Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Obama, Iran and the Revised Missile Defense System

So a week or so ago, the Obama administration altered the missile defense plan for Eastern Europe. The new plan redirects the system to be better suited to protect Europe from missiles from Iran rather than Russia. This makes good sense. Russia isn't a cuddly teddy bear but they need Europe to keep buying their oil and gas (CIA world factbook shows that all but one of Russia's top export partners are EU member states and they combine for nearly 40% of all of Russia's exports). Starting a war with EU countries (aka most of NATO) would be economic suicide for the Russians. Even if Russia won, they would destroy the EU economy in the process which would be tantamount to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. So let's stop obsessing about the Russians shall we? Russia is annoying and worthy of wary observation and even criticism from time to time but they aren't likely to be a serious deadly threat to the EU/NATO any time soon. Iran is a different story. Iran has other oil markets (CIA world factbook reports that about 40% of Iran's exports go to China, Japan and S. Korea not Europe) and is governed by a regime that seems to place higher priorities on the usual Middle East nonsense than on the material well being of their citizenry. That could lead to the odd missile being lobbed at Greece or Romania or something. So redirecting the missile plan is a good idea. It's smart. Conservatives who criticize it are just being partisan wind bags. Either that or they are actually delusional enough to think that it is still 1982.

The most recent news is that Iran has finally admitted to having a second nuclear reactor that it has so far kept secret. Also they are now planning to test fire a series of short and medium range missiles. So here is where the positive overtures pay off. On Friday, Obama, the UK's Gordon Brown and ... wait for it ... France's Sarkozy issued a joint statement of warning against Iran. By starting his administration with a conciliatory tone towards Iran, it makes Iran look that much worse when they are caught red handed. And the initial diplomacy gives the French government political cover to back our play. Add to this now, that we are no longer being confrontational with Russia and there are wide spread expectations that Russia will soon join the newly united front against Iran.

As LTG said in an earlier post. This is real change in foreign policy and it is working!

Nevertheless, for months I've been seeing ads on TV attacking Obama for his overtures to Iran (I looked for it on youtube without success). Arguing that Obama is too soft on Iran and that Iran's leaders are taking advantage of him, this ad is still running even as events over take it and make it's criticisms look more and more ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

The sad thing is, it will take a nuke dropped on a US or European city by Iran for anyone to do anything about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hatred for the west. And the first thing that will be said if a nuke is dropped is "It is President Bushes fault" It is amazing that the people in power are always there to point the finger but never there to take the blame.

Raised By Republicans said...


The Law Talking Guy said...

RBR, I agree: the Cold War is over. We need to stop fighting it.

The policy of engagement with Iran started by Clinton in the mid-1990s coincided with its reformist leadership. Iran could have gradually re-entered the world community as prosperity and productive engagement followed one another. But when Bush took office, all that stopped. It was all "axis of evil" and "regime change." The neocon conceit that tough talk would cow Iran was dumb; obviously it would have the opposite effect, as it did. It is always easier to provoke conflict than to defuse it. That is our current task.

We are not naturally competitors with Iran. Everything points to trade rather than military or political competition.

Raised By Republicans said...

Yeah, Iran even offered significant help against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Bush threw it back in their faces. Oops.

I agree. The problem with Iran isn't strategic, it's political. Obama gets that. Bush did not.

The Law Talking Guy said...

"The problem with Iran isn't strategic, it's political. Obama gets that. Bush did not."

That's *exactly* what I was trying to say, inartfully.