Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Right Way, This Time

All isn’t doom and gloom in the Bush administration. Sure there’re the financial scandals, treasonous betrayals of CIA agents, illegal spying on American citizens, bungled hurricane relief efforts, failed Supreme Court nominations, botched opportunities to eliminate bin Laden, and the omnipresent mess in Iraq, but there’s also some wonderful progress being made to foil Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

A few months ago it was considered unlikely that Russia and China would crack down on Iran. But last week, in the wake of Iran's resumption of its nuclear program, Russia decided Tehran had gone too far and announced they would support an IAEA referral of Tehran to the UN Security Council.

Hard on the heels of Russia's rebuke, China also voiced its disappointment with Iran and stated "that they (Iran) should not have nuclear weapons, and agreed to working with the United States and especially the EU3."

During President Bush's first term, the administration constantly made bellicose accusations against Iran, threatened unilateral actions, and hurled shrill admonishments at the UN and our allies for not lining up behind us to thwart Iran. All to no avail. That changed once Condoleezza Rice became Secretary of State:

You know, I do think that in -- when I first went to Europe, I found that somehow we'd gotten into a position where it was the United States that was the problem in the Iranian situation, and so you actually had a strange situation in which the Iranians -- in which the Europeans were trying to broker between the United States and Iran. That was not a good place to be.

And so through that trip and then the President's trip to Europe and then my return trip to Europe, we worked hard to come to a common position so that we could leave Iran effectively no way out except to go through the EU-3 talks.

Hallelujah! The Bush administration finally decided to follow the Democrat's advice and create a broad coalition based on diplomacy, just like President Bush's father did to kick Saddam out of Kuwait and President Clinton did to kick Milosevic out of Bosnia and Kosovo. Because President Bush is pursuing diplomacy first with Iran, action against that country is gaining the international momentum, moral authority and legitimacy that Bush's invasion of Iraq never had.

Now, if President Bush can hold back on gloating, gratuitous taunting, and unnecessary threats that do nothing but embolden our enemies and alienate our allies -- in other words, handle this professionally -- or better yet, shut up and let Dr. Rice handle it -- we can eliminate Iran's nuclear threat without another unilateral invasion and occupation of a place we really don't need to be all by ourselves.

Posted by American Pundit at January 15, 2006 6:36 AM
Comments
Comment #113350

AP

Happy New Year and I hope you were able to find a “Christmas Tree” in Singapore and later were able to take advantage of the post-“Christmas” sales there.

I smiled when you actually said something nice about Condi Rice.

She is a Republician,you know.

Iran won’t be a war for America unless the Iranians do something really stupid with Isreal.

Iran will be used instead by America to get the rest of Europe back in line and also to get their heads out of their arses.

Germany,the most important player,is moving in that direction and France isn’t offering as many impediments now as it did only months ago.

The most significant event in the whole area,I think,is going to be won wins the Isrealli election and what happens to the peace process.

Dr. Rice has to get it right there first.

If that process implodes as it very well may,the gains made thru American bllod in Iraq are neutralized and the battlefield shifts east and closer to the European continent.

Geo-politicially 2006 will be much more interesting that 2005 I think.

By the way,have you seen how much money is now being invested by Americian colleges and universities in Arabic,Chinese,and Farsi language instruction?

This is the way to go.

We can intercept a cell phone call…now we gotta understand what it says.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 15, 2006 8:15 AM
Comment #113354

AP, wise assessment of the Whitehouse’s handling of the situation. HOwever, a couple of facts need to be in place here. China has, in veiled a comment, indicated it would veto sanctions against Iran. Russia, last I heard, is going through with its sale of short range missiles to Iran. Russia and China appear to agree that Iran has every right to civilian use of nuclear power.

This situation is VERY far from resolution. You are quite right to intimate that Bush may be turning a deaf ear to his neo-con advisors like Rumsfeld and Cheney. But, these neo-cons are still in control of powerful agencies in our government. The right step taken by either of them at the right time could still send Iran headlong into an isolationist and secluded pursuit of nuclear weapon development, which would demand a response for intrusion into Iranian borders for inspection purposes at the very least.

