Free Markets, Free People

Iran: If these are tough sanctions, what were the "low-impact" options?

Well I’m pretty sure Iran is just horrified at the new sanctions – the toughest ever as our president claimed.

“With time, we got a resolution that we felt was very meaningful and credible and significant,” said Susan E. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations. “But had we wanted a low-ball, low-impact resolution, we could have had that in a very short period of time.”

Good thing they went for the brass ring and didn’t take a low-ball, low-impact resolution, by gosh. I mean, check this beauty out:

The main thrust of the sanctions is against military purchases, trade and financial transactions carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which controls the nuclear program and has taken a more central role in running the country and the economy.

Right – so now they’ll set up front companies and do their business through willing countries like Turkey, Brazil and Venezuela. Moving on:

The sanctions tighten measures previously taken against 40 individuals, putting them under a travel ban and asset freeze, but adds just one name to the list — Javad Rahiqi, 56, the head of the Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center.

Whoa – they added one person to the sanctions of travel bans and asset freezing for a total of 41? My goodness, the humanity. That has a terrific chance of stopping any nuclear program dead in its tracks.


The sanctions require countries to inspect ships or planes headed to or from Iran if they suspect banned cargo is aboard, but there is no authorization to board ships by force at sea. Iran has also proved itself adept at obscuring its ownership of cargo vessels.

So, wait, other countries can try to inspect Iranian ships they suspect of carrying banned cargo, but they cannot use force to board that ship. In other words, all the Iranian captain has to say is “no” and refuse to allow them on board, and the “inspection” is over? Thank goodness they didn’t go for low-ball, low-impact sanctions. They’d have probably allowed the Iranians to board the inspecting ship.

Another aspect of the sanctions bars all countries from allowing Iran to invest in their nuclear enrichment plants, uranium mines and other nuclear-related technology, and sets up a new committee to monitor enforcement.

Well there you go – the one positive aspect of this whole thing: the UN has managed to form yet another committee which will offer employment to a plethora of 3rd world diplomats who might otherwise have to do something useful to earn their keep without it.

The almost childlike belief by this administration that it can accomplish anything through the UN, especially stopping Iran from achieving a nuclear device, is incredible on its face. But to think the list of “sanctions” above equals “tough” is mind-boggling.

There is no appetite among the 3rd world to punish Iran in favor of the US’s policy desires. And especially now that they see a weak horse in charge here. The Obama administration can call this anything they want, but calling them “tough sanctions” is embarrassing. Thank goodness they didn’t opt for the low-impact, low-ball option. I’m sure that included a strongly worded letter.



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115 Responses to Iran: If these are tough sanctions, what were the "low-impact" options?

  • Once again this President, who a certain commentor refers to as having “Steel“, votes Present!

    Did anyone here expect otherwise?!?

  • you conveniently failed to mention the 3rd paragraph of that article bruce.   once the un did it’s thing the us and europe were going to go stronger.   sanctions ARE useless,  but you’re ignoring half the story because it waters down your rant du jour.  (yes, pedro isn’t bilingual, he’s multi-lingual. ooolala!)
    i also got the impression that while they couldn’t board the ships once at sea,  they could  inspect while docked in port.  again, always ways around this, but i think you were missing that fine point.
    i suppose lobbing a few missiles in there would make all these little ambiguities go away.  but that would cost money.

    • Heh … yeah, pedro, and they promised more troops for Afghanistan too. You are a trusting soul.

      Please describe the impact of the US’s “unilateral sanctions” when other nations (Brazil, Turkey and Venezuela as an example of just three) don’t plan on imposing any and, in fact, have offered to help Iran avoid the impact of them?

      And speaking of those three, whose inspectors will be welcomed to “inspect” an Iranian ship in any of their ports?

    • Wait! Wait!  You mean the French can inspect a ship docked in a French Port as a result of these sanctions?  OMG!!!  That’s incredibly tough Pedro, good call in noticing that.  That means….let me see if I’ve got this…Americans could inspect a ship docked in an American port….WOW!
      Now, how about if the Americans want to inspect a suspected Iranian ship docked in a French port?   How about if they want to inspect one docked in a North Korean port?   How about if the French want to inspect one docked in a British port?  How about one in a Libyan port?

  • It’s easy to complain.  But what exactly are the other options?   It’s easy to talk tough and say “that’s not enough.”  But it’s a lot harder to come up with a reasonable alternative.

    • LOL.
      Amazing. You should read your own comments.

      By the way, “that’s not enough” is not correct. The official terminology is “unacceptable”. Have you forgotten? 

    • Backchannel the military option right in the middle of the table.

      Don’t say how, when, or where. Just say we have a line that you’re not crossing and you are getting close to it. Stop what you are doing now. Period.

      Announce nothing. Strike stealthily, the way the Israelis hit the Syrians. Go with deep bunker pentrating munitions. And never say a word about it.

