The Danger of Tyros Handling War Strategy

I’m republishing this short piece that was written on October, 2007, for the readers of this blog.

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis to:

Clinton’s Statement on Kyl-Lieberman Resolution Washington Note, September 30, 2007

Like the two eminent commentators of the New York Times Paul Krugman and Frank Rich, respectable in their own professions as an economist and art critic respectably, and a bevy of politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, not so respectable because of their populist stunt, all of them being novices par excellence in the affairs of war who have attempted to pass judgment on the war in Iraq and cashier its victory despite evidence to the contrary, we now have another “tired less” tyro joining them in war strategy. The scholar and blogger Steven Clemons of the Washington Note. Clemons indirectly rebukes Senator Clinton for her support and vote of the Kyl-Lieberman resolution that designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, fearing that this will allow Bush to manipulate this resolution and use it to attack Iran.

He calls therefore on Senator Clinton to exercise “leadership in passing an explicit Senate resolution forbidding Bush from taking action against Iran without clear advice and consent from Congress”. But such action is not a declaration of war against Iran needing the authorization of Congress. It’s a strategic force de frappe on the part of the US against Iran in which the elements of secrecy and surprise are pivotal and decisive in the success of such an attack. Therefore Clemons’ call is strategically oxymoronic.

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Reply to American that to Miss Opportunity for Rapprochement with Iran will Have Big Consequences

By Con George-Kotzabasis

It will have even bigger consequences if it succeeds by wishful thinking.  Rapprochement in itself is meaningless unless there is clear and unambiguous understanding and agreement between the parties about the conditions of such rapprochement. It would be a mistake to deduce from the rhetorically conciliatory statements of President Rouhani that Iran has abandoned its desire to acquire nuclear weapons. And to differentiate himself from the holocaustian statements of his predecessor, Ahmadinejad, is hardly an indication that the new regime is repudiating its clandestine goal to develop a nuclear weapon. Only if Rouhani allows open and rigorous inspections in all areas of Iran where Western intelligence cogently suspects the secret development of a nuclear weapon will the experts be convinced that Iran has changed tack in regard to its nuclear arsenal.

It is more probable, because Rouhani perceives a weak president in the United States, he will be exploiting that weakness to achieve Iran’s historic and Islamic aim to enter the nuclear club by persuading Obama about the peaceful purpose of Iran’s nuclear build-up. Rouhani is aware that Obama needs and desires a suspension of tensions so he will have the excuse to take all options off the table and thus as an incompetent and effete president tranquilize himself by false hopes. And Rouhani and his advisors know, that this détente can be achieved on promissory notes that will never be cashed. Thus by providing Obama the confidence that he can come to a reasonable agreement with Iran, Rouhani achieves two diplomatic goals. (1) He defers USA action from resolving speedily and decisively the issue of nuclear weapons by creating the euphoria that this matter can be resolved by prolonged negotiations, a dilatoriness that Obama is most happy to accept as he desires to push the hard options, if they are needed, in the future ahead with the hope that they will never be used, and which also suits Rouhani perfectly as it will give Iran more time to achieve its strategic goal to build the bomb. And (2) weakening Israel’s resolve to unilaterally attack Iran’s nuclear installations, if other Western states are found to be wanting in stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear armaments, by isolating Israel from its major ally, the USA, and from other Western nations, and thus making it more difficult for Israel to strike.

It is for this reason that Clemons should be more restrained in his optimism of the opportunity of reaching a rapprochement with Iran when a more sinister and malign opportunity could be hidden behind the apparently benign talk of Rouhani.

Can the West Live with a Nuclear Iran?

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The author Dilip Hiro is thoroughly confused between Iran without a bomb, obviously his optimal position, and Iran with a bomb when on the one hand he states, and inexpressively hopes, that the National Intelligence Estimate finding is correct that Iran has “ceased working on a nuclear military program,” and on the other, when he believes that we could live with a nuclear Iran. But he doesn’t realize that to live with a nuclear Iran is to live with the widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region, as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and Libya mount the horse of the nuclear race. This is where the catastrophe of astronomical dimensions lies and not in a pre-emptive attack on Iran.

He is also ‘fatefully’ pessimistic about any positive results issuing by such an attack and focuses his attention, rightly so, on its dire repercussions that could lead to a conflagration of the region. In my opinion however, he underestimates the strategic nous of the planners of such an attack that would target not only the nuclear plants of Iran, such as Natanz, but also the military, civilian and religious leadership of the country with the aim of decimating it. If the latter somehow miraculously escaped its destruction and took retaliatory action against the Americans or on any other countries of the region then such action would be calling for Iran’s total destruction.