This is far, far from a done deal with a positive outcome. The goal should be the granting of civilian use nuclear technology to Iran with open inspection and verification of non-military applications. That, as we learned in Iraq, is a very untenable arrangement for sovereign nation or leadership. I for one, still don’t see how the goal can be achieved, and if it isn’t, all other scenarios lead to military conflict with Iran - an outcome the US simply cannot afford, let alone the Middle Eastern region taking tentative steps toward stability after the wake of the Iraq invasion.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #113369
Iran will be used instead by America to get the rest of Europe back in line and also to get their heads out of their arses.

Heh. Nice spin, SE. I suspect Europe thinks the same thing I do: President Bush is finally taking advice from somebody who doesn’t have her head up her arse. :)

Dr. Rice was the worst National Security Advisor ever, but I think she’s turning out to be a pretty good Sec State. And Bush listens to her like he never did with Powell.

BTW, I’m glad to see you and the rest of the Republicans who are going to say nice things about Dr. Rice are finally coming around to the Democratic view of what our foreign policy should look like: Internationalism — it’s a beautiful thing.

David, I agree that this is not a done deal. But we’re moving in the right direction. The approach Bush is taking toward Iran is the direct opposite of the approach he used in Iraq. That’s a good thing.

As for China and Russia, let’s take it one step at a time and not borrow trouble. It’s fun (and not wholly inaccurate) to assume the Bush administration will screw things up, but if China follows Russia’s lead (and I think they will) and allows the IAEA to refer Iran to the Security Council, then that alone is a huge victory.

It will send a clear message to Tehran that they’re facing united world opinion, rather than just the raving leader of an out-of-control superpower. As I said, it’ll give any action taken against Iran a moral authority and legitimacy that Bush alone just doesn’t have.

If President Bush wants to co-opt Democratic foreign policy principles the way Clinton co-opted the GOP’s welfare reform, I say, let him. Encourage him, even. Give him a pat on the head and a little treat.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 15, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #113389

I agree, AP. But, let us not forget that most of the steps Bush is taking now with Iran are identical to steps taken with Saddam Hussein. Declaring the country’s potential is an imminent threat facing the world and the US. Of course, that is not true just as it was not true with Iraq.

Even if Iraq does acquire nuclear weapons, it would constitute no direct threat against the U.S. And they don’t now have nuclear weapons so the threat is not imminent. That said, and I give Bush credit for this, now is the time to take prophylactic measures, and I agree with you, the international approach demonstrates Bush has found some advisors worth listening to, finally.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #113393

AP & David

Is there something in the water?

Here are both of you…the biggest fish of the left and independant side of this blog actually something nice about a member of the administration.

What’s up…you guys make a New Year’s resolution or what?

Did you see this morning that that moron from Iran now is calling for an internationial conference on the holocost?

Does nucleur talk come before or after that conference with this dolt?

That is the mentality we are dealing with in Iran.

What part of “internationialism” is going to deal with proving that 6 million Jews were butchered during the War?

Good luck.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 15, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #113399

Here we go again.

Europe will not join any economic sanctions against Iran.

The ineptness of the UN will force Israel to bomb the nuclear facilities in Iran again. Israel then will be condemned by the UN for exercising their right to self defense.

Samo Samo - Yada yada yada

Posted by: Reporting for Doody at January 15, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #113406

SicEagle, I can’t speak for AP, but, I have always says ‘em as I sees ‘em. I am neither anti-Republican nor anti-Democrat, I am pro-responsible government that takes every step possible to insure peace, prosperity, and liberty for the greatest possible number of Americans today, and far out into the future.

That is my standard. It is a standard I will work the rest of my life to try to instill back into Washington D.C. where it belongs, first and foremost. To get there, the people must demand it in growing numbers, hence my participation here and elsewhere in public venues.

Has nothing to do with the water.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #113410

David,

“I am pro-responsible government that takes every step possible to insure peace, prosperity, and liberty for the greatest possible number of Americans today, and far out into the future.”

Please let’s stress the “Americans”, part of that statement.

No offence to the rest of the world, but our intrests should lay here, in America, first and foremost.

SE,

“Did you see this morning that that moron from Iran now is calling for an internationial conference on the holocost?
Does nucleur talk come before or after that conference with this dolt?

Does it really matter, and frankly, why should I care?

America has done enough meddling in other countries affairs for now.
If we can’t deal with our problems at home (security, etc.), it doesn’t matter what happens with the rest of the world.


