Negotiating With Iran

There are a lot of people on the Left who reside within America who demand that we negotiate with Iran. Would someone care to explain to me why America should lower itself to talk with a government who does this:

Unknown Iranian ExecutionsUnknown Iranian Executions

Strangely the same group of people who want America to negotiate with a government who does this as a normal course of business under Shari’a law heaps derision upon Israel for defending itself against Hamas.

Sort of makes a thinking person wonder where their loyalties lie…

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16 Responses to “Negotiating With Iran”

  1. theNimrod Says:

    Obama’s offer of diplomacy only highlights his lack of understanding when it comes to foreign relations. Offering to talk to these idiots before they make some changes legitimizes their demands of us and their childish, dangerous behavior in general. He doesn’t get it.

    He exhibited the same naivety in the debates. I had hoped that once he got into office he would get a briefing on global reality and the ramificatons of negotiating with children, let alone borderline terrorists. So much for that.

  2. jonolan Says:

    All true, but remember that Pres. Obama is not alone in his desire to enter into open negotiations with Iran – or at least its figurehead secular leaders. A lot of the Left wants this, and they’re the ones who put Obama in office.

    It’s not just a problem of the President; it’s a cultural flaw of ignorance combined with cowardice and certain amount of guiltism.

  3. theNimrod Says:

    Appeasement

  4. gnomestrath Says:

    Sorry you are wrong on this. Actually engaging your enemy in negotiations is an extremely effective activity for the following reasons;

    By talking to them you learn about them so if you have to fight them you are better positioned

    Talking to someone is not appeasement. Appeasement is settling for a deal which is either broken or done to try and make the problem go away. No deal has been done as far as I am aware.

    Also talking to your enemy without agreeing can bring about regime change, because the transparency of communications these days results in the population of the enemy country learning about whats going on. the right propaganda then can destabilize. Remember Iran is economically weak. the population is becoming more educated and therefore more secular (wrpt Islam).

    You should not assume that talking = capitulation. Obama knows this.

    If you have lived with issues such as the Irish troubles which I have all my life you would know that apparently intractable problems can be resolved by negotiation.

    What’s the risk anyway you can always bomb them flat later if it does not work out.

    Oh yeah and talking doesn’t cost you $50bn a month like Iraq and a lot of dead people. So what if they hang a few people in public we’re talking geo politics here.

  5. jonolan Says:

    gnomestrath,

    What do we need to know about Iran that we don’t already know or can find out through means other than negotiations? Why should we lend weight to the current Iranian pseudo-government by talking with them when we stand little to gin from it?

    If things were different and sanctions were not already in place, then negotiating with Iran might be vaguely useful – more so if we could talk with their real ruler, the Supreme Leader.

    But we couldn’t talk with the Iranian Supreme Leader and sanctions are already in place as are the means for their removal. Doesn’t it make sense at this point to let Iran stew until they’re willing to take steps to earn the privilege of talking with the US?

    As it stands now, any move on Obama’s part to open negotiations with Iran will be seen as capitulation and appeasement. That would greatly harm any future use of sanctions against other rogue states.

  6. gnomestrath Says:

    Why is it a privilige to talk to the US? The sanctions are meaningless and unenforceable as most are but especially in that region. By the way what sanctions I was not aware there was any.

    If you don’t engage you can’t change. Talking to somone is only seen as capitulation and appeasment by those whose attitudes are based on a superiority complex and a hegemonistic approach to their role in the world.

    There is a democratic process in Iran as there is amongst the Palestinians its unfortunate of course that it does not always produce the results wanted by others : but then thats democracy.

    Suppose the leader in Iran (whose name I can’t spell) is beaten in the forthcoming elections and a more moderte person replaces him then what?

  7. theNimrod Says:

    gnome –

    You’re not just off base. You’re in left field. By offering his hand in diplomacy with Iran, Obama has thrown out decades of American foreign policy. We don’t talk with those who make demands of us. We don’t talk with terror states.

    Of course talking in general is not appeasement. It IS appeasement when that country’s major export is demands and threats directed at you and your allies. It IS appeasement when you switch fields and submit from a position of strength to ask THEM for peace talks. When a bully half my size stands at my fence and threatens to throw rocks at my front door, I shouldnt be surprised when I open the door to talk peace and he shouts louder. Hes going to feel like hes getting to me. On the other hand, if I refuse to acknowledge him and he actually throws a rock, Im going to come out swinging and hell either run or get the snot kicked out of him. Either way, things could escalate. Now if he knocks on the door and assures me that he’s going to stop filling his pockets with rocks, I’ll be willing to sit down with him. But we accomplish nothing by walking to the fence while he’s still screaming. If anything, it’s going to embolden him to push harder.