The Failure of the U.S. and its Surrogates Talking to Iran

I’m republishing this piece written on June 2008 that is showing the total failure of the Obama administration to tackle and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and whose initial diplomacy was that by talking to the Mullah’s regime it would persuade the latter to abandon its determination to obtain a nuclear arsenal.  

By Con George-Kotzabasis

A response to:

Talking to Iran is our Best Option

By Ivo Daalder and Phillip Gordon of the Brookings Institution, and advisers to Barack Obama

Washington Post, June 29, 2008

 

Ivo Daalder and Phillip Gordon, the two savants of the Brookings Institution, have a brief to advise Barack Obama to start “talking to Iran without preconditions”, but they should not allowed to do so at the grief of America’s national interests and the security of the civilized world. The rationale of such advocacy is based in “rescuing a failed policy” of not talking to Iran for 7 ½ years that has made the latter, according to our two analysts, stronger and therefore more intransigent toward American and European demands encapsulated in the precondition that Iran suspends its nuclear enrichment program before any commencement of negotiations between the opposing parties. Further, they claim that such diplomatic overture by the U.S. would enable the latter to “test that proposition” of the Iranians, that they “seek only the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the right to nuclear technology”.

It’s almost beyond belief that Daalder and Gordon would be proud to present themselves as the enfants terrible on the stage of diplomacy and in the art of Talleyrand, as their suggestion to “test” this dissembling proposition of Iran behind which is attempting to build its nuclear arsenal, is terribly infantile and politically risible. It’s like a law officer testing a professional thief whether he has stolen the goods of a house by asking him to show him the master key that has opened the lock of the house.

As to their claim that for the last 7 ½ years there have not been any talks with Iran is completely in opposition to the facts. The Europeans, and many of them voicing the proposals of their American “ventriloquist”, have been speaking with the Iranians openly as well as sotto voce for a number of years, and putting their own, and indirectly American, proposals before them to no avail. Indeed, Daalder and Gordon concede this by saying that “all of them… [The Europeans] repeatedly presented Iran with a list of benefits Iran would receive if it suspended enrichment”.  The latest truckload of carrots were transported to Tehran by Javier Solama, European Foreign Policy Chief, few weeks ago only to be turned over and rejected by Iran’s Mullahcracy.  

 

Such advocacy rests on the assumption that the present Iranian Leadership under Ahmadinejad is a rational actor, and its participation in such negotiations would have a great chance to resolve the problems confronting the two parties in a rational manner.  But such assumption has been completely discredited by the regime’s statements of holocausting Israel and its direct support of Hesbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, two of the most irrational and fanatic groups in the region.    

 

Liberal Wrath against Israel’s Four Point Recommendation about a Dialogue with Iran

A reply by Con George-Kotzabasis to:

Israel is Crossing the Line

By Steve Clemons

Washington Note,

Clemons is behaving like a woman who has lost her virginity (In his case political virginity.) at an old age. The reasonable requests (As presented by Clemons in four points.) of Israel, in regard to a dialogue with Iran, that is besieged by fanatical terrorists and is threatened by the stated objective of a rogue state with annihilation, are to Clemons “red lines and instructions (M.E) of Israel to the U.S. .”

While Israel makes it quite clear that it does not oppose a dialogue between the U.S. and Iran it recommends to its American ally, (a) it should be preceded with foreshadowing harsher sanctions against Iran, (b) the formulation of harsher action by Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain if the talks fail, (c) a time limit must be set for the talks to prevent buying time to complete its nuclear development, and (d) timing is critical and the U.S. should consider whether it makes sense to begin talks before Iran’s presidential election in June. Needless to say all of the four points are close to the heart of the U.S. State Department and to all the diplomatic Chancelleries of Europe.   

It would be interesting to know if Clemons happened to be a head of a state in the same circumstances that Israel is in, and who had lost his political virginity long ago, in what other points other than the above he would present his case to Secretary Clinton as conditions of a dialogue with Iran.

Moreover, he is blatantly inconsistent with his own position when he was vehemently criticizing the Bush administration for not listening to its allies in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy. Now with the Obama administration in place and apparently ready to implement Clemons policy of listening to America’s allies, only one nation must lose the right of being listened too by the U.S., Israel; as the latter’s reasonable concerns about an impending dialogue with Iran are presented by Clemons as an “instruction manual” and therefore should be out rightly rejected by the U.S..

What kind of political buffoonery is this when Clemons says that the U.S. “should listen to Israel’s views” but only for the purpose of out rightly rejecting them and before evaluating them by weighing them on the scales of reason?