      Of course, with this administration, they are far more likely to let an ally be attacked and then say, “It’s easy to complain.  But what exactly are the other options?”

      The consequences of having an anti-American president are already occurring. It’s only going to get worse. He’s an unfolding catastrophe. That’s why you don’t nominate and elect someone with inverted principles and disabled judgment to be CINC.

      • I’ll add that if the national security professionals are giving the deep intel on anything to this White House they might as well be handing it directly over to the enemy. These people are treacherous bastards, openly hostile to the United States and its allies. I wouldn’t even give them the day-old bread. They are fifth columnists, right up to the top.

        John Brennan is nuts, for instance. He’s the national security advisor and he’s spreading Islamist propaganda. Who is he working for? The Saudis?

        Obama himself wouldn’t qualify for the lowest level security clearance, let alone be allowed in the room for a serious briefing.

        Eric Holder is a bagman and a lunatic.

        You have the political malignancy Rahm Emanuel all over the place.

        It would be nuts to let these people even look at images from Google earth, let alone show them anything serious from the satellites. They’d be more likely to sell it than to act on it. If they did act on it, it would be against the interests of the U.S. Inverted principles. Disabled judgment.

    • Neville Chamberlain would have LOVED you and the Obami.  We have several options, none of which THE ONE has the sand to pursue.  We could HAVE supported the freedom movement; Obama diddled that away.  We CAN impose real, hard sanctions on Iran.  We CAN kill their people, used to project power in various places.  We CAN let them know in very clear terms that we will not tolerate their development of nukes; of course, we have not done that, but have been tinkling brass on the subject for over a decade.  And we CAN let them know we will…even pre-emptively if necessary…turn the Revolutionary Guard and their theocracy into char-cicles.   All of those are things we should do…should have done…that send unambiguous signals to daft people.  You, your cohort, and Obama are going to get a lot of people killed.

      • The freedom movement in Iran explicitly said they did not want US government support, that would create a popular backlash against them, and given the government rationale to be even more severe.   They want individual citizen support, not US government support!
        You overestimate American power — Iraq and Afghanistan show how hard it is to project power, and the American people are in no mood for another commitment, especially if it yields disastrous consequences.  The Pentagon has war gamed Iran, and the results are not good.    Even shock and awe and massive strikes in Iraq yielded a long, costly war for the US and destroyed the Bush domestic agenda and his popularity.    We can’t afford that, the public would reject it, and the fantasy that a few missile strikes will somehow make things go our way shows utter ignorance about how the world works.
        Add to that the possibility that a crisis in the region will drive up oil prices and choke any recovery, and there is no way war against Iran is worth it.    It’s something people at computer screens in their comfy living rooms can fantasize about, and feel tough writing about (since there is no toughness or bravery required to write about stuff like that).  Those with responsibility know that there is no easy military solution.

        • Oh wise one – NONE of us thought it was ‘easy’.  That’s a phrase out of your play book, not ours.
          Most of the people here know that when you rattle your saber and mean it, you’d better be equally prepared to draw it.  That’s NEVER easy, but you think we all think it’s just push some buttons, send some men, because to you that’s all it is.

        • This proves you are not merely ill-informed, but that you will not allow information to penetrate.
          The people of Iran BEGGED for the support of the West.  Obama could have TALKED…his only forte…and provided them ENORMOUS support.  Why do you think they were holding all those signs in FREAKING ENGLISH!
          Nobody suggested that there was an easy solution.  There virtually NEVER is an easy solution.  But one thing we DO know is  that ambiguity and weakness WILL result in adventure-prone regimes…especially those led by really evil people…to press their luck.
          We won in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Immediately.  With amazingly low loses and remarkably little damage to the folks there.  After being told by people like you that we would be cut to pieces.  We had a lot more trouble with the occupation.
          What we cannot afford is the Obamic Receding, which is what we will have…especially if people like you have any influence.  You and your messiah will kill millions, and life for the remainder will be immeasurably more miserable.
          Leaders generally do not HAVE to fight wars, because they project strength and clarity.

          • You’re dead wrong.   They did not want US government support, and US intelligence also reported US involvement would hurt rather than help the movement.   You make my point on Afghanistan and Iraq — we can win a military conflict, but to get the political result we want is  much, much more difficult — and not always possible.  Anyway, the public is in no mood for another costly adventure, against a foe much more powerful and politically adept than either the Taliban and Saddam.
            Also, recall how little success Bush had with Iran.   In all the haste to “blame Obama for everything,” some of you seem to have forgotten Bush (who was President when the economy collapsed, under whose watch Iran became far more belligerent and effective).    Iran certainly didn’t fear Bush after 2005!  The US lost power and clout at that point — whether it be Bush, Clinton, McCain or Obama in the White House we’d be at this same place.

    • it is very easy to complain scott.  and this crew has elevated it to an art form.   they’ve also mastered the art of the easy solution, there’s nothing a few missiles can’t solve.  as for those ‘unintended consequences’ that they like to harp on,  apparently they don’t apply here.

