the american people didn’t believe that the president’s current plan for iraq was good enough, and they wanted to force him to try a different approach. that’s part of what happened on november 7th. we obviously need to find a workable strategy for iraq. the ideal plan should be a plan to stabilize iraq, not a plan to surrender control of iraq to its enemies. unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be what the iraq study group has in mind. asking for the help of iran and syria with iraq is a questionable proposition at best. at worst, it destroys the possibility that iraq will end up supporting the united states rather than islamic fundamentalist states like iran. if we make the wrong move here, this will end up costing us more than iraq. it will look like surrender to the terrorists we are fighting. it will make us look weak to rogue nations pursuing nuclear programs. if our allies know that they cannot trust us to keep our promises, they will be less likely to stick their necks out to help us with north korea and iran. these are the stakes. this is why iraq is so important.
the proposal goes something like this: iran gives up its nuclear program, stops supporting terrorists, and stops interfering with iraq. we provide some economic incentives and threaten sanctions if iran doesn’t play by the rules. i seriously hope that this kind of deal won’t even see daylight. what are the odds that this could ever work? if you take iran’s president at his word, then i don’t see any possibility that iran will give up its nuclear program. it doesn’t matter what incentives are offered. as far as sanctions are concerned, that didn’t work so well with iraq. there will always be enablers like china, russia, and france, as well as others at the UN, who are perfectly happy to let iran say and do whatever it wants to do.
iran is watching us and it sees the current political situation here in the united states, and our negative attitude toward the iraq project. it would be easy to them to conclude that if they wait long enough, they will get everything they want. that’s the image we are projecting right now. do we really want to depend on the UN to keep iran on the straight and narrow? apparently the IAEA (international atomic energy agency) has found unexplained traces of plutonium and highly enriched uranium traces in a nuclear waste facility in iran. i’m pretty sure the explanation doesn’t involve a delorean and a flux capacitor. it should alarm the international community that the IAEA is depending on iran’s co-operation to determine their intentions.
so where do we go from here? i don’t know, but offering concessions to countries we cannot trust is never the best solution.