Reply to American that to Miss Opportunity for Rapprochement with Iran will Have Big Consequences

By Con George-Kotzabasis

It will have even bigger consequences if it succeeds by wishful thinking.  Rapprochement in itself is meaningless unless there is clear and unambiguous understanding and agreement between the parties about the conditions of such rapprochement. It would be a mistake to deduce from the rhetorically conciliatory statements of President Rouhani that Iran has abandoned its desire to acquire nuclear weapons. And to differentiate himself from the holocaustian statements of his predecessor, Ahmadinejad, is hardly an indication that the new regime is repudiating its clandestine goal to develop a nuclear weapon. Only if Rouhani allows open and rigorous inspections in all areas of Iran where Western intelligence cogently suspects the secret development of a nuclear weapon will the experts be convinced that Iran has changed tack in regard to its nuclear arsenal.

It is more probable, because Rouhani perceives a weak president in the United States, he will be exploiting that weakness to achieve Iran’s historic and Islamic aim to enter the nuclear club by persuading Obama about the peaceful purpose of Iran’s nuclear build-up. Rouhani is aware that Obama needs and desires a suspension of tensions so he will have the excuse to take all options off the table and thus as an incompetent and effete president tranquilize himself by false hopes. And Rouhani and his advisors know, that this détente can be achieved on promissory notes that will never be cashed. Thus by providing Obama the confidence that he can come to a reasonable agreement with Iran, Rouhani achieves two diplomatic goals. (1) He defers USA action from resolving speedily and decisively the issue of nuclear weapons by creating the euphoria that this matter can be resolved by prolonged negotiations, a dilatoriness that Obama is most happy to accept as he desires to push the hard options, if they are needed, in the future ahead with the hope that they will never be used, and which also suits Rouhani perfectly as it will give Iran more time to achieve its strategic goal to build the bomb. And (2) weakening Israel’s resolve to unilaterally attack Iran’s nuclear installations, if other Western states are found to be wanting in stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear armaments, by isolating Israel from its major ally, the USA, and from other Western nations, and thus making it more difficult for Israel to strike.

It is for this reason that Clemons should be more restrained in his optimism of the opportunity of reaching a rapprochement with Iran when a more sinister and malign opportunity could be hidden behind the apparently benign talk of Rouhani.

Senator Schumer Lambasts Obama’s Stupid and Inconsistent Diplomacy

In view of Obama’s variable inconsistencies in the Syrian Crisis declaring on the one hand that he would be attacking Syria for breaking his “red line,” for using chemical weapons against its own people, and, on the other, dithering and postponing this attack until its authorization by Congress, I’m republishing the following article that was written three years ago for the readers of this blog.  

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Would Edward Luce and Daniel Dombey, and by implication Steve Clemons, expect Robert Gibbs, the Press Secretary, to say that Barack Obama agrees “with what Senator Schumer said? It is astonishing to see Clemons diverting the issue of the total freeze of settlements, which Schumer correctly criticized as a grave error on the part of Obama contra Israel, to what Schumer’s stand was to Jesse Helms and to John Bolton “few years ago.”

Clemons is entitled to his opinions but he is not entitled to his facts. The facts are that the foolish imposition of the total freeze of settlements on the Netanyahu government by the Obama administration’s lack of foresight that it would be politically unrealizable for Israel and that it would evolve and become for the Palestinians, as it did, a rigid condition for their participation with any talks with Israel, was the major factor that derailed Obama’s engine of diplomacy from its track that would bring the two belligerents to the negotiating table. It was precisely this quintessentially wrong and injudicious policy of Obama that Senator Schumer rightly criticized as being the reason of the administration’s abysmal failure in the Middle East. Another fact is that Obama’s diplomacy is inconsistent, rewarding his enemies and penalizing his friends. While he claims that his diplomacy is indiscriminate and is based on soft and smart power coming on doves’ feet and extends his hand in a velvet glove to the enemies of America, he carries a bludgeon in his hand in his relations with his strongest and most loyal ally, in this case Israel.

