“Iran’s Diplomatic Brilliance”

Michael Rubin:

Never before has a country repeatedly declared its goal was “death to America,” taken clear actions to achieve that aim, and suffered no serious consequences for its actions. The reason for this is Iran’s diplomatic brilliance. They have conditioned successive administrations as easily as Pavlov: They hint at diplomacy, and get a free pass for abusing and murdering Americans.

Rubin is spot-on, and his critique applies to US administrations of both parties, from Carter’s to Obama’s. The Iranian regime has never paid a significant price for its numerous attacks against Americans and American interests. We may pay a high price for this failure.

19 thoughts on ““Iran’s Diplomatic Brilliance””

  1. It’s interesting that I heard this morning on Rush Limbaugh, who I don;t regularly listen to, that there is written agreement to be signed from the negotiations with Iran. He played Jonathan Karl asking the question of Josh Earnest and no news source seems to be carrying the story.

    If there is a nuclear deal with Iran, it may not be committed to paper. It may not be written down. And if it isn’t written down, obviously there’s no way anybody can verify what it actually says. And if it isn’t written down, any signature that is said to accompany it is meaningless.

    I guess I have to listen to Limbaugh more.

    Jonathan Karl of ABC News pressed Josh Earnest today, the White House press secretary, on whether the Iranian nuke deal would be in writing. It was reported earlier today, it’s in the New York Times, that it might not be in writing. John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, is on his way to Switzerland. They’ve got six days to get this done by their imposed March 31st deadline, and we’re being told that it may not be committed to writing, that we’re just gonna have to trust what we are told about what’s in the deal.

    Well, Jonathan Karl heard about this, and he’s been demanding that Earnest explain this, and Earnest would not. He would not commit. He’s mumbling things about tangible commitments. Here’s the sound bite. Karl says, “On the nuclear agreement with Iran, given that you need to show something to Congress, this would have been to be a written agreement. It would have to be an agreements signed by both sides. You’re not gonna just take a verbal, ‘Yeah, sure. We’re gonna do this’? Obviously still details still have to be worked out — you got a June detail for doing that — but this interim framework needs to be in writing and signed by both sides, right?”

    The answer ?

    EARNEST: We’re gonna seek very tangible commitments from the Iranians, and the president made a commitment to sharing those tangible commitments with members of Congress and with our allies, certainly —

    KARL: Does that mean written? I’m just trying to understand what “tangible” means.

    EARNEST: Well, again, I don’t want to get into what the — you know, where the talks are gonna lead here. We hope to be able to elicit tangible commitments that the Iranians have made that we can then share with our P5+1 partners, and with our allies, and with the United States Congress.

    Huge news and it is unreported. Except by Limbaugh.

  2. Moving past expecting the current regime to do anything to the benefit of the United States, there is another key point.

    Expecting the American media, print or broadcast, to publish anything not laudatory to the regime is pointless. Limbaugh is not part of the State-controlled media.

    I would expect Jonathan Karl to face some job consequences for bringing this point up. Being cited by Rush Limbaugh has got to be on the list of “things not to do” at ABC News.

  3. This is not the first time Jonathan Karl has aggressively questioned the WH spox. Also listen to Ron Fournier. The establishment press is turning. The pretty faces and admin stooges in management haven’t figured it out yet, but the real journalists know what is going down.

    The Iranians best allies have been the Sunnis. Think Saddam and the Saudi 19. If the Sunnis had just kept their heads down, we would have had to confront the persians. Instead, the sunnis always tried to be more obnoxious, the only thing at which they have excelled. Our problem is that we don’t recognize that we have no friends over there, only savages.

    But sooner or later, the persians will pay a high price for the failure of past administrations of both parties to take them seriously. They will go one step too far and move into the Evil Empire category all alone.

    What is truly amazing is that the persophiles in the WH rebuff the one Sunni ready to help, Sisi.