      • History…and human nature…is replete with lessons that you are just too stupid (voluntarily) to learn.  You do not placate madmen with…or wishing to acquire…the means to kill millions of people and destroy your way of life.  That seems like an absolute given.  To you, it is a “easy solution”; which is sort of true.  It is easy to see the result of the alternative…and there is no uncertainty there.  All consequences are intended when you allow madmen to call the tune.

        • The idea Iran is run by mad men and that they will use nuclear weapons is absurd.  The CIA certainly doesn’t believe that, and most intelligence reports see Iran with a rather conservative, patient foreign policy, looking to become a regional power.   You need to learn more about Iran, you’re getting your views from talk radio, it appears.

          • “The CIA certainly doesn’t believe that, and most intelligence reports”
            Ah, your latest CIA briefing? or further in depth discussions at the latest wine cheeser up there in East Mooseport.
            By our standards, they are mad.  Oh, right, forgot, you have no actual standards.

          • Your voluntary stupidity surpasses almost everything I’ve seen.  The CIA does not “believe” anything, but there simply isn’t any real question that a) Iran either has or will soon have nuclear weapons, b) they will shortly thereafter have delivery systems, and c) their leaders will use them.

          • “and most intelligence reports see Iran with”

            You are a laff riot. Since when do you have access to ‘most intelligence reports’? The only intelligence report you have probably seen is the Executive Intelligence Review.

      • Really, pedro – where is anyone mentioning “missiles”? No one questions the fact that this is a tough nut to crack. But if sanctions are your solution, then apply sanctions – not something that you call “sanctions” but are really more tailored to make those “imposing” them feel like they’re doing something rather than actually accomplishing anything toward the supposed goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

        Tell you what, speaking of complaining, why don’t you enlighten everyone here with your solution. Obviously you must think you’ve got it all figured out – tell us.

        • Easy – more talking.  More talking.  There hasn’t been enough talking.  We clearly misunderstand the Iranians, if only we could understand them better they’d see what we were worried about and we’d all realize this is just a big misunderstanding and they’d stop developing nuclear weapons, which they’re NOT doing in the first place you know, and they’d stop saying things that imply they want to vaporize Israel.  All these people who PROFESS they want to destroy things, like Iran and North Korea, and Hamas, and Hezbollah, and Syria and the Taliban, and Al Queda (oh, sorry, non-state actor slipped in there), they’re just misunderstood.  If we talk more, we’ll understand them and everything will be okay.
          Look how well sanctions work on North Korea, how great they turned out for Iraq!  Sanctions and talking work!  Yessirree…..

          • You assume there is an easy solution.  Talking won’t do it, war won’t do it, sanctions won’t do it.   The fact is that it’s possible Iran will get nuclear weapons and deterrence will kick in.   Only if there were consistent multilateral pressure on Iran, with a carrot alongside a stick, could Iran be pushed.   But enough countries don’t want to play that game, and that’s not something you can bully people into.   Reality is complicated, and reality often gives situations with no “answer,” but rather on going difficulties.

          • But you wanted our answer – now you’re telling us there isn’t one.
            We’re telling you there is.  You draw a public, credible, believable line in the sand for Iran, you tell them if they cross it, you’re going to crack their heads, you’re going to do it even if our squishy friends in Europe won’t, and you’re going to even if Ivan cries about it, because frankly Ivan is all talk and knows it.   And you let Tehran know you aren’t going to put up with their crap by focusing on their external “ghost war’ apparatus in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.  You send them little notes below the public eye, written in the blood of their operatives so they understand you mean business.  When one of their little rubber dinghies comes out and screws with one of your destroyers in national waters, you describe to the captain how awful it would be if he turned to port instead of starboard when avoiding them on the port side.  In short, you do to them EXACTLY what we did to the Russians  during the Cold War, you have an ‘unfortunate incident’ which may, but more likely may not, make the evening news, but sends the message – we mean it.
            But Man of Tissue in the White House has missed that boat, long ago.  They have his measure, and their very impressed with how soft the tissue is.  As a result, I expect a lot of people are going to die, needlessly, within the next 3 years.

        In a CBS News interview, economist C. Fred Bergsten [former member of the Carter administration] says the chances the new sanctions will get Iran to capitulate on its nuclear program are “virtually zero.”
        “It’s sad but true,” said Bergsten, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Carter Administration and currently director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
        His organization has made a comprehensive study of the use of sanctions to alter nations’ behavior and he says they rarely do
        Then why bother to impose sanctions? Bergsten says nations don’t want to go to war, but putting sanctions in place makes them feel “they’re doing something against the bad guys.”

      • You’d think Iraq and Afghanistan would have made very clear that there is no easy solution.  People need to learn from at least recent history!

        • The converse of ‘unacceptable’ or ‘weak’ is not ‘easy’.