    And we’re not saying it’s a privilege to talk to the United States. We’re saying that the US has no good reason to open negotiation unless they come to us and they give something up. We have absolutely nothing to gain from it – it’s negotiation 101. Make no mistake, the United States is (was) operating from a position of strength and there is no common ground between us. Your contention to the contrary proves you don’t understand how far apart the two countries really are. Their interests and positions are distinctly anti-American.

    What on earth motivates you to give Iran the benefit of the doubt? What on earth motivates you to believe the US owes them any courtesy?

  8. gnomestrath Says:

    Your answer exemplifies everything which has been wrong with US diplomacy from and including the Vietnam war to Iraq.

    Eventually somone will show you there is another way – it may well be Obama.

    I will come back here in 4 years and we can continue the debate

  9. jonolan Says:

    All of Nimrod’s more colorful rhetoric aside, he has the right of it. Negotiations – of a sort – are already underway in the form of sanctions against Iran and codified means to both lift those sanctions and “normalize” relations. It would be both folly and weakness to soften our position at this point.

    The above is also ignoring the fact that there is no point whatsoever in negotiating anything other than terms of engagement with Iran in the 1st place. The government we see is not in control of that country; the Imams under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. That groups’ mantra and their hold on power is based on America being evil, The Great Satan. They have a vested interest in not opening relations with the US in any meaningful way.

    Sometimes, gnomestrath, there’s no real point in talking with other countries.

  10. Prudie Says:

    I’m surprised to see that anyone on the Left is acknowledging that Iran is an enemy. Usually they identify our enemies as poor, misunderstood, heroic victims/freedom fighters who are merely retaliating for having been trampled under the mighty, imperial, fascist US boot. Nice change.

    The problem with talking to some countries/enemies is that by talking to them/negotiating with them we give them power. By not talking to them directly, we underscore the idea that they are not powerful, that they are not enough of a threat to bother. They may actually be a bothersome threat, but pretending that they’re not is one way to undermine their efforts to harm us. This tactic puts us in the position of power, which is the optimal place to be when dealing with a dangerous enemy.

  11. jonolan Says:

    Exactly, Prudie!

    Though I think it’s more important to maintain the semblance of power in the view of other nations outside of the direct conflict. Any sudden, unwarranted weakening or softening of our stance would be seen as an admission of failure on our part. This would not only strengthen Iran’s position, it would strengthen the positions of any and every other rogue state or group that went against the will of the civilized world.

  12. Alfie Says:

    The following comes from a guy that is as a rule well right of center.
    I’d welcome talks with Iran with all the “preconditions” being actually one of the things we talk about. Waiting out the regimes we supposedly dislike has a bad history lesson in it. Some points that make Iran a good choice out of the rougish nations are as follows. They have an election coming. They are regionally isolated but will never yield to the pressure of it. The youth vote going into this election has a great potential to have an outcome along the lines of Romanias purge. I don’t predict the mullahs being affected or Ahmadinejad shot but the placement of a moderate in the top spot and a second “Tehran Spring” is a stepping off point. That last part is important. A stepping off point not an end. Iran imo is a nation that is like a rock on top of a hill. If we push it right it rolls.

  13. jonolan Says:

    “I’d welcome talks with Iran with all the “preconditions” being actually one of the things we talk about.”

    That is something that I could just about get behind as a good idea. The one caveat to my agreement is that this sort of preliminary contact is usually done via secondary channels, not the principals involved. In other words, that sort of talk or negotiation is not something that should take place between Obama and Ahmadinejad.

    As for a moderate getting into power in Iran, that’s more fantasy than hope when it comes to foreign relations. The mullahs essentially control who can run for office in Iran; they’re not going to undercut their own power by allowing an even slightly pro-Western President to elected.

    I can – for the sake of the Iranians I know and like – hope for a 2nd Tehran Spring, but I know that any such thing will only be of consequence to the internal struggles within Iran itself; it won’t affect foreign policy much at all.

    A supposedly moderate Iranian president will say the same things as Ahmadinejad, just couched in softer, more nuanced rhetoric than “Iran’s perilously honest man” chooses to use.