  4. It looks like the US is going to try to either get the State of Israel to disarm their nukes, or justify giving them to Iran.


    It took a little effort, but I found the report that was declassified and released:


    Short form, the US is revealing officially that Israel has nukes. And their research capabilities back in the 1980’s. This document pretty much shows that the Israelis have fusion warheads. Note that before they released it, they deliberately blacked out everything that was not Israeli. This was not an accidental slippage of information that included Israel.

    What to expect.

    1) Israel’s nukes are going to be cast as the one obstacle to peace in the ME.
    2) Israel will be given the choice of disarming, or of Iran being helped/allowed to develop an offensive nuclear capability to “defend” itself from Israel.
    3) With the Democrats more than willing to back Obama, the Republicans refusing to oppose him on anything, the media backing him for anything up to and including nuking the center of the US, and the UN willing to put their stamp of approval on anything that kills Jews . . . . . Israel will soon be in a use it or lose it [and the nation] situation. Keep in mind that Obama has already openly threatened to have the US Air Force defend Iran from any Israeli attack.

  5. Does it really need “diplomatic brilliance” to outmanoeuvre Slick Willie, W, or O?

    However flawed Nixon was, he would not have been a man easily outmanoeuvred. One of the striking features of your Constitution is the fact that Foreign Affairs is one of the chief responsibilities of your President. Not education, nor management of the economy, nor preaching about your diet, nor a thousand boondoggles: foreign affairs. Clearly the electorate doesn’t give a hoot. And next Hellary? Dear God.

  6. I think W was in a situation where invading Iraq in 2003 was just not avoidable. The occupation, I believe, was because Bremer convinced Bush that he was the man to handle things. That was Bush’s big mistake. Jay Garner had been running the Kurdish area successfully for ten years,

    Bremer has kept very quiet recently. He wrote his self-justifying book and then disappeared.

  7. Beware of Shia Muslims vague agreements.

    The term for the related concept of kitman “secrecy, concealment” is derived from a root kāf-tā-mīm (ك ت م) “conceal”. The two terms taqiyyah and kitman may be used synonymously, although the former has the more inclusive meaning of “dissimulation” in general, while the later refers to the “concealment” of one’s convictions by silence or omission.

    So we can see why Iranians don’t want to put anything in writing.

  8. How soon we forget. You must remember the Iranians have had to deal with the US for a long time. There was the little matter of deposing a freely elected leader and installing the Sha. Just because he might not be good for American business.

    They do not trust America at all, and expect to be attacked. This is an attempt, at some kind of deal to not be attacked either physically or monetarily, for doing things on their own soil Israel does not like.

    As the US has prematurely attacked Russia, about a year too soon, they will go ahead with mutual defense and that should change everything. An advanced S400 anti air system will make it too expensive for Israel to attack Iran. The Russian war machine is in full production. The new Armata armored vehicle line, both tanks and APCs, is unmatched by anything the west has and will be widely available soon.

    Diplomacy was one of my favorite games, way back when.

  9. They do not trust America at all, and expect to be attacked.

    No doubt this explains their effort to control the Iraq, the Gulf, Bab el Mandeb and Gibraltar, the Buenos Aires Jewish center massacre, the Marine Corps barracks massacre, the Khobar Towers massacre, numerous other attacks on non-US targets, the Iran-Iraq War, etc. We can do business with them!

  10. PenGun, the Shah was a ruler who favored the Nazis, as did most Arabs, as well. He was deposed by the British and Soviets when the war began, especially after Hitler invaded Russia. A huge amount of Lend Lease aid went through Iran. There was an incident in which Stalin complained about delays in aid arriving and he was informed that the Russians were responsible and, when he learned that was true, heads rolled.

    After the war, the Russians were convinced to leave by the British and Americans who had signed a
    Tripartite agreement with the Shah.

    Reza Shah knew the Allies would not permit him to remain in power, so he abdicated on September 16 in favor of his son, who ascended the throne as Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Reza Shah and several members of his family were taken by the British first to Mauritius and then to Johannesburg, South Africa, where Reza Shah died in July 1944.


