At the close of World War II, the United States of America had demonstrated completely and consistently its resolve to respond to attacks upon its military and citizenry, defeating both Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. But the victory was incomplete, as the Allies allowed half of Europe to be absorbed by the USSR to no challenge. Thus, the Cold War began, and the principle that guided America in WWII was abandoned. America mired itself in altruistic excursions in Korea and Vietnam, but it was not until 1979 that America’s leadership achieved an even greater degree of irrationality.
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has served as the chief governmental patron of Islamist terror around the world, holding American diplomats as hostages from its outset and aiding in the murder of U.S. troops in the 1980s. But in the 33 years since the revolution, the U.S. has done noticeably little to address the issue. It has fought proxy wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan, but has only issued ambiguous, idle threats and ineffective economic sanctions towards Iran which have done nothing to dissuade the theocratic regime. Such a policy only lays the capstone on a trend in U.S. foreign relations that has been practiced increasingly consistently since WWII – an altruistic foreign policy.
Interestingly enough, it appears that our neighbors to the north have more resolve against the greatest contemporary aggressor to the interests and values of free nations – the Islamic Republic of Iran – than the current “leader of the free world.” Following the 2011 bombing of the British embassy in Tehran, Canada appears to have begun to realize what President Obama refuses to admit: that talk is cheap, and it will take something more substantive to bring the Iranian regime’s sponsorship of Islamist terror – and Islamism itself – to an end.
On September 7, 2012, the Canadian government officially severed diplomatic ties with Iran, closing its embassy in Iran and ordering the Iranian diplomats home. As reported by the Associated Press, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird provided justification for this decision in no uncertain terms, stating:
“‘The Iranian regime is providing increasing military assistance to the Assad regime; it refuses to comply with U.N. resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program; it routinely threatens the existence of Israel and engages in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide,’ Baird said in a statement. ‘It is among the world’s worst violators of human rights; and it shelters and materially supports terrorist groups.’”
And in the Calgary Herald:
“‘Canada,’ he [Baird] said, ‘views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.’”
[Edit, 27 March 2017: The Calgary Herald link is no longer active. The quote was also reported by Global News Canada. A link to that article can be found here.]
Though the U.S. itself has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since the hostage crisis and has used the Swiss consulate as a surrogate for American interests from that point on, it has otherwise done very little beyond yielding to the rampant incompetence within the United Nations in order to address the issue. As such, it is refreshing to see a rational stance against Iran on the part of other nations, since no American administration from Carter onward has chosen to consistently provide one. Vague assertions that “all options remain on the table” with regards to the Islamic Republic of Iran are nothing but a euphemistic way of saying, “We don’t really have a plan.” If our nation’s leadership is unable to even rule out those options which have continually proven ineffective, then the mullahs ruling Iran have absolutely no reason to believe that it will move toward more substantive action.
This is especially true in the case of America’s current Commander in Chief. Though President Obama certainly uses the “all options are on the table” rhetoric as well, his actual position – the one he demonstrates through his actions – is considerably more destructive to American interests. This is how the president describes his own policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran, as taken from the official White House website:
“[The Iranian hostage crisis] helped set the United States and Iran on a path of sustained suspicion, mistrust, and confrontation. I have made it clear that the United States of America wants to move beyond this past, and seeks a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran based upon mutual interests and mutual respect. We do not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. We have condemned terrorist attacks against Iran. We have recognized Iran’s international right to peaceful nuclear power. We have demonstrated our willingness to take confidence-building steps along with others in the international community. We have accepted a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency to meet Iran’s request for assistance in meeting the medical needs of its people. We have made clear that if Iran lives up to the obligations that every nation has, it will have a path to a more prosperous and productive relationship with the international community.”
What relationship can a victim have with a murderer? What interests do the just share with criminals? What respect is due to thugs? Any rational discussion regarding our appropriate actions toward Iran cannot take place external to the context of Iran’s guiding ideology. This doctrine is Islamic Totalitarianism – an ideology bent on the political implementation and the unceasing expansion of Islam (literally “submission” in Arabic) to all corners of the globe.
