Rice Speaks Out

01:00 Condoleeza Rice is having a live press conference right now, talking about Iran and its nuclear program.

01:02 Rice said that there was no peaceful rationale for Iran’s defiance of the international community. Is the flag going to go up?

01:03 No, nothing that dramatic. The US is going to work with other countries and try to get some sort of resolution.

01:04 The reporters are clueless. One of them even asked if the US would put the matter in front of the United Nations Security Council! Might as well put it in front of UNICEF for all the good it would do, even though a few of the EU countries are calling for just that. (Probably to appease the voters in case an invasion is necessary.)

01:05 Another reporter asked what support the US was going to have from China and Russia, two countries that Rice mentioned specifically. She dodged with a bit of non-specific pablum, but it was a good question.

01:06 CNN had cut from the Alito confirmation hearings for Rice’s little talk. Even they realize that nothing is going to happen because they just went back to that incredibly tedious show.

Iran broke the seals placed on their nuclear facilities a few days ago so they could continue working on atomic weapons. This indicates that they’re either rather close to a working bomb, or that they just don’t think anyone will try anything. It’s not good any way you look at it.

So why did Rice hold this little talk with reporters?

It’s probably just a way to ratchet up the pressure a little bit. You know, lay the groundwork in case a military solution is necessary. That is the only conclusion I can reach since I don’t see anything changing due to what she said.

I pretty much figured that there was a chance Condoleeza was going to announce something momentous during her press conference. It appeared to me that CNN and Wolf Blitzer figured the same thing judging by how they quickly cut back to the Alito hearings after it was obvious that Rice was just clarifying the official US position.

The situation can’t be allowed to continue the way it is now. Sooner or later something will have to be done or else Iran will develop some nuclear WMD’s.

Milblogger Murdoc Online has an interesting post where he discusses the chances for a variety of outcomes. I think it’s a little early to bet one way or another, but I’d have to agree with Murdoc until conditions change.

18 thoughts on “Rice Speaks Out”

  1. At the risk of sounding terribly naive, there is at least one other option. From the linked article:

    “Western countries fear Iran’s nuclear programme could be used to make atomic bombs. But Tehran denies this, saying it wants to produce energy only.”

    Before we start kicking asses, taking names and the like.

  2. The BBC article is as much a commentary on the UN as on Iran.

    “We should not be worried,” about the UN they say… presumably this is because they have learned to speak the UN’s native language and can assure everyone they are “interested in serious and constructive negotiations, but within a time-frame”


  3. The article I linked to before, Lenny, probably wasn’t all that clear since it discussed the reaction from Arab news outlets to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks that Israel should be “wiped off the map”.

    But there’s plenty more where that came from. If you take a look at this one you’ll see that Iran’s call for genocide has resulted in Israel suggesting that Iran be expelled from the UN. Not to mention that it sent a few shockwaves through the diplomatic world.

    The UN Security Council voted to condemn the remarks a few days later.

    (Or condemn the guy who said them. Or something. But condemnation or not it really didn’t do anything.)

    At any rate, the condemnation or resolution or whatever got the anti-Israel crowd all hot and bothered. That’s probably what inspired those remarks that didn’t make any sense to you. They were trying to condemn the condemners.


  4. I would have put the cahaces of Israel taking out the nuke facilities at greater than 75 percent if this had happen a couple of months ago. Now with Sharon down and the Israeli ship nearly rudderless I would have to lower the percentage to below 50 and maybe even less until a new and strong learer emerges in Israel

  5. Austin Bay talks of Iran & links to Pipes; following from Pipes’ Mission & Mysticism”:

    On returning to Iran from New York, Ahmadinejad recalled the effect of his UN speech:One of our group told me that when I started to say “In the name of God the almighty and merciful,” he saw a light around me, and I was placed inside this aura. I felt it myself. I felt the atmosphere suddenly change, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink… And they were rapt. It seemed as if a hand was holding them there and had opened their eyes to receive the message from the Islamic republic.WHAT PETERSON calls the “presidential obsession” with mahdaviat leads Ahmadinejad to “a certitude that leaves little room for compromise. From redressing the gulf between rich and poor in Iran to challenging the United States and Israel and enhancing Iran’s power with nuclear programs, every issue is designed to lay the foundation for the Mahdi’s return.””Mahdaviat is a code for [Iran’s Islamic] revolution, and is the spirit of the revolution,” says the head of an institute dedicated to studying and speeding the Mahdi’s appearance. “This kind of mentality makes you very strong,” observes the political editor of Resalat newspaper, Amir Mohebian. “If I think the Mahdi will come in two, three, or four years, why should I be soft? Now is the time to stand strong, to be hard.”

    Such rhetoric, apparently quite firmly believed, would not make my sleep easy if I lived in Israel. Nor in any other reach of this man’s missiles. This is, of course, what real self-righteousness looks like.