Throughout history there has never been a case when a nation engaged in war with implacable enemies would chastise and alienate its most steadfast and reliable ally for the purpose to placate its enemies. Obama will go down in history as the only leader who not only doltishly and doggedly opened the door of diplomacy to an enemy such as Iran which has been training in its own country members of the Taliban and supplying them with weapons–as well as its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah–to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, but who was also willing to sacrifice the vital interests of his most staunch ally against Islamist terror, Israel, on the altar of this spineless, strategically unprincipled, and totally fallible diplomacy.

The above emitted the two following responses:

Posted by Dan KervickApr 27 2010, 6:54AM – Link

Kotzabasis, WigWag seemed to be wondering a few days ago why those posts in which you make a serious, debatable point are ignored. But can there be any doubt why people habitually turn you off, when so many of your posts consist in cowardly, third-person personal characterizations of other contributors, lamely shouted out to no one in particular?

 

Posted by WigWag, Apr 27 2010, 9:45AM – Link

Actually why the interesting point Kotz made is never debated is rather plain. His point was an astute one, but as I am sure Kotz would be the first to admit, it was hardly an original one. Kotz was making precisely the same point Schumer was; that by offering to conduct their negotiations for them, the Obama Administration provides an incentive for the Palestinians not to negotiate at all. Kotz, Schumer and many other sage observers have also made the point that by making demands on Israel that Obama knew, or should have known, that it wouldn’t comply with, it was Obama himself who was making his stated goal of getting negotiations started much more difficult.

Steve Clemons in his diatribe against Schumer never responded to this point and Dan Kervick hasn’t either. Neither has any other serious commentator as far as I can tell.

It seems to me that the lack of response to the Schumer/Kotz allegation is evidence of the fact that the point is irrefutable.

If it’s not, someone should give it a try.

Obama’s Limits of Imagination Transformed into Limits of Power

I’m republishing this short piece that illustrates the diplomatic scarcity in international relations that is the inexorable feature of the Obama administration.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Steve Clemons and Ben Katcher are using the ‘shamanistic’ art, the art of a conjurer, to turn the limits of imagination into “the limits of American power.” The “aborted attempt” of the Obama administration to “persuade the Israelis to enact a “settlement freeze”, has nothing to do with US power limits but with lack of imagination and political insight on the part of Obama and the State Department not to foresee the political implausibility of trying to impose such a doltish demand on the Netanyahu government. It’s a dismal failure of policy and not a limit of American power as Clemons and Levy in their conjurers’ role aver.

As for Daniel Levy’s ”asymmetries of power,” WigWag’s post is instructive and unassailable in its historical logic. All defeated nations in wars were due to asymmetries of power.

Courage of Ignorance of People who Cannot Ascertain the Real Essence of Enemy

I’m republishing the following in view of the latest deadly conflict between the  terrorist fanatics of Hamas and threatened Israel.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In any critical dangerous conflict the first thing one has to know is one’s enemy, that is, whether he is reconcilable or irreconcilable and the danger he poses respectively. To the sharp eyed and historically experienced Israelis the Palestinians and the Muslim countries which overtly and covertly support and in some cases fuel the former’s intifadas by providing them with weapons, are irreconcilable enemies  whose goal is the destruction of Israel. Hence all the hard actions and reactions that Israel is forced to take issue from the hardened mortal enemy it confronts.

Beinart and the young historically inexperienced Israelis, who think that Israel by bearing olive branches toward the Palestinians can resolve the conflict, are profoundly ignorant of the kind of enemy Israel is engaged with. Not being cognisant or rather being ignorant of Sun Tzu’s “Know Thy Enemy,” they are completely incapable of understanding the strategic contours of the conflict and therefore politically and intellectually are totally unqualified to formulate a strategy that could resolve the conflict.

Israel’s Achievements Stem from the Intellectual and Cultural Strength of its People

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Israel is no “mercenary of the West in the heart of the Middle East” but an outpost of Western civilization in the midst of barbarians. Besieged on all sides within the short span of 60 years it became culturally, politically, economically, and scientifically the most developed nation of the region and deservedly proud of this great achievement. Moreover as a civilized outpost, Israel is at the forefront of the fight against the holy warriors of Islam, of Hamas and Hezbollah, the proxies of its most dangerous enemy Iran.

