At the United Nations for a millennium summit, President Clinton paced back and forth along the halls, impatiently waiting for Iranian President Muhammad Khatami to appear. Clinton was staging one of his classic photo ops, one where he and Khatami would “accidentally” meet and a symbolic handshake would result in a new diplomatic understanding between the US and Iran. This followed almost two years of backdoor diplomacy with Iran after the Iranians attacked the U.S. base at Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing nineteen Americans. Clinton had already made a down payment on the handshake, Madeleine Albright apologized publicly to the Islamic Republic for past American actions in the region and the administration lifted some of the sanctions imposed on Iran. For his trouble Clinton got stood up at the UN, Supreme Ruler Ali Khamenei decided outgoing Clinton had served the Mullah’s purposes and had nothing left to offer. Score one for Iran in the war that they initiated on November 1979. Iran has scored hit after hit in this war, one most Americans are blissfully unaware that we are even fighting. This is because we aren’t fighting; we are talking and have been through five different administrations. Carter talked when the hostages were taken from our Embassy; Reagan talked when they captured more Americans in Lebanon and then killed 300 more Americans at another Embassy. Nevertheless Reagan was the only President to fire a shot in this war, when Iran tried to blockade the Persian Gulf we sunk half their navy. That did not stop their movement on the ground. Setting up Hezbollah and Hamas has given Iran a military presence in Gaza and Lebanon, and Iran is poised to regain control of Lebanon through its Syrian ally. Iran has also strengthened ties to almost every other Islamist terrorist organization. Iran’s goals in the region are plainly stated by the Mullahs:
1. The complete destruction of Israel
2. A Muslim (Shia Iranian) Caliphate
Towards those ends Iran has some secondary goals.
1. Shame the US into leaving the region.
2. The destruction of all democracy in the region, (Israel, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq)
3. Obtain nuclear capability.
Now we are to believe it is the United States’ best interest to hold more talks with Iran. What do we have to bargain with? We have already held out all kinds of bribes to the Mullahs to get them to give up the bomb resulting in nothing but the promise of more talks. We want them to leave Iraq alone. They want us to leave Iraq period. What can we offer them to stop, especially since they appear to be winning, at least winning the hearts and minds of America’s left? The left has already championed the Iranian goal of kicking us out of Iraq. When the American public has already voted for cut and run we would look pretty stupid offering that option to the Iranians. Can we offer them Afghanistan? They must figure that once we are out of Iraq it can safely be left to Sadr to finish the job of gaining control for the greater Shia Caliphate. The Jihadist can then go to Afghanistan to destroy that annoying democracy. They don’t need us to abandon Afghanistan, make it tough on the Americans and they will cut and run from Afghanistan as well. Iran will most assuredly ask us to abandon Israel although the left is not quite willing to do that yet. They only need to kill one or two more ministers to take back Lebanon so we can’t even offer them Lebanon. The only other carrot we can offer Tehran is to go ahead and let them get their nukes. Is that even an option? Based on the situation so far Tehran should have every reason to believe we will do nothing to prevent them from reaching that goal. On top of that, what incentive does Iran have to actually abide by whatever agreements they agree to? None. Yet that old saw that you must have dialog still stands, so we may see President Bush wandering the halls next, waiting for the Mullahs to deliver.