        • “People need to learn from at least recent history!”
          Well, I’m very happy to learn from ALL history, DOPE.  And I refuse to see “history” through the Zinn lens.

        • The only lesson that needs to be paid attention to is the one that apparently has been unlearned about 9/11.

          Show weakness and these lunatics will attack.

          The Iranian regime has been getting away with outsourcing terrorism for thirty years. It believes itself to be exempt. There are no good choices to pick from now. There are only bad, worse, and horrible choices. The bad choice is to take out the nuclear facilities.

          Obama will not do that, so the worse and horrible choices will probably be all that’s available fairly soon, after Iran tests a weapon. Then the worse choice will pass by. And then whoever becomes president in January 2013 will have only the horrible choice left.

          This is not going to be something so remote as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, or the rotten failure of Iran being taken over by the nuts who still run it. This is going to be a whole new thing.

      • I’d rather unintended consequences of us going after Iran than the INTENDED consequences of Iran getting a nuke.

    • What exactly, Scott, does Obama’s *ss taste like?

    • It’s easy to complain.  But what exactly are the other options?   It’s easy to talk tough and say “that’s not enough.”  But it’s a lot harder to come up with a reasonable alternative.

      >>>> HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!   This is what you’re reduced to? Because going back through your comments here, you’ve basically always boasted about how GREAT Baracky was doing, how he had this plan, how he’d get good sanctions, how he’s playing chess while those complaining were playing checkers etc etc etc.  Great foreign policy successes is what you said.

      And today?

      “Give him a break, it was the best he could do under the circumstances”



  • More fecklessness from Imeme and his gang of morons and thugs.  If only they would treat Iran in the same way as they do AIG executives, tea partiers, or Sarah Palin.

    “With time, we got a resolution that we felt was very meaningful and credible and significant,” said Susan E. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations.

    First of all, this is typical of what we’ve seen from Imeme and the left lately: appearance counts FAR more than substance.  Essentially, the UN said, “We’re concerned” and that’s supposed to be good enough.  Nay, more than ‘good enough’: it’s meaningful and credible and significant… even though it really does nothing to stop the mullahs in their work.

    Second, I have to wonder about this Rice person.  Does she actually believe what she said?  Or is she simply being a good soldier and adhering to regime policy?  If the latter… well, I understand.  But if the former… God help us.

    Incidentally, is anybody outside of Tehran claiming that Iran ISN”T trying to get nukes?

    To my mind, the solution is simple:

    Inform the Iranians that, in 24 hours, several US aircraft will approach their airspace.  They will be carrying inspectors from the United States and other countries.  They will land at the Tehran airport and immediately proceed to such sites in Iran as they deem fit to inspect for nuclear weapons-related activities and equipment.  If weapons-related equipment is found, it will be cataloged, impounded and either destroyed in place or else removed to a safe location for destruction.  They will also interview people working in the Iranian nuclear program, if necessary after removing them and their families to a neutral country.

    Any refusal to allow these inspectors to land or any effort to impeded their activities in the slightest fashion will be construed as tacit admission that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons and will result in a full attack by the United States on Iran that will not stop until the Iranian regime and its capacity to build – or attempt to build – nuclear weapons is destroyed.

  • Guys….they gave a speech on it.  Success achieved.
    The only reason they don’t run out Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” sign when they give these speeches is because GW took the sign with him when he left and so far they haven’t decided on where the “O”bama symbol will go in the new one – in the ‘o’ in Mission or in the ‘o’ in Accomplished, or maybe just have the words Mission Accomplished centered in the big white O circle with the red stripes under it and the blue background.  They don’t want to go with a low-impact Mission Accomplished sign on this, because it’s really important to get it right.

  • Once again, Obama and the UN show themselves to be a joke.

    I have to agree with the President of Iran when he basically said these sanctions arent worth the paper they are written on.

    • At this juncture, there is no conceivable reason for us to be in the U.N., much less fund the damn thing to the tune we do.  Let them relocate to some hell-hole elsewhere.  Get them to hell off American soil, and off America’s back.  Start with a fresh sheet of paper, and only include true democracies.

      • No chance that will happen with this President and Congress.  The UN looks like the promised land to these clowns.

        • To them, the UN is who we should be, and what we should be governed by.  Which is one reason we are so screwed…  Far from being a net benefit, the UN is a prime threat to the people of the world, and most of the elite are too stupid to understand that (voluntarily).

          • That would be because many of  the ‘elite’ are self declared ‘elite’, like a certain professor we are frequently graced with.  Paul McCartney as another example, who’s ‘elite’ status is defined by money, Helen Thomas, elite via position.
            They are in no way, other than the hold over respect many of us accord their titles, wealth and/or  position, elite.