The author of the article might be rich in some of his psychological probing but has a very poor understanding of history. Great achievements are not the outcome of “victimhood” but they arise from the cultural, moral, and intellectual strength of a people. And Israel is a testament of that.

Obama’s Angelic Doctrine Disarms Evil Enemies

I’m republishing the following piece for the readers of this new blog.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Reply to: The Mellow Doctrine by Roger Cohen

global.nytimes.com May 03, 2009

 

Roger Cohen riding his high horse as a columnist of The New York Times trots a ‘neighing’ argument that throws the rider on the paddock. He claims and infers that the new policies of President Obama in foreign affairs, which he frames in his term of The Mellow Doctrine, are holistic remedies for the wanton malicious inflicted maladies that the Bush-Cheney administration had placed upon the body politic of America that had alienated it in the minds and hearts of so many people in the world.

These policies now are spreading and reverberating across Latin America, Europe, and Asia Minor and are creating an echoing melodious sound of Europeans, Turks and Latinos–with only a slight discordant hoarse bass note coming through the nostrils of an old dog, Fidel Castro, who can smell in Obama another imperialist rat. In Strasbourg the French and Germans loved to hear the President expostulating on the new fully cooperative conduct of the U.S. with its major allies, the French seeing him as an exemplar of their own past mission civilisatrice in the sphere of diplomacy, and the Germans as a second Ich bin ein Berliner, after John F. Kennedy. In Prague, the multi-cultured Czechs were delighted to hear him say that he was “committing the United States to a world without nuclear weapons,” and his outpouring of a profusion of mea culpa of America’s past misdeeds and the arrogance of imperial powers and its leaders, who like Roosevelt and Churchill would determine the fate of peoples “sitting in the room with a brandy.” In Turkey, the most modern of Muslim nations thanks to its insightful great Soldier-Statesman Kemal Ataturk, the Turks were regaled to see Obama parading before them his own partial Muslim origins and hear him say that Muslims had been treated with “insufficient respect” in the past. And in Trinidad and Tobago, where the Fifth Summit of the Americas was held, Obama enraptured the Latinos to such a degree that even the spirited anti-American warriors Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez were won over, the latter being moved so much so that he gave as a gift to Obama a book on American imperialism and the latter reciprocating to Hugo’s generous gesture by giving him a warm handshake and a friendly touch on the shoulder.

To Cohen, all the above related events are a clear sign that “Foes…have been disarmed by Barack Obama’s no-drama diplomacy.” Obama’s “mellow doctrine…finding strength through unconventional means: acknowledgement of the limits of American power; frankness about U.S. failings; careful listening; fear reduction; adroit deployment of the wide appeal of brand Barack Hussein Obama; and jujitsu engagement.” If the above quotes are not a perfect illustration that Obama made a confession of American weakness before the ‘priesthood’ of his ‘Catholic’ enemies, then one will ever search in vain for  a definition of weakness in any dictionary. And to bring jujitsu in this bout of weakness as a saving line is like offering someone who already lies unconscious on the floor from the blows of his opponent the Japanese art of training the mind and body in unarmed combat. In this context for Cohen to mock Dick Cheney for saying that America’s enemies perceive “a weak president,” is to brand himself with his own mockery.

This confession of weakness is the ‘Eighteenth of Brumaire of Barack Hussein Obama,’ to paraphrase Karl Marx on Louis Bonaparte, an intellectual coup d’état by   the constitutional lawyer against the constitution of the political wisdom of the ages in whose preamble imprescriptibly is written that to show and admit weakness before one’s enemies is the cardinal unforgiveable political sin. As in any human contest only when a party is weakened is prepared to make concessions whereas the strong seek and drive home their victory. This applies more so to fanatically religious enemies who have an ineradicable tendency to see, due to their irrational cogitations, any conciliatory initiative of their opponents as an admission of weakness.