  14. zhann Says:

    As much as I despise Iran for their backing of Hamas in Palestine, it is important to note that Iranians in general greatly support Ahmadinejad. He was elected by democratic standards. I am sure a few ballot boxes were stuffed, but Bush was elected similarly so we aren’t so far apart.

    The only difference is that our government despises Iran’s government. The propaganda war within the USA has gone through the roof. Since the end of the Cold War, American’s have focused their hate on the Middle East. Again, I am not saying it is ill deserved, but the degree of hate displayed by the American people is, at times, disgusting. When comments are made like “Bomb them”, I feel pity for the American moral code. People that have never felt a bomb hit their neighborhood shouldn’t be so quick to bomb others. How many innocent people were killed in 911? How many innocent people were killed in Iraq of Afghanistan since then? Violence doesn’t solve anything, it simply breeds more violence.

    As for Ahmadinejad, I have no love for the man. He is a despotic ruler that is incredibly single minded in his desire to make Iran a superpower. However, who are we to deny him the right to communicate with the USA directly? Iran is Sovereign, her people have chosen a leader. We don’t agree with the leaders tactics, but we can’t force millions to suffer simply because we don’t approve of the choice they made.

    American foreign policy has failed time and time again. We have made more enemies than friends over the past 50 years, and if change (no pun intended) doesn’t come soon we will isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Those living in the USA have no idea how hated she is in the rest of the world. The US media doesn’t report this, but traveling from country to country identifying yourself as an American has become embarrassing over the last 5 years. People hate America and her arrogance, and with continued arrogance, like denying a sovereign nation her right to discuss topics with another sovereign nation, America is further isolating itself.

    This financial crisis is the biggest test America has ever faced. If she can not get on her feet, which seems inevitable, she will be forced to ask for help soon. When that weakness is felt, mark my words, Europe will be first to turn her back, followed by Japan. European leaders may kiss America’s ass, but their people despise what has become of America.

    To make a long story short, in today’s global crisis we have little choice. We either become friendlier, or watch our country die. We can’t afford the Iraq war, let alone another war with Iran.

  15. jonolan Says:

    zhann,

    “Who are we to deny him the right to communicate with the USA directly?”

    We’re the people who he supposedly want to talk to. We have the right to decide whether or not we choose to let him do so. Just because Iran is a sovereign state does not give them any right in respect to relations with the US – or any other country for that matter. Just as the US doesn’t have a right to relations to any other country – with the possible exception of Israel given how much money give them and power we lend them.

    You’re wrong on the isolation idea though. The world can’t turn its back on America, as the global effect of our financial crisis firmly pointed out to the world. Some days I wish that weren’t true, but wishing counts for little in the face of reality.

  16. zhann Says:

    Living through the end of the Cold War, I experienced first hand the propaganda spread by the US administration as well as the incredible deceit used to change public opinion. The fact that the same is being done to Iran right now is obvious. We don’t hear any news of their accomplishments, their charitable donations throughout the region, as well as all the African aid they lend. It is important that American’s aren’t aware of these things so that they aren’t torn between calling Iran evil and trying to learn more about this once great nation. Again, I very much believe Iran is an evil nation, but I feel that this story has a broader sense to it that people shouldn’t just ignore.

    Iran is currently seeking audience with Obama, this I agree. America is the most powerful country in the world, and all other countries seek audience and approval from America. America is definitely in a position where she can pick and choose whom to speak to and whom to ignore. However, America’s reign is a limited one and it will end. Not tomorrow, and not likely the next day but relatively soon. This can be argued by some, but it is an inevitable truth none the less. Hopefully, it will not happen in our lifetimes, but this financial crisis may change the balance of power away from American favor rather quickly.

    I understand that it is highly unlikely for the entire world to unilaterally turn its back on the USA. This is not in anyones interest because America is also the #1 consumer. No one, in any business, would simply turn their back on their #1 client. However, when your #1 client is also your competition, you may look for ways to weaken your client so that you can become #1.

    I am not trying to be apocalyptic, but I am of the strong opinion that America is heading towards bankruptcy considering the rate at which dollars are being printed. With that in mind, I think that America should start to become friendlier, at least in the false sense that it usually does, so that her enemies don’t try kicking her while she is down. These bailouts, as you have pointed out, are not helping in the long run, they are simply placating the sheep. If people really knew what was going on, they would be in shock. In the end, printing $9.5 Trillion dollars will put America in such debt that it cant possibly recover from. Bankruptcy is just around the corner, we can use every friend we can coerce.

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