Iran shows the bankruptcy of appeasement

Washington Times Editorial:


If anyone had any doubts about the danger posed by a potential nuclear-armed Islamist regime in Iran -- and the need for the West to develop a more realistic approach to the ruling mullahs -- the Iranian president's call for Israel's destruction should dispel them.

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Mr. Ahmadinejad's brazen call for the destruction of another country drives home once again the utter bankruptcy of the European Union's diplomacy-only approach to dealing with the current Iranian regime and its bid to acquire nuclear weapons. It should also spur the United States to revisit the decision made in March to defer to the Europeans and adopt a softer approach to Iran.

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The effort to work with the Europeans was worth trying. But the Europeans' unwillingness to consider stronger steps against Iran, combined with the likelihood of Russian and Chinese vetoes at the Security Council, made the European plan unworkable. These developments should be sobering for those who have relied on diplomacy that is not backed up by a credible coercive threat.
There is also this from Ralph Peters:

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Meeting with a lively group of American businessmen on Tuesday, I was asked how we'd know when Tehran was on the verge of acquiring a nuclear capability. "You'll see Israeli planes in the sky over Iran," I said with a smile masking my seriousness.

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Amir Taheri adds:

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For the next week or so, special registers will remain open in thousands of schools across Iran to enable "volunteers for martyrdom" to put down their names for the coming "Holy War." The Iranian branch of Hezbollah claims it has enrolled 11,300 would-be suicide-martyrs for operations against the United States and its allies, especially Israel and Britain.

Hostility to Israel has been a key ingredient of the Islamic Republic's foreign policy since its inception in 1979. But the late Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini was always careful not to promise anything on Israel that he couldn't deliver. And while his regime could make life difficult for the Jewish state (largely by recruiting, training, arming and financing Lebanese and Palestinian guerrillas), total destruction required the full participation of Israel's Arab neighbors, especially Egypt and Syria.

Khomeini's anti-Israeli stance was largely opportunistic — a means of wooing the Arabs who, being mostly Sunnis, regarded the ayatollah's Shiite revolution with suspicion.

He also knew that Israel's presence represented a kind of insurance for Iran's own security. For, had Israel not been there to become the focus of Arab rage, Iran might have gotten that role. After all, many Arab dictators, including Iraq's Saddam Hussein, often spoke of dismembering Iran and "liberating" the Iranian province of Khuzestan (which they dubbed "Arabistan").

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the real reason for Ahmadinejad's Jihadist outburst may well be his deep conviction that it is the historic mission of the Islamic Republic to lead the Muslim world in a "war of civilization" against the West led by the United States. One of the first battlegrounds of such a war would be Israel.

Since his election in June, Ahmadinejad and his "strategic advisers" have used a bellicose terminology as part of their program to put Iran on a war footing. In the past few weeks, the regime has been massively militarized with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ahmadinejad's main power-base, seizing control of almost all levers of power.

According to Gen. Salehi, one of Ahmadinejad's military advisers, a clash between the Islamic Republic and the United States has become inevitable. "We must be prepared," Salehi says. "The Americans will run away, leaving their illegitimate child [i.e., Israel] behind. And then Muslims would know what to do."

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