DELEGITIMIZE STATES THAT SPONSOR TERROR

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following paper was written on September 20, 2006, and was sent to President Bush on the same date. The reason why it’s republished here in The…Journal, is that the Pentagon has now a secret plan to attack Iran within twenty four hours, according to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker magazine.

Distinguished former diplomats, like Warren Christopher, Clinton’s Secretary of State, remain at their “postless”, no new messages on diplomacy, posts, and continue to argue on the virtues of old diplomacy. In his piece on the Washington Post, July 28, 2006, he calls for “negotiation of an immediate cease-fire between the warring parties” in Lebanon, and asserts that a “permanent” and “sustainable” solution to the root causes of the conflict—which is the goal of the Bush administration—“is achievable, if at all, by protracted negotiations.” As an example of such successful diplomacy that occurred under his tenure as Secretary, he refers to the rocket attacks by Hezbollah in April 1996 against Israel and the countering of the latter with Operation Grapes of Wrath, that the Cagliostro like arts of diplomacy successfully stymied this confrontation and ushered a truce between the parties that lasted for ten years. He claims, that only by such broad-minded diplomacy that involves all the players in the region could America stop its “tattered reputation.” But he is completely mindless of the fact that this long Truce was neither permanent nor sustainable, but, merely, a respite for the Hezbollah during which the latter would militarily train and proselytize its militia with its fanatic deadly ideology and arm it with Katyusha rockets for a deadlier future confrontation with its mortal enemy, the Jewish State, as we now see.

To repeat therefore the diplomacy of the past in the present context in the face of these lessons given by this flauntingly failed diplomacy, is not only to repeat the mistakes of the past, but more grievously still, to weaken Israel and its Western allies against greater impending dangers in the future. As the upshot of another long Truce between the belligerents now would only benefit Hezbollah by making it politically, ideologically, and militarily even stronger, and loading this time the tips of its rockets with weapons of mass destruction, including tactical nuclear weapons, thus fulfilling President Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic foreboding of wiping Israel off the map. And needless to say, such an outcome would be a tremendous victory for global terror and a serious strategic reversal of the West’s war against it.

Furthermore, it would set in concrete the ambition of Iran to become the dominant power of the region, whose present trailblazing two-pronged strategy to forge an axis between Shi’ites and Sunnis, as the present pact between Iran and Syria illustrates against their arch enemy Israel and to paralyze the EU and the US as a condominium to formulate an ironclad policy that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, are the means by which it will achieve its aim. Since, according to the Ahmadinejad regime, the grand diversion that Lebanon has provided will ease its task to acquire a nuclear arsenal, as the divisions that would be spawned by the Lebanon crisis among the Western countries and within the UN about how to handle the situation on the ground, would be of such a nature that would completely enervate the US and EU condominium from forging a position that would stop Iran from joining the nuclear club.

Hence, the war in Lebanon may initially appear to be a local conflict between Israel and Hezbollah but in reality is a geopolitical conflict between Iran and the Western powers since the former will be using the conflagration of Lebanon as a fulcrum to achieve its strategic goals (a) to acquire nuclear weapons, (b) to emerge as the predominant power in the region, (c) to become the leader of the Muslim world, and (d) to establish in the world the millenarian regime of the twelfth imam Mahdi. As the respected Middle East analyst Amir Taheri wrote in The Australian, on August 7, 06, “to Ahmadinejad to wipe off Israel is the first step toward defeating the ‘infidel’ West”. He furthermore quotes Iran’s state controlled media as saying “that Lebanon would become the graveyard of the Bush plan for a new Middle East”. And Tehran believes, “that a victory by Hezbollah…will strengthen Ahmadinejad’s bid for the leadership of radical Islam”. And Taheri comes to the conclusion “all the talk of a ceasefire, all the diplomatic gesticulation may ultimately mean little in what is an existential conflict”.

Will the “new” diplomacy, as embodied in the unanimously approved resolution by the UN Security Council, in its stylishly dashing French clothes, but worn, by the old decrepit body of diplomatic thinking, bring the long desired, but up till now evanescent, permanent and sustainable solution to the region that so many attempts in the past failed to do? The auguries for such an outcome however, are far from favorable. The Council’s resolution calls for a halt to the fighting and Israel’s withdrawal “in parallel” with the deployment of UN peacekeepers and 15,000 Lebanese troops who will attempt to create a buffer zone in South Lebanon free of the Hezbollah militia. However, the resolution vaguely refers to the disarmament and dismantling of the latter, that is pivotal to a permanent and sustainable peace between Israel and Lebanon and whether such international force and the Lebanese army–which is riddled with Hezbollah sympathizers–even if they had a clear mandate to disarm Hezbollah, would have been able to accomplish this task, given the unambiguous statements of Hezbollah that it will not disarm. Nor does the resolution take a firm and implacable stand in stopping the supply of weapons to Hezbollah by Iran and Syria.

