At this junction of the American presidential horserace, we are compelled to reexamine the leading candidate’s positions regarding the gathering storm in Iran; whether you see it as such or not, the most important issue of this era. (Take it from one who’s been through all this before.)
For Ron Paul and the Democrats, the task is simple: it’s all Bush’s fault.
Examination of Republican positions, however, requires slightly more engagement of the intellect. Fortunately, our friends at The Israel Project have compiled key statements of all candidates for our perusal. Here I shall re-post those of the Iowa top “three”: Messer’s Huckabee, Romney, and Thompson/McCain. I shall then provide my invaluable commentary for further elucidation.
Iowa’s Choice #1 - Mr. Huckabee:
From Foreign Affairs magazine (Jan./Feb. 2008 edition)
“Whereas there can be no rational dealings with al Qaeda, Iran is a nation-state seeking regional clout and playing the game of power politics we understand and can skillfully pursue. We cannot live with al Qaeda, but we might be able to live with a contained Iran.”
What on its face appears reasonable is, upon further analysis, suicidal bolderdash. The Twentieth Century (namely World War 1, World War 2, the Cold War, The Gulf War, and throw in the September 11 attacks for good measure) was nothing less than a 100 year lesson on the disastrous ineffectuality of the concept of “containment.”
To his credit, Mr. Huckabee does not go so far as to recommend withdrawing military action from the table in attempts to persuade Iran to relinquish its nuclear ambitions. But we have heard language such as the following before, and it has ended – quite often – in disaster:
“When one stops talking to a parent or a friend, differences cannot be resolved and relationships cannot move forward. The same is true for countries. The reestablishment of diplomatic ties will not occur automatically or without the Iranians' making concessions that serve to create a less hostile relationship.”
We hope that either Mr. Huckabee or New Hampshire, come to their senses.
Iowa’s Choice #2 – Mr. Romney:
From his statement provided to The Israel Project (June 2007)
“To aggressively combat Iran's nuclear ambitions and exploit the regime's vulnerabilities, I have outlined a five-pronged strategy:
First, we should tighten economic sanctions. Denying Iran access to the international banking system is crucial. The U.S. and Europe should ensure that Iran finds it very difficult to obtain credit and make purchases in foreign currencies. In addition, I have called for strategic divestment among state pension funds from companies that support the Iranian regime's dangerous actions.
Second, we should isolate Iran diplomatically. Of course, we keep communication channels open. Yet, we should work to unite our allies against Iran’s actions and America should take no actions that legitimize Iran's defiance of the world. As part of this effort, Iran's President Ahmadinejad should be indicted under the terms of the Genocide Convention for incitement to genocide. As Governor, when former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami was invited to speak at Harvard University, I denied him state police security for his visit. It is wrong to welcome a person with open arms who has preached the destruction of Israel, developed nuclear technology, jailed dissident students in his country and has praised Hezbollah.
Third, Arab states must join this effort to prevent a nuclear Iran. These states should support Iraq's government; turn down the temperature of the Arab-Israeli conflict; stop the financial and weapons flows to Hamas and Hezbollah; and tell the Palestinians to drop their terror campaign and recognize Israel's right to exist.
Fourth, we must make it clear to the Iranian people that while nuclear capabilities may be a source of pride, it can also be a source of peril. The military option must remain on the table. The regime should know that if nuclear material from their nation falls into the hands of terrorists and is used, it would provoke a devastating response from the civilized world.
Fifth, our strategy must be integrated into a broader approach to the Muslim world. We must work with moderate Muslim communities and leaders to build a lasting Partnership for Prosperity and Progress - a global effort which would support progressive Muslim communities and leaders in every nation where radical Islam is battling modernity and moderation. This Partnership for Prosperity and Progress should help provide the tools and funding necessary for moderates to win the debate in their own societies. In the final analysis, only Muslims will be able to permanently defeat radical Islam. But we can and should support this effort.”
To the above we say verily, Amen. But the spud boy hair has got to go!
Iowa’s Choice #3a - Mr. Thompson:
From his commentary after speech given at Policy Exchange (June 2007)
“Obviously there are basically three choices that we have: Sanctions, regime change, or military option or fourth I suppose if you consider doing nothing… I think that we made some progress on sanctions but not nearly enough… but Iran is very vulnerable, I think, in many different ways… and some of these problems may work in our favor especially if we ratcheted the sanctions, certainly a blockade could also be an option… We are all in this together, the forces of civilization should be aligned against the forces of annihilation in this world.”
Bit light on detail, but the spirit is dead on. (After eight years of Bushie , you should all be used to this.) Mr. Thompson was also perhaps the most outspoken about the ridiculous NIE report of late.
From his statement issued Dec. 6, 2006
“The accuracy of the latest NIE on Iran should be received with a good deal of skepticism. It's awfully convenient for a lot of people: the administration gets to say its policies worked; the Democrats get to claim we should have eased up on Iran a long time ago; and Russia and China can claim sanctions on Iran are not necessary. Who benefits from all this? Iran.”
Score another point for home-spun, backwoods, American hillbilly insight!
Iowa’s Choice #3b - Mr. McCain:
From his address to Christians United for Israel (July 18, 2007)
“And every option must remain on the table. Military action isn't our preference. It remains, as it always must, the last option. We have some way to go diplomatically before we need to contemplate other measures. But it is a simple observation of reality that there is only one thing worse than a military solution, and that, my friends, is a nuclear armed Iran. The regime must understand that it cannot win a showdown with the world.”
We would submit that not EVERY option remain on the table (i.e. Mr. Thompson’s observation about the Left’s proposed policy of doing nothing.) However, Mr. McCain demonstrates some wisdom here, as he does in the following:
From his FOX news appearance (Dec. 9, 2007)
“The most over-rated aspect of our dialogue about international relations is direct face-to-face talks. BlackBerries work. Emissaries work. There's many thousands of ways to communicate. The question is are you going to have direct talks, and does that enhance the prestige of the president of Iran, who has said all these things about us, and has announced his country's continued distinction to the extinction of the state of Israel, or does it reach a successful conclusion? That's the question you have to ask when you talk about "face-to-face talks. "I'd remind you that when we stopped the bombing in Vietnam, we were going to talk in Paris. It took 2.5 years because of the shape of the table. Bombing started of Hanoi. And guess what? Negotiations started again.”
Here, here! I’ll take a ride on the Straight Talk Express for that.
There are, of course, numerous issues you all must take into account in selecting your candidate. We hope that our profile here has provided further clarity on what we believe to be the most pressing of all.
American conservatives - choose wisely. In terms of global security and defense of Western Civilization, England has abdicated virtually all responsibility. Your liberal counterparts are foolish children at best. More than perhaps ever before, the fate of the free world rests upon your decision. Do not make it lightly.