Over on Investor’s Business Daily, Michael Barone reports that Stratfor analyst Robert Kaplan has suggested that Obama is trying to forge some alliance of sorts with Iran.
As implausible as this might seem, Kaplan evidently makes a case for it and it certainly wouldn’t be the first move by Obama that defies all logic and appears to work directly against US interests and those of our allies:
The apparent basis for Obama’s obsequiousness toward Iran, a country that has sponsored Hezbollah in its campaigns of murder of US citizens and even cooperated with Al Qaeda (YES, Al Qaeda: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/223992/iranian-entanglements/christopher-w-holton)–not to mention Iran’s involvement in supporting insurgents battling US GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan–is the newly fashionable mythology that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is at long-last the “moderate” Iranian leader that we have all been waiting for.
The basic flaw in this thinking is that the President of Iran has no real authority over foreign policy and national security issues and policy. That authority resides only with the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Despite the absurdity of the theory that Rouhani will make a real difference in US-Iranian relations, history suggests that it should not come as a real surprise that Team Obama is championing him. Democrats in office have held out this theory for decades. (Not that Republicans should get a free pass, since they too have sat idly by as Iran built up its nuclear infrastructure.)
The first known example of damaging Democratic naivete came, of course, during the disastrous administration of Jimmy Carter. Carter’s UN ambassador, Andrew Young, declared that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was akin to an Islamic “saint.” National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski considered Khomeini someone America could work with to oppose the Soviets. Young’s saint proceeded to seize political power despite public pledges not to do so and ordered the slaughter of thousands of opponents. He then dragged Iran back centuries with the imposition of Shariah law and began exporting the Islamic revolution through terrorism.
The next nauseating episode of Democratic gullibility when it came to Iran involved Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who served in several capacities in the Mullahs’ hierarchy in Iran, including Speaker of the Majles, a sort of parliament, and president of Iran from 1989-1997. Rafsanjani is one of the wealthiest men in Iran, his family having earned its fortune in the farming of pistachio nuts. The Clinton administration went to far as to ease sanctions on pistachio nut imports from Iran to the US under the misguided expectation that such a move would win favor with Rafsanjani, who many in the Clinton administration considered a “pragmatist.”
The rest is, as they say, history. Clinton’s pragmatist was evidently the Ayatollah in direct charge of kicking off Iran’s nuclear program to begin with.
In a 2001 speech, Rafsanjani had this to say about nuclear weapons and the conflict with Israel:
“If one day the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel’s possession – on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.”
This was not Rafsanjani’s first statement on nuclear weapons. Before he became president of Iran and long before Bill Clinton’s team came along to declare him a pragmatist, Rafsanjani was making worrying statements about Iran and nuclear weapons. In a broadcast over Tehran radio in October 1988, when he was speaker of the Iranian Majlis, Ayatollah Rafsanjani made this chilling declaration that called for the development of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons:
“We should fully equip ourselves both in the offensive and defensive use of chemical, bacteriological and radiological weapons.”
Rafsanjani was eventually replaced as president by Ayatollah Mohammad Khatami, another Great Iranian Hope for the Democratic Party in the US. Khatami served as president from 1997 to 2005 and many in the West portrayed him as a champion of reform and dialogue between the West and Iran.
Of course, none of that amounted to anything, perhaps because Khatami, as president, had no authority over foreign policy and served at the pleasure of the Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But, like his predecessors, Khatami was not what he appeared to be. When he was Iran’s minister of culture and Islamic propagation, Khatami was directly involved in the creation of Hezbollah, the global Jihadist terrorist organization that has served as Iran’s proxy in waging war against the West. It should also be noted that Iran’s nuclear program accelerated during Khatami’s presidency.
So, now we have Rouhani and Obama’s apparent miscalculation to follow in the footsteps of Clinton and Carter before him. The difference now is that the Iranians are so much closer to becoming a nuclear power.
Filed under: Al Qaeda, Carter, HAMAS, Hezbollah, Israel, Khamenei, Khatami, Khomeini, nuclear program, nuclear talks, Obama, Rafsanjani, Rouhani, Terrorism, US State Department, USA, Useful Idiots | Tagged: Iran, Khamenei, Obama, Rouhani |