Hence, the dragon teeth of Hezbollah are still planted deep in Lebanon’s soil, presaging an even greater and more dangerous conflagration in the future between the warring parties, especially if Iran stealthily slips into the nuclear club. The UN resolution therefore is merely a soporific. It will provide a couch to Israel and Hezbollah so they can lay down in a temporary state of dormancy until Hezbollah feels strong enough, in its never ending act, to wipe Israel off the map. Thus, the future confrontation will be by far more deadly than the present one, as hundreds of thousands will lose their lives.
 
America’s New Strategic Diplomacy

Surely the American leadership must be aware of this lugubrious scenario that has been staged by this toothless resolution of the Security Council. Unless they have in mind a second stronger swift resolution that will be addressing the complete disarmament and dismantling of Hezbollah and irrevocably stopping Syria and Iran from supplying weapons to its proxy, they will entangle and compromise their up to now clear strategic position in the strategically myopic, unimaginative, fickle, and flabby diplomatic stance of their allies in continental Europe. It will be the ultimate folly, post 9/11, once you have identified your irreconcilable, implacable, and mortal enemy, as the Bush administration has done, to render the enemy and its proxies respites that will strengthen their military capability and make them even more dangerous as well as more difficult to defeat in the future, instead of destroying them at their weakest moment, as no kind of diplomacy ante 9/11, no matter how brilliantly conceived, can achieve the complete destruction of this infernal enemy.

The Bush administration being presumably aware of this fact, i.e., of the complete inadequacy of the old diplomacy, of which so many of its “encoreists”, such as Richard Holbrooke and Madeleine Albright, are continuing to give it “standing ovations”, does seem to be willing–despite its tactical errors in Iraq that have given rise to a rampant insurgency making the war more difficult to win and as a result of this making some members of the Administration more circumspect to launch another attack, this time on Iran–to take leave of its circumspection and embrace a more hawkish diplomacy that would be much more successful than the effete and barren diplomacy of the past. Such robust diplomacy will not be draped in the smooth velvety apparels of “old” Europe or in the tattered garments of the United Nations, but will be draped in the bristling carapace of a porcupine. While there will not be a scarcity of carrots in the exercise of this armed diplomacy, the sticks will be deadly in their threatening application against those intransigent nations that continue overtly or covertly to sponsor terrorists and use them as proxies to achieve their geopolitical and millenarian goals. The axis of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah will have the kiss of death planted on its forehead by this no “frills” American diplomacy. But the angel of death in this new diplomacy will be last in the queue. Before the US deploys as a last resort its lethal arsenal against the axis, it will in the incipient stages of this diplomacy call for the de-legitimatization of Iran and Syria as states that sponsor terror. Iran and Syria will become pariah states and will be isolated from the rest of the world. The only avenues that will remain open between the former and the latter will be the economic ones. But the economic transactions between de-legitimate states and the rest of the world will proceed not through individual states but through an intermediary channel, an international consortium whose representatives will be enlisted from the de jure states of the world who will deal with the economic representatives of the outlaw states. Such procedure will place the free world in a powerful negotiating position to impose its own economic regime on the outlaw states.

Needless to say, some nations will not accept, and will not abide, this “outlawing” of Iran and Syria and will continue to have their relations with the latter unchanged. But as long as the major nations of the world hold the line, this recalcitrance of the minor nations will in no way loosen the tightness of the noose around the throats of the outlaws, as the latter will be banned from attending all international forums where the important decisions in the affairs of the world are made.

