The Democrats in the Senate were just appalled when President Bush appointed John Bolton to be our Ambassador to the United Nations. Mr Bolton was rude, Mr Bolton was undiplomatic, Mr Bolton was a hard-liner, they complained. One thing the Democrats didn’t complain about, one thing they never mentioned, was that Mr Bolton was most often right! Sharon had this story:
I really hate when conservatives are right about these things, since it just means we’re in that much greater danger of dangerous stuff…like a nuclear armed Iran.
When the Obama Administration proclaimed victory on October 1st by announcing that a break-through had been reached in Geneva and that Iran had committed to shipping 2,600 pounds of fuel to Russia, expert Iran watchers were appropriately cynical. Bolton cautioned, yet again, that the Iranians had used some of the same diplomatic nuances they had been using for years to successfully buy more time to continue enriching uranium and fake cooperation with the international community.
Usually, the Europeans were the first to take the bait but this time the Obama Administration got hooked first. Bolton, however, was the first to stand up and call the Iranian pronouncement a sham – and he did it within hours of the announcement.
But as Obama officials were rushing to pat themselves on the back and the New York Times was proclaiming atop the paper “Iran Agrees to Send Enriched Uranium to Russia,” Iranian officials were telling reporters that they had not committed to anything. The Iranians called it “an agreement in principle” – code words for “we’d like to but…”
The Times’ reporter in Geneva, however, was taking what the Obama officials were saying and running wildly with the incredible news. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the Times had either not checked with Iranian officials or ignored their warnings in favor of the Obama Administration’s good news. Roughly a month later, the Iranian official statements confirmed the fact that the Obama Administration had been duped. The Times subsequently inched its way back to reality through multiple follow-up stories that increasingly showed skepticism in the Victory claims culminating with October 30th’s headline “Tehran Rejects Nuclear Accord.”
Today, while the Iranians reprocess more fuel, the Obama team continues to compromise and offer even more incentives to them. No wonder Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is waiting – the deal keeps getting sweeter. President Obama has offered the Iranians more time, more sites to place their illegal fuel, more personal correspondence with the Ayatollah, more excuses as to what happened to the original deal they announced and no Chinese and Russian arm-twisting. The Obama team also keeps claiming that if Iran ships 2600 pounds of fuel out to Russia for re-processing then Iran will be unable to pose a nuclear threat for at least a year.
It’s tough to keep giving Democrats the benefit of the doubt on these issues. The evidence keeps mounting that they either (a) don’t mind Iranian mullahs having nuclear weapons cuz, geez, America is the only country to ever use nukes, or (b) they are so stupid that they actually think the Iranian government won’t lie about their nuclear ambitions. Either way, the threat is great.
Well, I’d point out here that I was right as well, when I noted that:
Well, we’ll see. I admit that I don’t trust the Iranian government at all, but if the agreement is finalized, and it is verifiable, it will be a positive step.
At any rate, it didn’t take long before the supposed deal began to unravel. I was willing to give some credit to the Obama Administration, if the agreement actually panned out, while John Bolton just went straight negative. Thing is, while I put caveats on my giving credit to the Obama Administration, Mr Bolton was solidly, completely, 100% right. He gave no praise to the President for an agreement he was sure would never be finalized or honored, and he was dead on target.
The label “neoconservative” has ben bandied about with such looseness that a lot of people don’t really know what they are saying when they use the word. Without trying to get into definitions of the word, I’d like to posit three underlying principles of neoconservatism in foreign policy:
- Democracy and Western civilization are inherently superior, morally, ethically and economically, to any other cultures known to man, and ought to be held as superior publicly and in our dealings with other nations;
- Countries ruled by despots and dictators are inherently both capricious and untrustworthy, and agreements or alliances made with them must be constantly monitored for compliance; and
- Unwarranted expressions of good faith and hope shown to dictators and despots will not be returned with good faith, but with the assumption that such are signs of weakness and will be exploited wherever possible.
Secure loose nuclear materials from terrorists:
Obama and Biden will secure all loose nuclear materials in the world within four years, and will negotiate a verifiable global ban on the production of new nuclear weapons material to curb the spread of nuclear weapons.
Barack Obama will pursue tough, direct diplomacy without preconditions to end the threat from Iran:
Obama and Biden will present the Iranian regime with a clear choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, they would offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, Obama and Biden will step up our economic pressure and political isolation.
Renew American diplomacy:
Obama and Biden will renew American diplomacy to meet the challenges of the 21st century. They will rebuild our alliances. And they would be willing to meet with all nations, friend and foe, to advance American interests.
In his campaign, Mr Obama was promising a foreign policy which was supposedly firm, but which wouldn’t upset other people, would treat them with respect. President Bush’s statement about the “Axis of Evil,” and President Reagan’s long-ago description of the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire” would be things that would have to go under the Obama Administration.
But, one thing about the neoconservatives: they were blunt, and they were forthright, and they often made few friends, but they were absotively, posilutely right in how they viewed the world. When President Reagan described the Soviet Union as an Evil Empire, he was telling the unvarnished truth, and if the Soviets — and some of our own liberals — reacted with a bellow of indignation, it was because they recognized it as true, but didn’t want the truth spoken. When the younger President Bush labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an Axis of Evil, our friends on the left tried to pick that apart, trying to make points on a lack of cooperation between them meaning that the three nations weren’t a real “axis,” but the fact remained that all three were governed by thoroughly evil regimes.
Of course, to call a foreign regime evil requires acceptance of the neoconservative principles I mentioned: “Democracy and Western civilization are inherently superior, morally, ethically and economically, to any other cultures known to man, and ought to be held as superior publicly and in our dealings with other nations.” The so-called multiculturalist approach, which holds that no particular culture is inherently superior, that all are equally “valid,” doesn’t have room for declaring other countries to be evil, and, despite the fact that our friends on the left certainly decry many of the parts of some foreign cultures and nations they find abhorrent — female circumcision, oppression of the individual, lack of real human rights — they can’t bring themselves to put these things together and call them what they are: evil. Instead, we find some of our own Western liberals making excuses for these oppressive regimes, making excuses for North Korea building atomic weapons, because the United States has them, even though, despite an open, shooting war with North Korea, we never used them against the Communists, and ignoring the fact that the oppressive communist Korean regime is starving its own people by its policies. We have seen excuses for Iran seeking to build nuclear weapons, despite the fact that no one has threatened them, despite the fact that Iran’s supposed greatest enemy, Israel, is believed to have had nuclear weapons for over thirty years and never used them, and despite the fact that the United States deposed the dictator who ordered the last invasion of Iran.
Our friends on the left have been too consumed with the notion of equality, to the extent that they seem to hold that every nation is and ought to be equally sovereign with every other nation, that Myanmar ought somehow to be considered as equal to France, that Pakistan ought to be just as honored and respected as Germany, that Iran should be thought of and treated the same as the United States. The neoconservatives recognize reality, that just because those nations have certain, equal legal rights does not mean that they are truly equal, that just because they are sovereign does not mean they deserve respect.
President Obama is in the process of getting a hard lesson in life from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Like President Carter before him, the Iranians are teaching him that their government cannot be trusted. Mr Carter learned that lesson too late, to the humiliation of the United States and the American people decided to allow our 39th President to take early retirement. Whether Mr Obama learns the lessons that President Ahmadinejad is trying to teach him, well, that’s anybody’s guess, but those lessons seem to go completely against our 44th President’s grain.
But it’s really simple: if he’d simply listen to the neoconservatives, those brisk, rude people who might not be well liked but who have an unerring capacity to see the actual truth, he’d start to get it right.