December 2, 2014
The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014
Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology
The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
April 9, 2014
Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?
Samuel G. Freedman
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
June 8, 2006
/ 12 Sivan, 5766
We're making the ultimate confrontation with Iran more difficult than it need be
From time to time various wags have suggested that we send Bill Clinton to negotiate with the mullahs on our behalf. It turns out it isn't necessary; we've just adopted his methods. Apparently those in charge of our Iran non-policy concluded that the appeasement of North Korea worked so well, we should do the same thing with Iran. I suppose it's only a matter of time before Condi borrows one of Albright's big hats, and goes to Tehran to dance with their dictator.
The architects of this latest foolishness are whispering the same reassuring nonsense as their predecessors did about North Korea: We're offering light-water reactors, which aren't as dangerous as heavy-water reactors, we won't give them anything unless they agree to stop enrichment, blah, blah, blah. All of which is true, and totally insane, since a madman is, famously, a person who thinks that he will produce a different outcome by doing the same thing over and over again.
It is utterly fanciful to think that Iran will negotiate away their nuclear-weapons program, whatever the combination of diplomatic carrots and sticks. They have no interest whatsoever in giving away their bombs, whatever the actual status of their arsenal. For them, the only point of negotiations is to gain more time to pursue their war against us, to kill more Americans and Brits in Iraq, to mobilize more jihadis all over the region, to threaten our regional friends and allies, to enlarge their terror network throughout the world, to stuff their war chest with petrodollars, and to enlarge their arsenal.
I do not believe any of the Europeans seriously believes that the mullahs will abandon any of their war plans, whether it is enrichment or terrorism or political subversion or the intimidation of lesser regional players. I think the Europeans view the negotiations as a method of restraining us, not bringing the Iranians to heel. They have long since adopted a policy of total appeasement. To her shame Chancellor Merkel came to Washington a few weeks ago and begged President Bush to play along. And he shamefully agreed.
The much-heralded announcement that we were willing to sit down with the Iranians if they halted their enrichment program was either a total collapse or a gambit designed to expose the Iranians' unwillingness to play by the international rules. If the latter, it was too clever by half, as shown by the sorts of Western offers that are now trickling out of the foreign offices. We have actually set a clever trap for ourselves. The carrots are precisely what negotiations were supposed to be all about, and here we've offered them in advance of talks. The Iranians are certainly smart enough to say "well, that's interesting, and maybe if you make the pot a bit more caloric, we might even agree to suspend enrichment. Let's talk about it." The Europeans and our statesmen will declare a diplomatic triumph and they will say to Bush that we do indeed have to talk about it, and then we will have lost even this little gambit. We will have undertaken negotiations, and the Iranians will not have ceased enrichment. We will still not have an Iran policy, we will still have done nothing to support freedom in Iran, and we will still be pretending it is possible to win a regional war by playing defense in Iraq alone.
The political consequences of such foolishness are very hard to calculate, but it is certain that any Iranian contemplating risking his or her life on behalf of a free Iran will be discouraged at the spectacle. It is also certain that this demarche-to use a word much beloved by the diplomats will reinforce the extremely dangerous conviction in Tehran that they are winning, and we will do nothing to threaten them. This is what makes the latest gambit so self-destructive. It will encourage the mullahs to intensify their attacks real attacks, not merely verbal ones on all fronts. They think we are headed out of Iraq, in abject humiliation, as a result of their terror war against us, and they will now redouble those efforts.
Would you not do the same in their position? Of course you would, and you would do it even if you were not a fanatic, you would do it if you were a student of Bismarck and Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.
But these are fanatics, millenarian fanatics who believe that the world is headed for a final and decisive confrontation between the forces of Islam and the infidels and crusaders. They believe that the final days are at hand, and that they are the instruments of Divine power and glory. They have no doubt about their ultimate triumph, and everything they see in the West only reinforces their confidence, and leads them to redouble their murderous efforts.
Their vision is not world peace, but world domination, accompanied by the slaughter of their enemies. And we are encouraging them in that vision.
I do not believe we will surrender and give them a free hand, but our current behavior only makes the ultimate confrontation with Iran more difficult and likely more violent than it need be. No matter how unwilling Western leaders may be to respond to their 27-year war against us, we cannot escape it, because they will not permit us to escape. It is a conflict we can either win or lose, but we cannot opt out of it. Eventually we will be compelled to respond.
At the moment, most of our leaders are trying desperately to convince themselves that there is a way out, that we can make a grand bargain, that we do not have to confront the mullahs. It is the illogic of appeasement so well described by Churchill after Munich. Chamberlain, he said, had to choose between war and dishonor. Chamberlain chose dishonor, and he got war. This is the risk our leaders are running today.
And the hell of it all is that the mullahs are terribly vulnerable, loathed by their own people, our natural allies in what is after all a political and ideological conflict. Our failure to support the Iranians' cry for freedom is a dark stain on our banners, and worse: Our dishonor leads directly a war that we should not need to fight. We can defeat the mullahs the same way we defeated the Soviet Union, by mobilizing their own people against them, and by consistently stating and supporting our own ideals. Instead we are sending our young men and women into the field to fall alongside innocent Iraqis to whom we promised a better fate.
Faster, please. Please.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of, most recently, ""The War Against the Terror Masters," Comment by clicking here.
Michael Ledeen Archives
© 2005, Michael Ledeen