Posted by: Rocky at January 15, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #113414

Since you are disgussing Iran now, would some of you look at this Asian Times article and comment on it. All of you seem to be more knowledgeable than I am on foreign affairs.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/GL21Ad01.html

Thank you.

Posted by: Old Lady at January 15, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #113453

Funny how Republicans have stopped making fun of the UN, France and Germany when they want something. I guess “Go It Alone” is no longer viable, eh?

Personally, I am looking forward to Operation Iranian Freedom. I am sure Bush can’t screw it up worse than Iraq.

Posted by: Aldous at January 15, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #113464

Republicans scrambling, Democrats stickin’ it to ‘em, the whole thing is old hat.

How about we just vote all there sorry butts out?

After all, look at what they do…

Why vote for crap like that ?

Instead, why not vote out crap like that ?

Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #113465

That’s the right way.
The other ways will prolong the inevitable, and result in the hard way

Posted by: d.a.n at January 15, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #113469

Its people like d.a.n that keeps Republicans in power. Their actions weaken the Democratic Party and prevent any kind of balance in Washington. You don’t see Conservatives leaving the GOP no matter how inherently corrupt they are. Republicans vote Republican. Non-Republicans sadly must first think about it. Hence, the present disaster today.

Posted by: Aldous at January 15, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #113518
Samo Samo - Yada yada yada

Yep. The same old Republican pessimism and negativity. Thanks, Doody.

No offence to the rest of the world, but our intrests should lay here, in America, first and foremost.

Rocky, I agree to some extent, but you just can’t build a wall around America. We went the isolationist route before, and we ended up with WWI, WWII, and the Holocaust. It’s better to be an active member of the international community rather than another North Korea.

I suspect you’re not thinking of taking it to that extreme, but there needs to be a balance between domestic and foreign policy. Clinton had it just right.

Is there something in the water?

SE, it’s called “positive reinforcement”. If President Bush does something good, I recognize it and reward him. It worked for my dog…

Here’s what I want to know: How come nobody in the red column wrote about this? Why is it that the Bush-fans spend all their time attacking Democrats, and never talk about the good things they’re supposedly doing?

Posted by: American Pundit at January 16, 2006 4:23 AM
Comment #113519

Old Lady, I looked at that article, and it’s really only relevent if you think we’re going to go to war with China and need to keep them contained, like it’s the Cold War all over again.

That plays well in the Pentagon when it comes time for budgeting, but in the real world, it’s just not going to happen.

In fact, China is the key to stabilizing Central Asia and taming Iran and Africa, since that’s where their strategic oil supplies will come from. I’d love to see Chinese-led peace keeping missions in Sudan and sealing the Iraq/Iran border.

The question is no longer, What can the world do for China, it’s now, What can China do for the world.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 16, 2006 4:24 AM
Comment #113530

AP,David et at.

The mighty Sicilian Eagle just returned from from a long trip to Italy (Rome) and Sicily and picked up some interesting tid bits.

As opposed to last summer when I did a previous pulse there,Berluconi’s conservative government has weathered the leftist storm and will probably get re-elected there ,continuing support for America.

The left there has fallen apart and splintered into many many sub-groups.

The Muslim “insurrection” in France has left a big impression in Rome,and illegals are being thrown out by the boatload every day.

Overall security is 1000 times better than a year ago and the Eagle was impressed.

Italians ,as a whole,view radicial fundamentalists as downright crazy and the statements of the Iranian president now are a cause of vast concern.

By defination,Italy is an infidel country to them.

Two more interesting observations:

Natavity scenes were on display in every public place I visited..including almost every town hall.

Did you know that Canon Law (Church Law) is a tested subject on the Italian bar examination?

Yep.

Every Italian potential lawyer has to have an understanding of Church law and is a required course in law schools.

Oh yes..one more thing.

Religion is taught as part of every curriculum in every public school too.

After 4 years,after the bombings in Spain,England,the riots of France,and now the debacle caused by the Iranian president on the holocost,Europe is waking up.

By the way,AP..I like dogs..especially pit bulls…which is what my president is.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 16, 2006 5:41 AM
Comment #113533

Good discussion, with a few exceptions. It is my feeling that our next test will be Iran. The leadership there is apparently quite nationalistic and extremely theocratic. A potent, dangerous situation. I must agree that, if the U.N. cannot help defuse the nuke situation, Israel will probably pull a preemptive strike, and will be condemned. However, if I were in power in Israel, I would prefer to be condemned and safe.