It’s fascinating to view all the political stallions of The Washington Note, including of course the politically sinewy mare amongst them, Clemons,  that they cannot see, due to their inveterate bias against Israel, that all the four points are tangential not only to US interests and goals but also to European ones as both of them are aiming to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And the Israeli four points, as presented by Clemons in his post, embody exactly these aims of the Western world. If a Martian visited perchance The Washington Note and glanced at the volcanic wrath of its posters against Israel’s recommendations that are multilaterally accepted by Western powers he would not understand what all the fuss was about.

 

Iran:Know thy Enemy

By Con George-Kotzabasis

President Obama with his latest commitment to the war in Afghanistan seems to be harking to the realists of his political and diplomatic advisors, such as Richard Holbrooke, and is readying himself to debunk the bunk of his leftist supporters of ending America’s military involvement in the hot spots of the world and adopting and continuing the bellicose policy of the former Bush administration against the terrorist extremists. In his announcement of his ‘new’ policy in Afghanistan he very closely repeated Bush’s words that as President he would not allow Afghanistan to be a safe haven for terrorists that the latter would use once again to attack the American homeland. Hence he clearly coupled the war in Afghanistan with America’s security and therefore made it very difficult for the anti-war movement to continue influencing the silent majority, as it did against the Bush administration, toward a pacifist position since such a position would be senseless and stupid to anyone whose life was under a direct threat. Obama therefore placed himself in a politically strong position that even an increase of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan could not erode since this is the price that America will have to pay for its security. One therefore can say “hats off to Obama,” to quote Robert Kagan from his piece in the Washington Post, for his new strategy in Afghanistan.

What is most worrying however is in verity the president’s new policy in regard to Iran. In his keen propensity to detach himself from the ‘fisticuffs’ policy of his predecessor which he considered to be wrong and politically infertile, Obama, as he had promised during the presidential campaign, is opening the door of diplomacy to the ‘Mullahcratic’ regime hoping that the latter will be susceptible to the diplomatic blandishments and calls of reason that the U.S.A. and Iran could ‘live and let live’ with each other if they had the will and wisdom to change the belligerent attitudes of the past toward each other. This is a laudable aim but the question is whether it will resonate with the Theocratic regime in Tehran. President Obama in his direct address to the Iranian people, in their new year’s day, went out of his way to praise the Islamic Republic and the cultural achievements of its people. But what is in a name when one could praise in the same terms the united republics of the USSR, the republic of Mao’s China, the republic of Cambodia under Pol Pot, and a sundry of ‘genocidal’ republics in Africa with the only difference being that the scale of atrocities are not as high in Iran as they have been with the above blood-lusted republics. But who knows, with a future nuclear armed Iran the latter could surpass them all on the scale of wickedness.

It’s this great danger that a nuclear armed Iran would pose to Western nations and to the U.S. that the latter as the supreme power in the world must prevent. And the ambition of Tehran to acquire a nuclear armoury is un-ambiguous and unyielding. Only few days ago President Ahmadinejad in his address to the Iranian people proudly proclaimed that Iran would not cease its nuclear programme as its achievement is the deserved status of a great nation. It’s obvious that Ahmadinejad took his lines directly from the speech of Obama who praised so exuberantly the Islamic Republic and its cultural achievements. But in the hope of the President that by paying homage and offering peace to the Tehran regime it would de-couple the latter from its religious fanatic nucleus and its great hate toward America, Obama shows himself to be irretrievably naive and abysmally ignorant of the duplicitous enemy he is facing.

The foremost intelligence apparatus in the Middle East the Israeli one had its chief Major General Amos Yadlin saying early this month, …”Iran is continuing to amass hundreds of kilograms of low-enriched uranium, and it hopes to exploit the dialogue with the West and Washington to advance toward the production of an atomic bomb.” Moshe Ya’alon, a former army chief of staff, dismissed the possibility of a revitalized peace process, saying that “the jihadists interpret compromise as weakness.”(M.E.) He cited the withdrawal from Gaza four years ago which many had thought at the time it would debilitate the conflict, instead it encouraged it. And this is exactly how the Iranian leadership sees Obama’s ‘open door’ diplomacy, as a screeching sound of American weakness, as in its eyes the relative isolation of the U.S. among its allies, Russia and China and its inability to persuade the latter to take harder sanctions against them limpidly demonstrates this weakness. And this enfeeblement of the U.S. is further exemplified in Iran’s view by the North Korean defiance in its rocket launching, which, only few months ago in the last days of the Bush administration, was participating in direct talks with U.S envoys in regard to its nuclear programme–that that stalwart and hawk-eyed in foreign affairs John Bolton had predicted with characteristic insight that the talks would come to nothing. If miniscule N. Korea could so brazenly defy the U.S., in spite of the commitments it made during the negotiations, what the great Islamic Republic of Iran would do in future negotiations with the Americans?

