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Newsweek Revises Recent History of US-Iranian Relations

John on January 2, 2009 at 10:41 am

Dennis Ross, writing for Newsweek, sums up the last eight years this way:

Bush’s policy has failed: Iran wasn’t a nuclear power when he became president, but by the time he leaves office, it will have become one…Iran has pursued nuclear weapons because the Bush administration hasn’t applied enough pressure—or offered Iran enough rewards for giving them up.

The idea that George Bush is responsible for failing to reign in Iran leaves out a few things. For starters, how about Mohammed ElBaradei, the man directly responsible for monitoring Iranian nuclear ambitions. He literally won the Nobel prize for opposing Bush’s “tough talk” yet he is nowhere mentioned in this article. ElBaradei claimed that the US was not being fair to Tehran. That there was no solid evidence Iran was making a bomb. He was lauded and applauded for this around the world. Bush was called a warmonger for wanting to get tough. Was all of this history forgotten by Dennis Ross? Apparently.

And yet, now that we know ElBaradei was wrong and Bush was right about Iran’s intent, it’s Bush’s fault. Now that the President is a lame duck, the answer is “tough talk.” We’re also supposed to forget (and you’d never know it from reading Ross’ piece) that the US has already been engaged in some pretty tough talk with Iran for months. At one point the Iranian representative exploded in a rage and started screaming at the American spokesman. How much tougher can the talk get?

Ultimately, Ross knows talk won’t work. In the same article he notes that only one thing works with Iran:

In 2003…after the U.S. military made short work of the Iraqi Army—something Iran hadn’t managed to do in eight years of war—Tehran quickly reached out to Washington, sending a proposal through the Swiss ambassador in Tehran that sought to allay U.S. concerns about Iran’s weapons program and about its support for Hizbullah and Hamas.

In short, the threat of force works with Iran. Yet that’s exactly what the liberal Cassandras in the press have been warning us Bush was eager to do for most of the year. Suddenly, now that it’s Obama’s problem, Dennis Ross is resetting the game board. All the liberal voices that have hectored and hemmed in the previous President’s attempts to get tough with Iran are gone. All that remains is his inexplicable failure. All you need to know about the history of this process (according to Newsweek) is that it’s George Bush’s fault Iran isn’t in check. What a crock.

I predict that within a year this same idiot will cheer Obama on when we give Israel the go-ahead for preemptive strikes on Iran’s nuke capability. Wait and see. The rules are different for Democrats.

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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