    In September 1943, Iran declared war on Germany, thus qualifying for membership in the United Nations (UN). In November at the Tehran Conference, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Prime Minister Josef Stalin reaffirmed a commitment to Iran’s independence and territorial integrity and a willingness to extend economic assistance to Iran.

    Here is the part you over simplify:

    On March 15, the Majlis voted to nationalize the oil industry. In April the shah yielded to Majlis pressure and demonstrations in the streets by naming Mossadeq prime minister.

    Oil production came to a virtual standstill as British technicians left the country, and Britain imposed a worldwide embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil. In September 1951, Britain froze Iran’s sterling assets and banned export of goods to Iran. It challenged the legality of the oil nationalization and took its case against Iran to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The court found in Iran’s favor, but the dispute between Iran and the AIOC remained unsettled. Under United States pressure, the AIOC improved its offer to Iran. The excitement generated by the nationalization issue, anti-British feeling, agitation by radical elements, and the conviction among Mossadeq’s advisers that Iran’s maximum demands would, in the end, be met, however, led the government to reject all offers. The economy began to suffer from the loss of foreign exchange and oil revenues.

    Read the rest on your own.

    I don’t want to have to conduct a seminar for every ignoramus who thinks he knows that the big bad CIA is behind every tree.

  11. Wow. From that link:

    In June 1953, the Eisenhower administration approved a British proposal for a joint Anglo-American operation, code-named Operation Ajax, to overthrow Mossadeq. Kermit Roosevelt of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) traveled secretly to Iran to coordinate plans with the shah and the Iranian military, which was led by General Fazlollah Zahedi.

  12. This is where the Iranian revolution came from and why there is an Ayatollah in power. The blowback from the CIA instigated coup is why you have the problems you have with Iran today.

    This statement isn’t true and if it were true it would be irrelevant. What matters is that the mullahs have conflicting interests from ours and have been pursuing their interests at our expense despite, or because of, our hopeful attempts at appeasing them. At some point the two sides are either going to reach an accommodation, or one side will give up, or one side will defeat the other side. (The first two of these options are not incompatible with the third.) There is no other possibility, and since the mullahs seem determined to gain the upper hand using increasingly destructive means it is rather more important for us to counter them than to expend effort in attempts to understand their supposed grievances, which are better seen as ploys to gain advantage.

    Do you think Hitler was justified in invading Poland? Because that is the type of argument you seem to be making here. After all, we can argue with benefit of hindsight that the first-world-war victors were excessively harsh on Germany at Versailles, and that by doing so made the second world war more likely. But we ought to give Hitler and Khomenei more credit than that. They exploited the weaknesses of their respective governments, took power and transformed their countries into aggressive dictatorships. That was their doing, not ours or anyone else’s. Handwringing about Mossadeq will not protect us against the mullahs’ nukes any more than regrets about Versailles would have saved us from Hitler.

  13. “That is from Mike K’s own link.”

    Like I said, no seminars for dopes. You are a simpleton who thinks he is a genius. Do some reading for Christ’s sake !

  14. I do have to chuckle as I am reading Conrad Black’s history of the US, called Flight of the Eagle, which has an interesting POV on US history. The section I was just reading is about Mossadegh and his farcical “revolution” where he ended up begging the US to rescue him from his own errors. Black makes the point that, had Mossadegh followed the same practice that the Mexican president had when nationalizing the US oil interests in the 30s, in which he paid compensation and got cooperation, the Iran oil story might have been very different. Mossadegh was also flirting with the Tudeh communist party which cost him all credibility with the US.

    Black’s book is excellent, like all his writing. He, for example, is very critical of Truman for rejecting MacArthur’s request for attacking the Chinese in Manchuria. Of course, much is retrospective wisdom but the Soviets probably would not have supported the Chinese.

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