Mark Steyn of the Sun Times has written a great article. (hat tip – Little Green Footballs) He suggests a wonderful thing to try the next time you are flying in the States — impersonate Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
You know what’s great fun to do if you’re on, say, a flight from Chicago to New York and you’re getting a little bored? Why not play being President Ahmadinejad? Stand up and yell in a loud voice, “I’ve got a bomb!” Next thing you know the air marshal will be telling people, “It’s OK, folks. Nothing to worry about. He hasn’t got a bomb.” And then the second marshal would say, “And even if he did have a bomb it’s highly unlikely he’d ever use it.” And then you threaten to kill the two Jews in row 12 and the stewardess says, “Relax, everyone. That’s just a harmless rhetorical flourish.” And then a group of passengers in rows 4 to 7 point out, “Yes, but it’s entirely reasonable of him to have a bomb given the threatening behavior of the marshals and the cabin crew.”
That’s how it goes with the Iranians. The more they claim they’ve gone nuclear, the more U.S. intelligence experts — oops, where are my quote marks? — the more U.S. intelligence “experts” insist no, no, it won’t be for another 10 years yet. The more they conclusively demonstrate their non-compliance with the IAEA, the more the international community warns sternly that, if it were proved that Iran were in non-compliance, that could have very grave consequences. But, fortunately, no matter how thoroughly the Iranians non-comply it’s never quite non-compliant enough to rise to the level of grave consequences. You can’t blame Ahmadinejad for thinking “our enemies cannot do a damned thing.”
The whole article is a treat to read. And it points out the problems we have in dealing with Iran that I recently wrote about. Steyn continues with a section that outlines Iran’s push for nuclear power, regardless of what people do:
It’s not the world’s job to prove that the Iranians are bluffing. The braggadocio itself is reason enough to act, and prolonged negotiations with a regime that openly admits it’s negotiating just for the laughs only damages us further. The perfect summation of the Iranian approach to negotiations came in this gem of a sentence from the New York Times on July 13 last year:
“Iran will resume uranium enrichment if the European Union does not recognize its right to do so, two Iranian nuclear negotiators said in an interview published Thursday.”
Got that? If we don’t let Iran go nuclear, they’ll go nuclear. That position might tax even the nuanced detecting skills of John Kerry.
So what do we do? We still have three basic options with Iran, but Steyn gives a good explanation at the end of his piece about the problem with going through the United Nations to get anything done:
All the doom-mongers want to know why we went into Iraq “without a plan.” Well, one reason is surely that, for a year before the invasion, the energy of the U.S. government was primarily devoted to the pointless tap-dance through the United Nations, culminating in the absurd situation of Western foreign ministers chasing each other through Africa to bend the ear of the president of Guinea, who happened to be on the Security Council that week but whose witch doctor had advised against supporting Washington. Allowing the Guinean tail to wag the French rectum of the British hindquarters of the American dog was a huge waste of resources. To go through it all again in order to prevent whichever global colossus chances to be on the Security Council this time (Haiti? The South Sandwich Islands?) from siding with the Russo-Chinese obstructionists would show that the United States had learned nothing.
Bill Clinton, the Sultan of Swing, gave an interesting speech last week, apropos foreign policy: “Anytime somebody said in my presidency, ‘If you don’t do this, people will think you’re weak,’ I always asked the same question for eight years: ‘Can we kill ‘em tomorrow?’ If we can kill ‘em tomorrow, then we’re not weak, and we might be wise enough to try to find an alternative way.”
The trouble was tomorrow never came — from the first World Trade Center attack to Khobar Towers to the African Embassy bombings to the USS Cole. Mañana is not a policy. The Iranians are merely the latest to understand that.