The chances that the call for the de-legitimatization of states that sponsor terror, as a diplomatic move to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, are quite high that it will rally many nations to support such a call as the best alternative to an American military attack against Iran, particularly, when such an attack would result in a great loss of lives as well as have the potential to throw the world’s economy into the doldrums, as it’s the latter as well as their electoral base that many European nations are mainly concerned with in the advent of an American attack on Iran. The exercise of this new adroit American diplomacy will address therefore both the concerns of the Europeans and the fears of Iran. It will have, on the one hand, enough carrots in its diplomatic basket to feed the Europeans and to entice them to the idea that the outlawing of Iran is the better option for all concerned than a devastating military confrontation with the latter, and on the other, it will have enough sticks to coerce Iran to abandon its goal to acquire nuclear weapons. In the intense pressure of the vice that the Ahmadinejad regime will find itself both as a possibly ostracized de-legitimate state or as a military target of the Americans, the odds are that the regime will succumb to this pressure. In the event that it sticks to its guns, then it will play Russian roulette with its own people, as such a stand will strengthen the internal opposition against the “mullahcratic” regime. And as the majority of Iranians shift behind the Opposition parties this could lead to the fall of the theocratic regime of Ahmadinejad by an army revolt that would act in the name of such strong opposition from the people.

The success of this diplomacy will depend entirely on the Bush administration making it unambiguously clear to its European allies, as well as Russia and China, of its utter determination that in the event the proposal to de-legitimatize states that sponsor terror is not adopted by the major nations of the world, then the US will have no other option but to attack militarily the rogue states that sponsor terror, and Iran will be the first one and more likely than not the only one, as the other ones will follow the example of Libya and cave in. It’s inconceivable to imagine, that the European nations, as well as China, for which the sine qua non for its present stratospheric economic development is the economic stability of the world, will be so dim-witted not to accept the American proposal and risk the chance that the Bush administration will not deliver on its threat.

Hence, this hawkish US diplomacy is far from being a long shot in persuading the major nations of the world to outlaw states that sponsor terror. Moreover, it has the great potential as a dual realizable threat to outlaw Iran or attack it militarily, to coerce the latter to unequivocally abide by the demands of the international community. In the event that the Ahmadinejad regime remains unwilling to discard its obsession to possess nuclear weapons and continues to defy the European Union and the United States in their demand to stop supplying its terrorist proxies, such as Hezbollah, with weapons, then the call will be on “the angel of death”, draped in stars and stripes, to jump the queue and put an end to this apocalyptic threat that stems from the regime of the mullahs.

Hic Rhodus Hic Salta

ARMENIAN RESOLUTION:DEMOCRATS COMMIT THEIR OWN GENOCIDE

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Only someone with the chutzpah of intellectual arrogance and a parvenu to boot in realpolitik and foreign affairs could be behind such a remarkably doltish resolution that puts an arrow through the heart of a much needed ally, such as Turkey, at a time when the US is engaged in war in the Middle East.

The Democrats with this resolution, from Lantos to Pelosi and Reid, have shown themselves to be immaculate political tyros in the affairs of foreign policy and war. They have committed by the passing of this resolution their own genocide. The “genocide” of the alliance with Turkey, which is so vital to America’s foreign policy interests in the Middle East, and to the protection of US troops in Iraq whose major part of supplies for fighting the war come through Turkey.

By the passing of this totally irresponsible resolution the Democrats have cancelled themselves out from governing the country at this critical time when America confronts and fights a mortal foe. And the Lantos’ resolution will go down in the annals of American politics as the great caricature that it’s in statecraft. In their manic run to force Bush to withdraw from Iraq, they have stabbed in the back the sons and daughters of America who are fighting and winning the war under their superb commander David Petraeus, to achieve their treacherous and despicable ends.

PATRIOTS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LOVE FOR AMERICA

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Suffered all the chances and changes of war Thucydides

Frank Rich, the theatre, film, and television critic turned political analyst since the unpopularity of the war in Iraq, in his latest op-ed on August 5, 2007, in the New York Times titled, Patriots who Love the Troops to Death, uses emotive words and language, as the title of his piece indicates, to make his “sober” and cool analysis of the war and its supporters or “credulous enablers”, to quote him, from both sides of the political spectrum. In a stream of lava pouring down from his theatrical volcanic eruptions he repeats the time-worn accusations of “Whitehouse lying and cover-ups have been not just in the service of political thuggery but to gin up a gratuitous war without end”. Rich sombrely states that “both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and both liberals and conservatives in the news media were credulous enablers of the Iraq fiasco”. He quotes with exhilaration, as if one held in view a peacenik four star general performing on the stage his No to War stand, the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Michael Mullen, saying that “no amount of troops in no amount of time will make much of a difference” in Iraq if there is no functioning Iraqi government. And he lets fly his flaming arrows on Michael O’ Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, two political analysts and war experts of the Brookings Institution, accusing them of “blatant careerism” for their optimistic views of Iraq, “on the backs of the additional troops they ask to be sacrificed to the doomed mission of providing security for an Iraqi government that is both on vacation and on the verge of collapse”. Lastly, to clinch the seriousness of his argument he even places the name of the “ogre” Rupert Murdoch on the top of the bill of his vaudevillian performance.