  6. RE: Daniel’s point about the possibility that Iran just wants to generate energy.

    I don’t personally buy it, but what do I know? I continue to believe that the most likely action is an attack of some sort by Israel. They won’t do so unless they’re sure that it’s for weapons. And, unlike some other nations which shall remain nameless, their intel agencies will find out for sure and have a solid list of targets.

  7. Hold on here. Wasn’t this diplomatic hot potato going to be handled by the EU? Weren’t they gonna show the BushHitlerCheneyHalliburton regime and the rest of us Yankee Cowboys how adults do diplomacy? Haven’t they been threatening to get tough any minute now?

    EU: Ok, we’re serious. You’ve gotta stop this.
    IRI: No.
    EU: Ok, we realy mean it this time. Stop.
    IRI: Take a hike.
    EU: OK, that’s it. Stop now or else.
    IRI: Or else what?
    EU: Or else we’ll say, “Stop now or else.” again.
    IRI: Keep it up and you’ll be next after the Zionists and Team Satan.
    EU: Alrighty. Now you’ve gone just too damn far. We’re putting seals on your reactors!
    IRI: (Breaks seals) Allu Ahkbar! Death to infidels!
    EU: That’s it!! Now you’ve really, really done it. We’re calling for substanative negotions with a time frame!!
    IRI: (running around flailing arms wildly) Oh, save me! Save me!

    Phone rings…

    EU: (It’s BusHitler!) Good to hear from you my dear friend.
    BH: How’s the situation with the Iranianites?
    IRI: (still running around flailing arms wildly) Oh, save me! Save me! The EUnichs are coming! They will throw waffles and pastries! They will deny us their chocolate! Oh save us! (laughs uproariously)
    EU: (into phone) Our diplomats tell us we have them on the run!

    Of course, if things really go to hell, the EUropeans will do what they always do:
    1. Nothing.
    2. Blame the Americans.
    3. Wait for someone else to deal with it.

  8. Western Europe is a lot closer to Iran than the USA is.

    The Europeans made a big deal about how close the former Yugoslavia was. They called it “Europe’s Back Yard”. What was it? 40 minute commercial flight from Rome to Sarajevo? Something like that.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t count on Europe doing anything until it’s a shade later than too late. If they do get around to some action, I’d be willing to bet that it is more too little than too late.


  9. Russia is in a great spot to exploit the Iran situation. Now they’re making deals with the mullahs. Pretty soon I think we’ll see them trying to extract valuable consideration from the Euros in exchange for “protection” from, or at least intercession with, Iran. Putin has every incentive to pour gasoline on the fire.

  10. Putin is also selling the Iranians updated ground-to-air missiles. Once they are installed, the “surgical strike” option is gone. We would have to take out their air defenses first, which makes the operation much more complicated and gives them more time to disperse their nuclear assets. Why aren’t the EU “soft powers” leaning on their dear, dear friend?

  11. I don’t think the “surgical strike” option was ever available. If it had been available I think we or Israel would have done it by now. It seems more likely that any military attack will be complex, messy and big.

  12. I don’t think anything here is nailed. The addition of a new weapon to the equation might change the planning, but I doubt that it would lead to an attack being called off.

  13. I thought the UN and the Europeans were supposed to be handling this “their way”.

    If I were a cynic (and I am) I would believe that the Bush administration has purposely allowed the Europeans to handle this situation “their way” so they could sit back and demonstrate once and for all just how dumb “their way” is.

    Looks like its all falling in to place, unfortunately the price to be paid for this learning opportunity is a nuclear armed Iran.

  14. Well, Clinton did the same as Yugoslavia fell apart.

    Despite their long experience, the Europeans don’t seem to have thought through this “diplomacy” thing; lecturing us about Guantanamo would be a lot easier to take if we hadn’t seen the dreadful series of slaughters in that backyard or among their ex-colonials in the nineties.

    By the way, I googled “diplomacy without power” and found an interesting initial series of quotes & some interesting absences:

    Frederick A. Kagan, who concludes:”Diplomacy is not the opposite of war, and war is not the failure of diplomacy. Both are tools required in various proportions in almost any serious foreign-policy situation.” On that appropriate relation, he contends, “rests nothing less than the peace of the world.” (Posted above.)

    Google next linked to a Secretary Cohen quote: “Diplomacy without power,” he explained, “can produce dialogue without decision, while power without diplomacy can lead to arrogant chauvinism and senseless conflict.”

    Followed by Colin Powell: “Diplomacy isn’t the opposite of force. Diplomacy without power is just naked pleading. Power without diplomacy is incomplete.”

    Then Morgenthau’s “Diplomacy without power is feeble, and power without diplomacy is destructive and blind.”

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