      • At this juncture, there is no conceivable reason for us to be in the U.N., much less fund the damn thing to the tune we do.
        Really?  “No conceivable reason”?
        Think for a moment the “unintended consequences” of not only expelling the UN from US soil, but abandoning the accepted diplomatic world stage all together.
        Russia, China, Japan, India, all of Europe, … we would be pariahs amongst the world community.  Stay one moment your blood lust, and think of the economic outcomes.  Like it or not, we exist in one big sandbox; we must play with others – and it matters not that we have the most sand and the iron to move it.
        Your suggestion is radical and fantastic.  It may be a pleasing thought in your imagined universe, but all serious considerations would dismissively laugh at you and rightly so.

        • Grrrrr…Pogue, stop talking sense to me dammit!  I want a pike charge!

          • 🙂
            Sorry looker…
            Next time I’ll try to put more trees before the forest.
            For the record… I don’t like the UN anymore than you guys do.  At least no more than I liked growing up next to that dipsh!t, booger eating Colin MacFarlane.  But I was forced to play with that fat f*ck because our fathers were co-opted dairy.
            God, I hated that guy.

        • Yeah, really.  No conceivable reason.
          There is no rationale for staying in an organization that works diligently every day to harm our interests.
          There is no rationale for supporting an outfit that presents us the bitter joke of having some of the absolute worst offenders against humanity in all of history sitting on human rights commissions, or telling us we are not democratic enough, or condemning our democratic allies because they are of the wrong race or religion.
          Japan, India, Australia and much of Europe would be happy to join an alternative body, as would most of this hemisphere.  But you have to present a choice.
          Radical?  Well, yep.  I am a radical thinker.  From the Latin, for “root”.  You are “pragmatic” like Quisling.

          • And what is this alternative body that you believe would attract nations like India, Australia, and others (that no doubt have their own foreign policy agendas that rely on the powers that be)?  What would that look like?  What would you call it?  And how would you battle suggestions that this new body wouldn’t be just a rubber stamp for the US and its agenda?
            And even if you were to conceive such a body, what makes you think that you could get others like Australia, India, Japan, and much of Europe to agree with it.  Because you believe that they feel as you do?  That they would have no other market choice but to concede to the wishes of the US?
            Have you really “radically” thought this through?  And if so, do you have a template or foundation to build upon?
            Let’s read it “radical thinker.”

          • Well, Pogue, how about you trying to answer your own questions?
            It’s very easy to be a nay-sayer.  I could write the afternoon away, and all you’d do is say it won’t work.  So, put yourself in a “radical” mode, and think about how the UN came to be.  Where did it come from?  What precedents existed?  Before that? What mistakes were made?  C’mon, dude.  Think outside the box!  And your father’s dairy co-op probably did not have lots of psychopaths in it, did it?  Is playing with a neighbor kid you hated really analogous to international questions of war and peace?  Really….?

          • Well, Pogue, how about you trying to answer your own questions?
            That must be a lawyer’s tactic…  Uh… wait, what?
            I’m supposed to answer questions to a solution that you propose?  Oh, that’s going to go over well.  “Hey India, Australia, most of Europe, … we’re going to form a new international diplomatic body … and it’s up to you to answer your own questions.”
            It’s very easy to be a nay-sayer.
            You tell me, dude.  You’re the nay-sayer.  “No to the UN.”  Now wasn’t that easy?  Now comes the hard part.
            I could write the afternoon away, and all you’d do is say it won’t work.
            Now how would I know?  If I don’t know what you’re talking about, then how could I say it wouldn’t work?  I’m considerably open-minded, sir, let us have at it.
            So, put yourself in a “radical” mode, and think about how the UN came to be.  Where did it come from?  What precedents existed?  Before that? What mistakes were made?  C’mon, dude.  Think outside the box!
            Oh man, I think I wrote a term paper about that.  No need to revisit that nightmare… we are where we are.
            And your father’s dairy co-op probably did not have lots of psychopaths in it, did it?  Is playing with a neighbor kid you hated really analogous to international questions of war and peace?  Really….?
            Oh, I beg to differ about that, my friend.  Our forefathers had formed a co-opt.  And until we can renegotiate a better deal for which all of the participants can agree to, we are left with the fat f*cks and booger eaters that we are left to contend with.

          • There is precedent for this.  The League of Nations didn’t make it.  The best way to approach it is to create concurrently running organizations, and once you think yours is viable, then tell the UN to sod off.

            If you want a more mainstream comparison (but maybe one that isn’t the best match) back in the day the NIT was the stuff, THE tourney everyone was dying to be in.

            Now teams would rather be the 65th team in the NCAA tourney than the NIT champion. 

          • “And what is this alternative body that you believe would attract nations like India, Australia, and others”

            Assuming we need another such body (amazing how diplomacy functioned before the UN) there is NATO, SEATO,  OAS, the World Bank, …..etc. There are quite a large number of international organizations other than the UN.

            And, if it turns out that the world actually does need a UN, then I am sure someone else will be more than happy to provide the real estate for an equivalent organization and we can join it. Some portions of the UN are already based outside the US. I see no reason not to let the whole thing be based outside the US.