The three essential premises of Islamism are as follows: 1. There is no god but Allah, 2. There is no law but Allah’s law, and 3. Allah’s law is revealed by Mohammed the Prophet in the Quran and the Sunnah. To the Islamists, abiding by the law of Allah is not merely a matter of pleasing him and personally attaining paradise after death. It is the law, the only law, and abiding by it is not optional. Simply by living one’s life as anything but a Muslim (or, to that end, a “perfect” Muslim) is itself an act of sacrilege, and for them to allow it would be a further sacrilege on their own part. And thus, they do not allow it. Whether the law is followed by choice or by force is of no importance – what matters is that it is followed.
The White House’s position is, in fact, so dangerous and irrational that it deserves closer examination. First and foremost, it places moral judgment on concepts in which no moral judgment is inherent. Though it is certainly true that America’s relationship with Iran since 1979 has been one of “suspicion, mistrust, and confrontation,” why should it have been otherwise following the revolution? This statement attempts to attach a connotative value judgment where it is not denoted by the concept itself. Should our relationship towards another free nation be characterized by such aspects, then it deserves reevaluation, but towards a totalitarian Islamic regime, “suspicion, mistrust, and confrontation” are more than appropriate. Already, the sort of “moral leveling” – comparing different actions or entities as equivalents on the same moral plane – in the president’s position. He’s arguing that our relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran ought to be the same as our relationship with other nations.
The ridiculous notion of a free nation and a totalitarian one sharing interests and respect has already been mentioned.
Moreover, the president’s position irrationally places culpability for the hostile relationship between America and Iran on merely a “lack of confidence” between the two nations. He declares that the United States is in no way involved in Iran’s internal affairs and that it is opposed to internal attacks against the regime – as if that mattered to the regime itself. This position entirely disregards the ideology of the regime itself which, again, would cause it to be diametrically opposed to the US even if adopted the libertarian fantasy of “non-interventionist” pacifism. On what grounds should America have any confidence in the Islamic Republic of Iran to behave as free nations are expected? None, except the unjustified hope that it will cause America’s enemies to extend the same level of trust in the other direction.
Lastly, appealing to the United Nations for some measure of legitimacy represents the ultimate debasement of America and its moral virtue on the international stage. If the president’s position was morally right, it would not need the sanction of the UN to be enacted. No organization which places the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States of America on the same moral plane has no legitimacy in the first place, least of all in dictating US foreign policy. That besides, the Islamic Republic of Iran pays the United Nations no heed for the same reasons it ignores the United States – it has no reason to believe that either will do anything to stop it.
How does one attempt to reason, as traders, with an ideology which forgoes it? As Ayn Rand once said, “Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.” At least Canada, to some extent, has come to recognize this. President Obama, like his forebears, has not. While American diplomats are murdered overseas – men of peace killed by those who will never know it, nor deserve it – the president’s position continues to put the United States and its citizens at risk of attack. Whereas Bibi Netanyahu is willing to go on MSNBC’s Meet the Press and say explicitly of Iran, “They put their zealotry above their survival. They have suicide bombers all over the place. I wouldn’t rely on their rationality,” the President of the United States still refuses to draw the “red line” the Israeli Prime Minister has been demanding.
“Red lines don’t lead to war,” the Israeli PM recently reminded the UN. “Red lines prevent war. Just look at NATO’s charter. It made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all, and NATO’s red line helped keep the peace in Europe for nearly half a century… In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines that’s often invited aggression.” In the opinion of this author, the Islamic Republic of Iran crossed that red line in 1979. And so long as the United States remains unclear in its policy towards Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue pursuing its own policy: attacking and murdering American citizens at home and abroad.
The United States of America did not mince words with the men whose ideology called on them to slam airplanes into aircraft carriers during World War II; so why is it our prerogative to take “confidence-building steps” with men whose ideology calls on them to drive commercial jetliners into centers of American capitalism and progress?