Patterico's Pontifications

10/3/2009

Obama and Iran: Diplomacy Without Pre-Conditions

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 10:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Friday’s New York Times article about the Obama Administration’s diplomacy with Iran:

“President Obama got what he said he wanted when United States negotiators met with their Iranian counterparts this week in Geneva: direct engagement, without preconditions, with Iran.

But the trick now for Mr. Obama, administration officials concede, will be to avoid getting tripped up. In other words, is the Iranian government serious this time?

The clearest risk is that the Iranians may play for time, as they have often been accused of doing in the past, making promises and encouraging more meetings, while waiting for political currents to change or the closed ranks among the Western allies to break.”

As the headline and article ask, is Iran playing for time? Everyone but the New York Times knows the answer to that. Will it work? We know the answer to that, too.

— DRJ

13 Responses to “Obama and Iran: Diplomacy Without Pre-Conditions”

  1. It’s just that watching Obama and the Iranians is so much more painful than watching Lucy pull the football out of the way as Charlie Brown runs up to it.

    Beldar (fa0f8d)

  2. #1

    But not quite as painful as reading your fervent defenses of convicted rapist federal judge Samuel Kent, Beldar. You still are a contender with Anne Applebaum as most loathesome defender of a prominent rapist.

    See Ilya Somin on Beldar’s “rant” demanding that Kent not be investigated.

    http://www.volokh.com/posts/1193113667.shtml

    Cyrus Sanai (3b1f29)

  3. Obama might as well be standing in the doorway of Air Force One, waving a piece of paper signed by I-need-to-be-whacked-job and congratulating himself . . . while the Israelis prepare to do what he hasn’t got the spine for.

    Icy Texan (43c637)

  4. let’s face it. israel is going to take them out. point blank – as right they should. they have the capabilities to do so. this will happen while the u.s. and the world wring their hands in indecision at iran’s blatant nuclear weapon development.

    ktr (e4cd3c)

  5. I do not think that the “Ahmadinejad is Jewish” rumors are re-surfacing at the same time as these new nuclear developments. Someone from the regime is spreading lies. Look for big changes in the regime. They are excellent survivors.

    Sophia (ef0aba)

  6. I really am concerned about Zbignew Brzenski’s (obviously bad spelling) advice. Obama is definitely anti-Israel and we have Air Force and Navy fighter planes in the region. Would an Obama order to shoot down Israeli war-planes be a lawful order?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  7. Lawful? Sure. Stupid? Even surer.

    I think those folks who expect the IAF to save the West’s bacon (so to speak) over the Iranian nuclear program are dreaming. The Israelis don’t have the capability to shut it down using conventional weapons. (It’s unlikely that the US could shut it down via conventional airstrikes to the facilities, and the US has the theoretical capability to put a lot more bombs on the targets.)

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  8. Obama has some interesting people around him. Iran is obviously playing him but is he trying ? His behavior on Honduras makes me wonder. Here is the spokesman for Zelaya:

    There are times when I ask myself if Hitler was or not correct in finishing with that race with the famous Holocaust. If there are people that do damage in this country, they are Jewish, the Israelis.

    You keep coming back to this theme with Obama and the people he surrounds himself with. Even General Jones, his national security advisor, has an interesting history with Israel.

    US Middle East security coordinator James L. Jones, long expected to produce a document spelling out Israel’s security needs after the creation of a Palestinian state, will not in the end present the Bush administration with a large-scale report… “There is not going to be any Jones report that lays out the whole strategic vision of what a post-agreement reality would look like,” one US official said. “There is not going to be one consolidated report.” Rather than codifying America’s conception of Israel’s security needs into one document that would then be a guidepost for US Middle East policy, Jones is instead relaying his impressions to … Rice through memos and briefings, diplomatic sources said… Diplomatic sources said that Jones’s role, never clearly defined, had evolved over the year, and that he had gone from concentrating on looking at regional security issues after a Palestinian state was established, to helping prepare the ground for a Palestinian state.

    Jones is very anti-Israel.

    These things keep popping up with Obama. Why not with Iran ?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  9. Our 39th President learned, rather the hard way, what negotiating with the Iranians was like. Even our 40th President, who should have known better, tried secret negotiations with the Iranians, and such turned out badly.

    Maybe, just maybe, one of the adults around President Obama actually remembers what negotiating with the Iranians was like, and how productive it was, and managed to tell our 44th President.

    Perhaps if someone put it in terms Mr Obama could understand: “You know, this could hurt you, politically . . . .”

    The diplomatic Dana (474dfc)

  10. Iran is playing for time in my opinion. Given the weak and stupid idea of not negotiating without pre-conditions the hopeless Obama administration makes this so easy for Iran.

    Would that we’d had the intelligence to have selected a tough minded (on foreign affairs) candidate like John McCain. (Note that I qualify my support of McCain. It applies on certain issues, but he’s clearly superior to Obama on this one.)

    JerryT (e06cd6)

  11. It is unfortunate for the world, and fortunate for Iran, that the U.S. did not have quantities (if any at all) of Tomohawk cruise missiles in January 1981; otherwise, Ronald Reagen (once he knew the hostages were beyond any Iranian threat) could have reduced our Embassy in Teheran to rubble (which might have eliminated one soon-to-be “nut job”), along with most of the military and strategic assets of that country.
    Now, it will be much more difficult, but it still is imperiative that it be done – and Yes, I think we should reduce that building that used to house our embassy to rubble, and if (as seems likely) it is still being used by the Iranian Government, even more reason.

    AD - RtR/OS! (4702ac)

  12. Obama has some interesting people around him. Iran is obviously playing him but is he trying ? His behavior on Honduras makes me wonder. Here is the spokesman for Zelaya:
    There are times when I ask myself if Hitler was or not correct in finishing with that race with the famous Holocaust. If there are people that do damage in this country, they are Jewish, the Israelis.
    You keep coming back to this theme with Obama and the people he surrounds himself with. Even General Jones, his national security advisor, has an interesting history with Israel.
    US Middle East security coordinator James L. Jones, long expected to produce a document spelling out Israel’s security needs after the creation of a Palestinian state, will not in the end present the Bush administration with a large-scale report… “There is not going to be any Jones report that lays out the whole strategic vision of what a post-agreement reality would look like,” one US official said. “There is not going to be one consolidated report.” Rather than codifying America’s conception of Israel’s security needs into one document that would then be a guidepost for US Middle East policy, Jones is instead relaying his impressions to … Rice through memos and briefings, diplomatic sources said… Diplomatic sources said that Jones’s role, never clearly defined, had evolved over the year, and that he had gone from concentrating on looking at regional security issues after a Palestinian state was established, to helping prepare the ground for a Palestinian state.
    Jones is very anti-Israel.
    These things keep popping up with Obama. Why not with Iran ?

    HO (c0a165)


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