  • At last “The Won” manages to get something done.  Pathetic yes, but alas something.
    We’re talking about legacy building here.  But not worthy of Mt Rushmore.

  • Scott Erb

    If you dont think Iran wont use nukes if they are get them you are truly clueless.

    Only a fool would think this.  It may not be an official “state sanctioned” attack but there would be  an attack nonetheless.  And the UN will play a complicit fool if that attack is on Israel or the US and say “Hey we had sanctions on them, what more could we do??”.

    • Iran knows that Israel has nuclear weapons, and Israel has made it known that they consider Hezbollah an Iranian proxy.   The message is clear: nuke Israel, and Iran is toast.  The Guardian Council has aspirations for a long term strategy to be a regional  power, their foreign policy has been consistent — rational, albeit Machiavellian — since the early eighties.   The danger is that if Iran is attacked and it escalates, then Iran will be seen as a victim, and get support from other powerful states, especially against Israel.   That’s why we can’t let Iran be the modern Prussia, if there is a war Iran needs to be clearly responsible — and if so, Iran will be destroyed.  The danger is if it appears Iran is the victim of aggression, that will be their best chance of winning.

      • A previous President of Iran once made this famous speech in Tehran.  The Headline read:

        Rafsanjani, known as a moderate within Iranian political circles, but one of Iran’s most influential ruling cleric called on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapon against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them “damages only”.

        While you are sitting in your Ivory tower, please take the time to provide the Israeli People a warning if ever a Moderate like Rafsanjani ever gets power again.  Thank God we have a cool headed Radical like Allonmydinnerjacket curretnly holding the reins of power along with the Iranian FOOTBALL!!!

        • I don’t necessarily take speeches of ex-Politicians seriously, especially on issues like this.  Do you have a link for that?  In any event, my analysis stands: if Iran appears the victim of aggression, it could get away with that and win.  If it is the aggressor, it will be destroyed — the clerical rule will end, and the country devastated.

          • Try googling “Rafsanjani and Nukes” for a start.  I don’t normally take ex-Politicians seriously either but you seem enamored of folks like Carter so I thought it might just mean something here. 

            I have heard your own Messiah claim that “Words Mean Something” or some such talk and in that vein when a so-called “Moderate” Iranian Pol suggests a Nuclear exchange with Israel is more than doable because the Iranian losses would be considered “damages only” and his words are taken to heart within the Iranian mullahcracy, I think it is time to really sit down and think twice about this “Rogue” state.

            So, to put it back into perspective, your own words that “The idea Iran is run by mad men and that they will use nuclear weapons is absurd” seems to be wishful thinking on your part.

          • “Do you have a link for that?”

            Please, stop, you are killing me. 

            “If it is the aggressor, it will be destroyed”

            *snort* *choke*
            Oh my. I can’t br\eathe.

            Destroyed by who, pray tell? Big talk for someone who claims the US is too weak to do much of anything. 

      • “Iran is the victim of aggression, that will be their best chance of winning.”
        Winning WHAT?  What do YOU think they want to win?  Explore their goals since the CIA has clearly provided you with ample briefing material.  Don’t be so stingy! Share.

        • You don’t pay attention looker.  They want to be a dominant regional power, recall the comparison to Prussia.   If they appear the victim, they could use their proxies to threaten the existence of Israel — even without using nuclear weapons.  Aggression against Iran endangers Israel, and serves no US interest.

          •  If they appear the victim, they could use their proxies to threaten the existence of Israel — even without using nuclear weapons

            >>>> Um…..they do that NOW, even without being poor, poor victimized country.

          • ” they could use their proxies to threaten the existence of Israel”

            *gigle*, *snort*

            As opposed to their current policy? 

      • So lets lay it on the table – you’re content to let them get nukes?  Yes or No.  One word answer only.

        • Wow dude, that was a conversation killer Shark.  You should know better than to ask him the decisive questions.  He’ll get back to you in 6 weeks or so, he’s a decisive guy.  He’s got steel in him just like the President.

  • “The idea Iran is run by mad men and that they will use nuclear weapons is absurd”

    >>>> Yeah, the guys who run the place only say they would do it in a heartbeat.

    Why take them seriously?

    Hard core muslims with nukes? What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

  • Even the most brutal, draconian sanctions, which is not what we are seeing, would not be enough to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons at this point.

    Those kinds of sanctions were needed years ago so that by now they would be shown clearly not to work and military options would be front and center. The collective security arrangement through the UN, for whatever reason, is not working with Iran.

    And now that it will be left to the Americans to handle the situation, we have a president who isn’t interested in stopping Iran. But who is interested in hamstringing the Israelis, the only other viable actor on the scene.

    Admittedly, Bush kicked this can down the road, but one cannot say that he was afraid of the military option. His plate was full. Although I don’t believe that waiting was the right option, it was the treachery of the Democrats over Iraq that made it a domestic political problem to go forward on Iran.