BTW, David-

In a previous post, you and Charles expressed doubt about the war on Christmas in the U.S. You might want to check out a website, www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=thomasmore. Quite a few verifiable newspaper articles detailing the war. Also, might want to check out the Navy chaplain who went on a hunger strike over the holidays protesting a new DOD rule that prohibits Christian chaplains from praying “in the name of Jesus” except in “authorized and approved” dervices.

Posted by: John Back at January 16, 2006 6:44 AM
Comment #113542
Overall security is 1000 times better than a year ago and the Eagle was impressed.

That’s really good to hear, SE. About a year ago, the US was only checking 17.5% of shipping containers classified as “high risk” before they entered US ports. I hope that number is closer to 100% today. If Iran ever starts making nukes, it’d better be.

By the way,AP..I like dogs..especially pit bulls…which is what my president is.

Pit bulls are fine — as long as they’re trained. ;)

Posted by: American Pundit at January 16, 2006 7:50 AM
Comment #113556

AP

Always have to have the last word,huh?

Ok,try this:

Trained pit puts are fine so long as they have the RIGHT training.Far Right training is a liitle too much though.

BTW,I had 6 containers shipped into the states since October carrying pasta,olive oil and things like that and every one of them were x-rayed in New York(at a cost of $250 bucks each),so it appears to be getting better.

Now,here is the the more interesting question:What would you do if you were the president anout Iran?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 16, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #113559

predictions

financial scandals,

Delay will not be found guilty of any thing except ethics

treasonous betrayals of CIA agents,

Plame case will close without any charges being filed

illegal spying on American citizens,

will be debated for a long time

bungled hurricane relief efforts,

blame at all levels - the least at the federal level - hurricane did new orleans a favor

failed Supreme Court nominations,

not yet

botched opportunities to eliminate bin Laden,

bin laden will be found dead by pakistanis after we leave iraq

the omnipresent mess in Iraq

will fade into background and will be reserrected for the presidential election of 2008

Posted by: Reporting for Doody at January 16, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #113563
and every one of them were x-rayed in New York

SE, it seems to me that if a container with a nuke makes it into New York harbor, it’s too late. Re-read that statistic: “About a year ago, the US was only checking 17.5% of shipping containers classified as “high risk” before they entered US ports.”

Doody, I praise President Bush for doing something right, and all you can do is post some meaningless predictions? Ok, fine. I like predictions. They’re easy to make and don’t require any facts to back them up.

Let’s see… Get out my Carnac the Magnificent hat… Put the envelope up to my head… The answer is, The first Republican to say President Bush may have to be impeached.

Open the envelope: Arlen Specter!

Sorry I’m not as funny as Johnny Carson, but look at the material I have to work with. :(

Posted by: American Pundit at January 16, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #113585

Ap,

I’m not saying we should be totally isolationist, but we have issues here at home that need to be addressed before we start another gambit in the Middle East.

How about that CIA thing in Pakistan?

DOOH!

Posted by: Rocky at January 16, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #113589

American Pundit,
“bellicose accusations against Iran”


Including Iran as one of the “Axis of Evil” is not “bellicose”; he couldn’t be more right. They were trying to get nukes for over six years now, so don’t try to make it out as though it’s Bush’s fault that he “called them out”; you actually have to give Bush credit on this one, whether you like them or not.


“The Bush administration finally decided to follow the Democrat’s advice and create a broad coalition based on diplomacy, just like President Bush’s father did to kick Saddam out of Kuwait and President Clinton did to kick Milosevic out of Bosnia and Kosovo.”

Ok, first of all, Bush’s father messed up listening to the UN by “only” kicking Saddam out of Kuwait and “not” agreeing to go to Bagdhad and take Saddam out of power; we had plenty of troops and we would have found those weapons right then and there. And, as for Clinton, he didn’t have the UN’s approval to go in to Bosnia and Kosovo; you should check on your history before you try and give the Dems credit (that they don’t deserve).

And, the only reason the Democrats supported the “broad coalition based on diplomacy” is b/c they knew that the “coalition” weren’t in favor of invading Iraq (just like in 1991). Remember, that “broad coalition” were in bed with Saddam; the UN Oil For Food Scandal is a perfect example of that.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 16, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #113590

There is strong reference to the belief that Iran does not have nuclear weapons. What is the true definition of actually having the weapons?.

