November 9, 2009

Mr. Obama, about your Iran policy - can you spell f-e-c-k-l-e-s-s?

Feckless: adjective ineffective; incompetent; futile

That pretty sums up the present Iran policy of the Obama Administration. I hate to keep harping on this - it seems that most of my writings and comments of late deal with this subject. Either the President is persistent or he just doesn't get it, but his policy of "engaging" Iran has proven to be ineffective, incompetent and futile, yes, feckless.

The latest indication that they - by "they" I mean the President and equally inept Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - don't get it came today. Faced with an outright Iranian rejection of an American-supported plan by which Iran would export most of its enriched uranium for processing into proliferation-safe fuel rods, the Administration announced that it wanted to "give some space to Iran to work through this. It's a tough issue for them, quite obviously, and we're hoping for an early positive answer from the Iranians."

An early positive answer from the Iranians? Mr. Obama, how many times do you have to be told no before you understand that you are being manipualted by the Iranians? They agree, then backpedal, then agree to talk about more talks, then send signals that they hope they can still reach a deal, and offer to talk about more talks. All you have gotten out of the Iranians is an offer to talk about talks. You have gotten not one concrete concession from Tehran.

On the other hand, the Iranians have played you like a cheap 'ud (lute). They have been able to lure you into one-on-one talks in Iraq that went nowhere - Iran still provides money, weapons and training to Shi'a militias that have American blood on their hands. Not only are they supporting the Iraqi militias, they are now funneling improvised explosive device components to the Taliban in Afghanistan - more American blood on their hands.

Now the Iranians threaten to try three young American hikers on espionage charges. I guess "engaging" hasn't really helped that aspect of our relationship, has it?

What else have they gained from your naivete? By sponsoring the enriched uranium export agreement, you have legitimized their nuclear research program. You even agreed to more one-on-one talks, further legitimizing the regime. When demands that Iran stop enriching uranium were ignored, rather than successfully orchestrating the imposition of economic sanctions, you have given them more time, over and over. Of course, they have offered to talk. I guess to you, that is the same as "engaging."

Now you are willing to give the Iranians until the end of the year to agree to the export arrangement. Why? They have had months, even years to accommodate the demands of the West about their nuclear ambition - they have chosen not to. They repeatedly ignore the United Nations and various coalitions of nations, each time agreeing to more talks. While they are playing you and delaying any resolution of the nuclear issue, they continue to enrich uranium and conduct research into weapons design and development.

Mr. President, it's time to do something other than let the Iranians agree to talk. That is not progress, nor is it success, well not for you - it is a huge success for Iranian foreign policy.

"Engaging" is not working. Continuing it in the face of repeated failures makes you look weak, yes, even feckless.