    Now we have an administration that has America rolled over on its back in submission.

    Pay attention: We have a national security advisor who is whimpering about misusing the term “jihad” and thereby spreading Islamist propaganda from the center of the American national security apparatus.

    Is that a clear enough signal about what’s going on here?

    • Admittedly, Bush kicked this can down the road, but one cannot say that he was afraid of the military option. His plate was full. Although I don’t believe that waiting was the right option, it was the treachery of the Democrats over Iraq that made it a domestic political problem to go forward on Iran.
      By invading Iraq, we took away Iran’s most hated enemy.
      There were many who believed that Iraq was the wrong target after Afghanistan.  That Iran should have been our main concern.
      The problem for the Bush administration was that Iran posed a much more difficult target that Iraq.  Iraq was a rollover, an easy win (although they managed to f*ck that up anyway).  Remember Rumsfeld’s remarks that the war would last “six weeks, I doubt six months.”
      It had nothing to do with Democratic obstructionism, or “treachery” as you put it, but more to do with the Bush administration’s incompetence on winning what they thought would be an easy victory.  Remember, the public was at first for the war, but only after seeing the countless examples of incompetence and fraud perpetuated and/or ignored by the Bush administration that they began to become disenchanted.  Also remember, that the Dems did not control congress until ’06, much later than with which the war was going sour.
      As much as you would like to blame the Dems for a less enthusiastic public for war, that simply isn’t the case.
      It is a gross simplification to state that Bush simply “kicked the can down the road.”
      It might even be more accurate to state that Bush left it to those “treacherous” democrats to clean up after he’s gone.  And we all know how that’s turning out.

      • Look, you don’t know a thing about any of this. And that’s the only thing you need to know. I would actually discuss it with you if I thought it would do a bit a good and not be a waste of my time.

        • Shorter McPhillips:  You don’t know nuthin about nuthin.
          You know, Martin, that when you fail to counter my arguments against yours, you’re not merely dismissing a notion that you could perhaps change my mind, that you could either confirm your arguments against mine, or perhaps truly prove that I don’t know nuthin about nuthin.
          However, it is obviously much easier for you to simply insult me rather than challenging your own reasoning or mine.  An action not uncommon to those who don’t know nuthin about nuthin.

          • I simply have no interest in your arguments or you. Especially on a matter like this. Argue with the host or the other comment makers. I don’t have time for you.

          • I simply have no interest in your arguments or you. Especially on a matter like this. Argue with the host or the other comment makers. I don’t have time for you.
            Oh, we both know that that isn’t true.  You have time for me.  You have time for Erb…
            I mean, whenever I see a comment made by Erb, 9 of 10 times there is a following comment by you – including this thread.  Fact is, you love hammering Erb, the eunuch that he is that he refuses to defend himself.  Erb’s comments present a great opportunity for you – that you can freely insult without fear of competent reprisal.
            You are a blog comment coward.  Or simply inept.  If anyone challenges your idiotic ideas, you simply discount them with a poorly constructed insult.
            “Drop dead.”
            That’s the counter I’ve come to expect from you.  From the start.  It’s not as though you’ve even attempted a rebuttal.
            You’re outmatched, man.  Others here hold their weight, right or wrong.
            So keep making time for Erb.  He seems to be the only dissenter here in your class.

          • Erb, by virtue of his academic position, is a semi-official liar for the Left. I’ve always said that. He’s very useful for the way he demonstrates the sort of thinking that runs rampant in academentia and various Leftist salons. He’s also a drip, but that comes with his territory.

            You’re just a drip. Nothing else commends you.

          • You’re just a drip. Nothing else commends you.
            Yet another poorly constructed insult.
            That’s it.  No substance.

  • The real geopolitical problem, the most serious problem and far more serious than the Iranian regime and its drive to get nuclear weapons, is what is happening with this White House.

    Even in extremis the Iran problem could be managed. But that would always depend on the U.S. practicing its vital measured role as the status quo superpower and guarantor of strategic peace.

    And even with the simple failure to live up to that expectation and responsibility this White House would represent at worst just a replay of Jimmy Carter weakness and Clintonian dithering. But this is not just a replay of that.

    This White House is engaging in active measures against the interests of the United States, not just abdicating the vital and measured role of status quo superpower and guarantor of strategic peace.

    So, the number one problem for the U.S. and the most serious geopolitical problem for the world is the regime in this White House.

    And it’s not a situation that can suddenly be made better, first of all because these people have no intention of making it better. This situation is going to do nothing but  deteriorate with rear guard cosmetic actions to hide the deterioration (like this bluffing about UNSC sanctions from the madman Obama yesterday).

    I’ll say it one more time: this regime is outside of the grasp of the normative terms of American politics. These people are not capable of getting anything right, in terms of the power and the traditions and the policies that they inherited from the Post-War era, but they are capable of anything, if you catch my distinction.