It’s by such “blood-stained” dramatic statements that our former art critic forges his political analysis of the war and by which he impugns the Bush administration and its sundry credulous enablers of all political doctrines and persuasions. But in his rush to cast his thespian thunderbolts upon the administration and the supporters of the war, he is missing the fact that he is casting his bolts in an already dawning blue sky that is emerging over Iraq. Rich misses, or maybe he is dazzled by the shining fact that the surge is working, under the generalship of the able and imaginative David Petraeus, and slowly but methodically is achieving some of its strategic goals. Such as isolating al Qaeda from the mainstream of the Iraqi insurgency and winning over to the American side some Sunni leaders and their militias who are prepared to fight and are fighting al Qaeda.

Also, the new American tactics on the ground, such as operation Phantom Strike under the command of General Rick Lynch, is attacking al Qaeda and other insurgents in the middle of the night killing or capturing them and flashing them out of their safe havens. The insurgents to escape these devastating blows of the Americans are fleeing the towns around Baghdad abandoning their road bombs, rocket launchers and even in some cases their personal armaments, and moving further to the south for safety in an area of the Tigris river known as the Samarrah jungle. Tracked by intel the insurgents are presently highly vulnerable to the operations of Phantom Strike and in some cases are “sitting ducks”. Whereas before the surge they were the attackers and pursuers they are now the defenders and the pursued. If this new counterinsurgency strategy of general Petraeus does not lose its momentum and continues to be successful against the insurgency, it will decisively deprive the insurgents of all initiative in the fields of their operations and lead them inexorably to their defeat. As the continuation and success of any insurgency rests on two tenets: (a) The insurgents are masters in the initiation of their own actions and (b) continue to have some support among the local population. Once their position slips from these two tenets and they are forced to find safety in jungles, as in this case, they will inevitably be prey to the latter’s environment and their strength and viability will be “devoured” both by the conditions of their survival in the jungle and by the “intel preying” of the American tiger.

In other words, the American military locomotive is finally moving forward on the rails of success. It’s precisely this success that critics like Rich are dubbing as a hopeless task and moreover hoping to derail. After investing so much of their grey matter to convince the American people of a pointless, futile, and unjust war, and making their “blatant” careers as celebrity pundits around the orbits of the media stars, now that the war shows the slow rise of a dawning success they are trying to find an escape in their state of denial. But they fully realize that the latter will be a noose around their necks if general Petraeus defeats the insurgency. And whose corollary is that from its ashes will rise the Phoenix of a solid democratic government in Iraq. Such an outcome will fully justify Bush’s invasion of Iraq while simultaneously tearing to pieces the professional reputations of all the pundits, academics and politicians who with such unprecedented intellectual shallowness and lack of moral resolve “cashiered” an American victory in Iraq.

After the brutal and ill-omened attack of 9/11 when “there was no room left for moral hesitation: the choice lay between salvation or destruction”, to quote Alexis de Tocqueville, all the effete nation’s disablers gathered together at the first signs of the difficulties of the war, as if ever war was easy, to passionately and vehemently criticize the Administration’s invasion of Iraq. While such a critique would be totally justifiable if it was focused and highlighted the initial and blatant mistakes of the Administration’s implementation of its strategy in Iraq and make suggestions how to correct them, the critics chose instead to condemn in toto Bush’s strategy against global terror.

But the conundrum for this ill-fated critique of the liberal professional establishment is why when there are visible and tangible improvements in the war against the insurgents and al Qaeda with the new strategy of the surge the critics of the war continue apparently to be unconvinced of the improvements and refuse even to admit the possibility that they might be wrong. Instead, like rolling stones they even crash people of their own liberal strand who assert that this war might be winnable, like they did with Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack. To have expressed a modicum of doubt about their position would have been the reasonable thing to do before the rudimentary favorable signs in Iraq.

But it’s obvious that the critics of the Bush administration, like Frank Rich, are more concerned about their professional status than their intellectual integrity. That is why their main concern is to convince the American electorate and Congress for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and use the vitriol of their tongues and pens for this purpose. It’s by such means that they can save their reputations from being everlastingly tarnished if the war happened to be won. They are patriots who have lost their love for America for the love that dares not speak its name, the love of their careers.