Thursday, July 9, 2009

The G8 to Iran and North Korea: Come Out and Dialogue, or Else!

The G8, the assembly of most of the world's most powerful nations--the United States, Russia, and the main European powers--have met and they have spoken with a loud, clear, and united voice.

If Iran's regime continues to pursue nuclear weapons and long-range missiles at top speed (after stealing the election and repressing the opposition), they will act decisively! At another meeting in 10 weeks--of the even more comprehensive G20 meeting--they will review their policy and, "If there is no progress by then we will have to take action."


In fact, they may possibly increase sanctions in some unspecified way, but one which assuredly won't cut into several European countries' trade and investment with Iran or Russian cooperation on nuclear technology and arms' sales. The internal debate is between those who want to do a little more and Russia, which doesn't want to do anything more.

But that's not all! As for North Korea, which has broken every commitment it ever made and fired off a salvo of missiles on July 4 (just to shove it in America's face), that dictatorship is "urged" (urged, mind you!) to stop doing things like that "and to engage in dialogue and cooperation."

Let evildoers everywhere tremble! The sentinels of liberty are on the march!

Of course, the only thing the Iranian and North Korean regimes are trembling with is laughter.

A case could be made that it is better to do nothing than take positions which are hardly scary, threatening ever-postponed, ever-smaller retaliations for multiple violations of previous agreements.

One can almost see the scene. The leader of the international political mob is holed up in the derelict building. Prosperous industrial countries armed with rifles and shot-guns surround the place. Searchlights light up the night. And the leader of the free world--oh sorry, there's no leader any more--the one chosen to speak by lot picks up the megaphone and shouts into it:

"We've got you surrounded, Ahmadinejad! Come out and dialogue or else we'll come back here in a couple of months and review our options!"

But meanwhile former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, who is considered relatively moderate which just goes to show you) but is now working for the hardest of the hardliners says Iran  won't back down "even one step" on the issue.

So why do we keep waiting? The basic answer is for Obama to get Russia aboard for tougher sanctions. But Russia isn't going to do so.  And even if there were to be unity over tougher sanctions they would be far from sufficient to push Iran to change its policy. That's especially true now that the regime has tossed caution to the winds and moved to the most extreme extreme.

This whole strategy is pointless.

The predictable outcome is that one day you will pick up your daily newspaper and see two headlines.

One will read: "Iran now has nuclear weapons"

and the other will say, "Obama, Europeans Discuss Increased Sanctions to stop Tehran's Nuclear Weapons' Drive."

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