But the intellectual fragility of Cohen’s argument is exposed by his use of the weakest enemies of America, that is, the Castro brothers and Hugo Chavez, and surprisingly Turkey, which has not been an enemy of the U.S., to drive home the success of the conciliatory attitude of President Obama. In the case of Turkey, he claims that at the NATO meeting the Turks dropped their opposition to the nomination of Denmark’s Anders Rasmussen as the alliance’s secretary general because of “Obama’s conciliatory message to Muslims.” In contrast, the previous administration by “humiliating Muslims” filled the schools of Waziristan and Ramadi with recruits for future terror. When one asks whence this humiliation of Muslims started the unutterable answer of Cohen must be since 9/11. The undeniably harsh but necessary measures that the Bush administration took against Muslim terrorists to protect its citizens from, at the time, imponderable future attacks, were in the eyes of Cohen measures that “humiliated Muslims.” Just as well columnists of this sort are ‘unsheathing’ their pens to write their columns instead of unsheathing their paper swords to protect Americans.  

Most of all Cohen is apparently very fond of the following by President Obama. “Resistance” to set of U.S. policies “may turn out to be based on old preconceptions or ideological dogmas” of the previous administration, and “when they are cleared away …we can actually solve a problem.” So President Obama with a broom in his hand once he sweeps this ideological debris of the Bush administration he will be able to start solving the innumerable problems that America is facing. But the fact is that the United States is not countenancing these problems because of “old preconceptions or ideological dogmas,” but because of its status as the sole superpower is inevitably burdened to carry like Atlas all the world’s crises and hot spots on its back and to set up actions that are not always agreeable by the rest of the world that would have a chance to resolve these crises. And inevitably because of the multiple actions it has to take in so many complex parts of the world it cannot jump over the shadow of fallibility. The alternative, to restrict its engagement with the rest of the world because of its immense risks and possible errors of judgment, is not the raison d’être of great power. Moreover, a disengagement from the hot spots of the world would allow sinister and brutal fanatical leaders to take over countries and oppress their peoples as well as endanger the stability of the world.

The political naivety and immaturity of President Obama is encapsulated in his own terms in regard to Iran: Normal relations can be restored on the “mutual respect” of opponents. This would be forsooth the reality if your opponent considered you to be negotiating from a strong position. It would not be true if his estimate was that his opponent was negotiating from a weak position contra his own strong position. The strong can be at times kind, gracious, and helpful toward the weak but never have any respect for the weak. This is more so in the hard realm of geopolitics. The Iranian theocracy will see any diplomatic initiatives by the United States as an admittance of political feebleness by the latter and will exploit this to their advantage. And by the time when President Obama will become aware of this the Iranians will be already close to the entrance of the nuclear club. No angelic or mellow doctrine of Obama will disarm America’s implacable irreconcilable foes. Only the thunder, and as last resort the bolt of Jupiter, can defeat these deadly enemies.  

Hic Rhodus hic Salta

      

The Intellectual Cheating of Liberals

A short reply to a Liberal –By Con George-Kotzabasis

Clearly your vocation in the ‘market of argument’ is to be a peddler in non sequiturs. Why are you shifting the ground of the argument, is it because your pockets are empty of all coins of counter reasoning on the issue? The question as was initially put by Clemons’s use of the John Bolton quote was not whether Israel’s and America’s wars were self-defensive or not but whether there was “moral equivalence” between the deliberate and non-deliberate killing of civilians. Clemons by cheating intellectually, by speciously transforming this argument of moral equivalence into an argument of devaluation of “Muslim and Arab lives” has made himself intellectually and morally persona non grata.

Talleyrand, eloquently and boldly said the following in the face of Napoleon, when the latter deposed the legitimate Ferdinand II and placed his own brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, “Sire, un enfant de famille may gamble away his last farthing—the heritage of his ancestors—the dower of his mother—the portion of his sisters—and yet be courted and admired for his wit—be sought for his talents and distinction—but let him once be detected in cheating at the game, and he is lost—society is forever shut against him.” You likewise, in partaking in this Napoleonesque cheating of Clemons “at the game,” have become your own ‘guest’ as an intellectual and moral pariah.