adverse to confrontation that he resigned when Mr. Carter authorized Operation Eagle Claw, the disastrously failed attempt to recover the hostages.”

It’s not that I am prescient; rather it is that the same conduct by Mr. Obama and his liberal predecessors guarantees the same result. For all of his supposed intelligence, Mr. Obama continues to refuse to undertake the single act that marks the truly intelligent and the truly successful – critical self-analysis and acknowledgement of when something goes wrong. Worse yet it is becoming more apparent that Mr. Obama is incapable of even recognizing the mistakes. In a previous column criticizing the politics of appeasement I noted:

 “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.”

But Mr. Obama was re-elected. I am certain that a large proportion of America – as am I – are tired of years of war with Muslim nations controlled by Islamic extremists. The fact that Mr. Obama is hailing an end to these wars and a withdrawal of combat troops gladdens the hearts of most Americans – particularly those with friends and family in harm’s way.

But Mr. Obama’s retreat is simply a part of an overall demonstration of weakness and irresoluteness. It is just a part of his apology tour, his failure to deal with the continuing advances of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, the failures in Libya that resulted in the assassination of our ambassador, and so on and so on seemingly indefinitely. Which brings us to the next major international crises.

Iran will have an assembled nuclear weapon before the middle of summer. And what will we do? Nothing – well we’ll express our “condemnation,” no our “strong condemnation”, maybe our “strongest condemnation” – but beyond that nothing. For awhile Mr. Obama will argue – as did Vice President Biden – that Iran does not possess a delivery vehicle for a nuclear weapon and therefore they are still not a nuclear threat. Mr. Obama knows that, in fact, Iran does possess a delivery vehicle and that they will use it at their first opportunity. Mr. Obama’s fervent belief in “diplomacy” in face of naked aggression guarantees another timid response.

History has consistently demonstrated that diplomacy is futile when dealing with tyrants and despots. Those who espouse diplomatic responses to continuously dangerous provocations have so consistently backed down that those tyrants and despots have learned they will prevail through delay and persistence. Diplomacy only works to resolve conflicts among nations of goodwill. It is force and the threat of force that is necessary to hold tyrants and despots in check.

It is pointless to discuss the alternatives because Mr. Obama will never pursue them. Mr. Obama’s motivation is irrelevant; it is only the result that matters. And the result is that, within six months we will be living with a nuclear armed nation that is a throwback to Nazi Germany but without the mental stability – as little as there was – of its leadership.


  • PoorLarry

    Shorter Larry Huss: I wrote some badly written and even more poorly conceived articles before. They happened to be written around the same time as others wrote about similar current events, but I was right. Look, I said some things, I’ll quote myself and thereby prove I was right!

    What is this article even saying? Besides the weird 10th grader obsession with synonyms (Larry discovered a thesaurus everybody!) and alliteration, the unquenchable compulsion to cast Obama and his State department as weak, and some apparent desire to prove knowledge of current pop culture? You’re literally saying nothing other than (a) you think no one in the Middle East can ever aspire to democracy or civilization, (b) some sort of suggestion that Islam is inherently a religion of violence and intolerance that is unsaveable, and (c) let’s start a war with Iran because the Arab Spring was not a good thing and also Obama is lying.

    Stop me if I’m getting this wrong.

    • valley person

      I think that is a pretty good summary. And to boot, Larry manages to think Iraq was controlled by Muslim fanatics when we chose to invade, rather than realizing it was controlled by a secular despot who, thanks to our invasion, has now been replaced by an Iranian ally.

    • reader here

      Are you an operative for the Muslim Brotherhood? If yes, that would confirm your affiliation as not being with U.S. – but in alliance with some insurgent foreign liaison bent tearing US apart.

      • 3H

        Yes, he must be an operative. Anyone who questions Larry must be an operative. How astute of you to have noticed.

        • reader here

          3H, eyes wide shut – perhaps, fan of Neville Chamberlain. .

          • crabman34

            What’s sad is that “reader here” formulated that post in his head and then thought “Yeah, that is a completely logical statement that will thoroughly refute their criticisms of Larry “Right from the Start” Huss.”

            Sometimes the distances to which conservatives creep with their relationship to truth makes me wonder if they are not, in fact, suffering from an as-yet-identifed diagnosis that belongs in the DSM.

          • reader here

            OU kidder, what a maroon UB.

  • David from Mill City

    Every time I read something like this I wonder exactly what the author thinks is a better solution, starting another unwinnable war in the Middle East? I say start a war, because I do not believe that Iran would accept a military strike on its nuclear program with out going to war with us and our allies.

    I have been a student of military history for over 50 years, one of the more important truisms I have discovered is that ending a war requires at least one side to admit defeat. They do not need to be really defeated, nor do they need to publicly admit it, they just need to admit it to themselves and act accordingly. And until one of the parties is willing to do so the war will continue. While we might be able to militarily destroy Iran, I do not believe in this age of asymmetric warfare that we can cause them to admit defeat.

    While I am still considering it and as of yet am unwilling to advocate for it, I have an out-of-the-box idea that is worth discussing. Rather then opposing Iran’s getting “The Bomb” we become neutral on the subject, while making it absolutely clear to both the Iranian leadership and Iranian people that should they develop “The Bomb” they as a nation will be held responsible for its use. That should one of their Nuclear weapons be used regardless of who actually sets it off they will be held responsible and that responsibility would come in the form of nuclear annihilation. Given that at least some of the major religious leaders who are really in control of the nation have come out against an “Islamic bomb” because it violates the tenants of Islam, a you will be responsible approach might have merit. And again let me go on the record as only putting this out for discussion.

    Thoughts, comments anyone?

    • valley person

      First, Iran does not have a bomb, and we really do not know if or when they will get one. Second, if they do get one they will not use it, because who would they use it on? The Israelis have 2-300 nuclear warhead on submarines, and the Iranians know this. And contrary to popular opinion, they really are not crazy or suicidal.

      Third, if they really want a bomb they will find a way to get it, and there isn’t much we actually can do about it short of full scale war, which frankly the American people are not interested in.

      Fourth, the present Iranian regime is not likely to last that long, so even if they get a bomb, they very well may get a better government that would get rid of it and make peace. We waited out the Soviet Union for 4 decades. We can wait out Iran.

  • Mike

    Naive or purposefully anti-American?