If I have a package of baloney, a package of cheese, a jar of mustard or ketchup and a loaf of bread, do I have a baloney and cheese sandwich? OR, if I am missing one of those ingredients, as soon as I return from the supermarket now, do I actually have a baloney and cheese sandwich.

Posted by: steve smith at January 16, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #113625

The difference between Clinton and Bosnia and bush and Iraq is at opposite ends . Clinton went into Bosnia for humanitarian issues..to stop the prevalent genocide. Whatever reasons bush went into Iraq they had nothing to do with “National Security” but most likely had to do with some kind of personal self-aggrandizement. Clinton was dead right and Bush dead wrong. Shamefully the US did nothing about the genocide in Africa which will always be a permanent stain on the fabric of America.

Posted by: Richard at January 16, 2006 4:41 PM
Comment #113642

President Bush wants to co-opt Democratic foreign policy principles

Only if Cheney, Rummy, and Wolfy say so. He went to the UN with his case about Iraq when Colin Powell was trying to be Adlai Stevenson, but I don’t think Condi Rice will be able to do it.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at January 16, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #113802

John Back,

In a previous post, you and Charles expressed doubt about the war on Christmas in the U.S.
I already responded in that other post. The topic was tangential to that thread, and it would also be tangential to this one…so I’m not going to repeat myself here.

sicilianeagle,

Every Italian potential lawyer has to have an understanding of Church law and is a required course in law schools.
Good for them. They have their own constitution and their own values, and they can do whatever they want. It doesn’t affect what we do here.
Posted by: Charles at January 17, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #113812

To solve the main problem in America is to just Ban all Shrubby from the White House,starting with BUSHS, GEORGE W., JEB AND ETC.

Posted by: BILL B. at January 17, 2006 12:51 AM
Comment #113967

Yikes! A whole bunch of baloney is going around here (thanks for making me hungry, steve).

Including Iran as one of the “Axis of Evil” is not “bellicose”; he couldn’t be more right.

rahdigly, I never mentioned the “Axis of Evil” comment. But whatever you want to call the shrill rhetoric Bush hurled at Iran during his first term, it didn’t do any good. That was my point. Now, Bush is getting results because he took the diplomatic route and he’s got the moral force of the rest of the world behind him — even Egypt and Saudi Arabia are jumping on the diplomacy train against Iran. This is a good thing.

Ok, first of all, Bush’s father messed up listening to the UN by “only” kicking Saddam out of Kuwait and “not” agreeing to go to Bagdhad and take Saddam out of power

I disagree. The UN inspectors dismantled Saddam’s WMD programs and Clinton destroyed whatever was left during operation Desert Fox. Iraq was not a threat in 2003.

And, as for Clinton, he didn’t have the UN’s approval to go in to Bosnia and Kosovo;

First of all, I never said anything about getting UN approval for military action in Iran. In fact, I’m optimistic that just getting the Security Council member nations to unanimously crack down on Iran will accomplish the goal without a war.

In the second place, Clinton obviously didn’t get UN approval. Facing a Chinese Security Council veto on armed intervention, he lined up NATO, Russia, and every other relevent regional power behind him. In Iraq, Bush had the support of Britain and El Salvadore. Do you see the difference in legitimacy there, rahdigly?

And, the only reason the Democrats supported the “broad coalition based on diplomacy” is b/c they knew that the “coalition” weren’t in favor of invading Iraq

Hmm… Then why was France working with the Pentagon to integrate a carrier group and an armored division into the invasion Iraq — until it was obvious there were no WMD?

rahdigly, you just went into partisan never-never land with that last one.

And BTW, why are you capping on me? This article praises President Bush for doing good here.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 17, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #114143
By the way,AP..I like dogs..especially pit bulls…which is what my president is.

SicilianEagle, do you know who are statistically the most frequent victims of pitbull attacks? Their owners.

Posted by: Mike at January 17, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #114225

Old Lady, I was thinking a little more about that article you posted about China getting oil from Central Asia: As far as I’m concerned, the more oil they’re getting from Kazakhstan, the less they need from Iran. It’s a good thing.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 18, 2006 6:14 AM
Comment #114363

Mike
I thought the answer was “lawyers”

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 18, 2006 2:23 PM
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