President Obama and his close advisers are incapable of realising that an enemy who sees the United States as being politically compelled to negotiate from a weak position cannot be forced by diplomatic means to accept the demand of the Americans and their allies that Iran must cease the development of its nuclear programme. Hence Obama’s administration is setting up its tent of diplomacy in a barren desert where the Iranian diplomatic camels will come empty of any reciprocal ‘gifts’ to the peaceful and morally generous gestures of the Obama administration. It’s inconceivable to imagine, that if not Obama, that some of his close and more astute consigliori are unable to anticipate the futility and dangers of diplomacy with a foe who considers himself to be negotiating from a position of strength. The only result that can come out from such negotiations with the Iranians is for the Americans to come out as losers from this parley or walk out of the talks with the tail in-between their legs in a scornfully embarrassed state.

This will be the fate of President Obama’s diplomatic overture with the Iranian theocratic regime as an outcome of his total inability to “know thy enemy,” a prerequisite, according to the great Chinese strategist and sage Sun Zi, in defeating one’s mortal enemy. But the final judgment on President Obama–the constitutional lawyer and former community organizer, a rookie in the art of statecraft and who in his Prague address beyond proclaiming, with humility soaked in weakness, America’s decline, indulged himself also to make some trite ‘brandy(ed)’ derisive comments about the two great statesmen Churchill and Roosevelt who defeated the Axis powers–who as a result of the pathological hate—that neutralized even the ingrained racism that many Americans have toward blacks–that a great part of the electorate had toward Bush-Cheney and by association the Republicans, was swept by this bitter wind into the Oval Office, will be rendered by a Shakespearean Sovereign, King Lear: “Nothing comes out of nothing.”          

   

 

Iran Cannot Bring its Own Political Change

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In a world that moves with a glacial tempo, to be cautiously wise is a great virtue. Regrettably we don’t live in such a world but in a geopolitical one that moves with celestial speed. In a “brutal Theocracy” the ‘“internal dynamics” within a nation’ will take years to bear their fruit. And a “resort to dialogue” is unfortunately a hopeless “hope”. The EU has been doing this for years without being able to break the Iranian iceberg of intransigence.

Iran must be given an explicit warning that if it does not immediately cease its uranium enrichment it would be facing a first devastating strike with conventional weapons and if it retaliates against Israel or U.S. bases in the region, as a result of this strike, it will be facing a second strike with nuclear weapons. Only such a clear warning has a chance of replacing the Ahmadinejad regime with moderate oppositional forces.   

Obama Plays his Victory Fiddle While America is Burning

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Barack Obama in another crucial test of leadership–the others were his withdrawal of troops from Iraq and his diplomatic parlay with Iran—has irretrievably failed. In his response to John McCain’s proposal to suspend their campaign and postpone their debate that is to take place next Saturday and concentrate all their efforts in persuading Congress to pass immediately and urgently, in a modified form, the financial measures of Paulson-Bernanke– measures that were elaborated by the experts in the field and not by primitive “tzu-tzu” practitioners nor by populist nostrums–that would have a better chance than none in saving America from descending into depression, that they should not postpone their debate and by having it they would allow the American people to have their say on the financial package, shows Obama to be abjectly and callously irresponsible to the “main street” people whom he presumably professes to represent and protect, all in the name of a stampede of voters rushing toward him on the heels of the debate that would facilitate him to capture the White House.

In his delirious manic run to catch the fleeing damsel of the ‘oval shape’, he is completely careless and unconcerned that this unprecedented financial crisis since the 1930’s depression that threatens many millions of Americans of losing their jobs and their houses, and, indeed, their life-savings, as there is a high probability if the Paulson-Bernanke measures are not passed promptly and expeditiously by Congress might engender a stampede, a run on the banks by ordinary Americans that would bring the collapse of the whole American economy.

Thus Obama’s sinister aim to have his debate for the purpose of bringing a stampede of votes to his side might turn out to be a stampede on the banks. And while he gives his glorious victory speech to Americans the latter will ingloriously be losing their savings. Hence, his ‘victory’ will rest on a pile of ashes, on the ashes of ordinary Americans’ life savings.  

Your opinion…     

 

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