  • Perhaps our problem here is that we are allowing some to bend this to a false criticism of “easy” choices, rather than considering what can work and what cannot.
    Maybe  the better analysis is this: what choices…regardless of their difficulty…have any chance of working?
    There seems ample reason to believe that nothing Obama is doing CAN work.  Does anyone here suggest that it CAN?  How do you support that?
    If it is true this track cannot work, or has very little chance of working to prevent Iran from obtaining nukes, it is the WRONG choice, regardless of the rigor of other choices.  Does anyone disagree with that?

    • Here’s a rule of thumb for thinking about this White House:

      Do not assume that they ever intend to act or have any interest in acting in the best interests of the United States or its allies.

      Part of their program of “fundamental transformation” is an implicit attitude that the U.S. is itself passe and something that needs to be gotten beyond. In practice, domestically, the U.S. is seen as a carcass to be scavenged.

      The only way that this country could ever be successfully attacked, and destroyed, was from within, and that’s what you are seeing. And it’s not inadvertent; not just the result of incompetence, though there’s plenty of that. It’s intentional.

    • Good point.  I think most people agree that something must be done.  However, the left would have us believe that the only option is between “futile gesture” and “impossible task”.  So, we should all just accept that the mullahs are going to get nukes, hope like hell that they aren’t as crazy as many of us believe, and otherwise keep our fingers crossed.

      Let’s assume for a moment that the mullahs really ARE crazy enough to either hand nukes over to terrorists or even use one themselves.  What then?

      I suggest that the choice may be between PERHAPS killing a few thousand Iranians now (which I don’t want to do, by the way; I don’t hate Iranians)… and killing a few million later.  Maybe I’m deranged, but it seems to me that the first option is a damned sight better than the second.

      • The problem is assuming “killling a few thousand” will work.  I think it would make Iran the modern Prussia, provoking another state to be the aggressor in a way that actually strengthens its hand.   Let’s assume that intelligence estimates are right that the Guardian Council has a conservative, consistent, Machhiavellian strategy to become a regional power.  And, let’s assume that you’re right — in the right conditions (i.e., they think success likely), they’ll help Hezbollah attack and perhaps destroy Israel.   How do we counter that?
        Attacking now has  a strong probability of failure (regime change requires a much larger and better supported effort than the US people would support or Congress would authorize).   So you step back.   Iran’s weaknesses: it’s non-Arab, trying to be a power in the Arab world (as well as non-Arab central Asia, to be sure).  It’s economically vulnerable.   The government is not popular, and they do hold elections — the next one will see more pressure for reform candidates to win.  You look at China and Russia’s strategic interests.  They have reason to support Iran, but also reason to distrust it.  You find ways to prod at Iran, perhaps not dramatically, that gets them to see that it is in their interest not to take certain steps, such as creating nuclear weapons.    Then, over time, you work for behavior change.   And yes, you can draw a line in the sand, but not as looker said, but in terms of deterrence — perhaps a strong statement about defending Israel if Israel is attacked, and a credible threat if Hezbollah crosses certain lines.
        I suspect a lot of this is being done which we don’t see.  I hope so.   We see the surface drama, which is only the tip of the iceberg, most of what is happening we don’t see.   But while military options sound good in theory (people proposing them assume success), in practice they are risky and the consequences could be severe and negative.

    • I’m put in mind of Churchill, just after the collapse of the French and British in Europe following his coming to power.  He was looking at a realistic OPTIMISTIC chance of evacuating 1/7, or about 50,000 men, of the British Army.  At about that time, the Italian’s were making overtures to broker a peace between Britain and Germany.  There were strong, pragmatic…hell, sane…voices among his cabinet who urged him to accept.  He refused.
      Nobody at that time…certainly not Erb’s type…gave the British a chance.
      So, I return to the root question; CAN Obamic sanctions work to keep nuclear weapons from Iran?  If they CANNOT…and there is no evidence they CAN, then there is no further discussion.  That option is worse than nothing.
      If that option is impractical, is there an option…at whatever cost…that can work?  What are the costs, really?  Under what circumstance?  Against what must they be balanced?

  • Looker, your “solution” would be a disaster.  First, Iran would gladly cross a line in the stand we’ve drawn, and use our belligerence to garner support for their side.  We’d be incapable of doing much at that point, so we’d look weaker than ever.  If we tried, we’d have the public, already SICK of war, angry and not supporting the conflict, the Pentagon would oppose it, and punditry all over would say that the US is acting against its national interest — because we would be.  Iran would survive the assault, we don’t even know all of its locations for nuclear material, and the Iranian people would be  angry at the US — dead Iranians would assure that.  Any opposition would be easy for the Iranians to crack down on at that point, and the world would turn harshly against us — China may stop buying our bonds, Russia and China would enable and support Iran, and Hezbollah/Hamas would use this instant to rise against Israel.
    Your solution is a victory for Iran.  You’re not thinking this through, and you don’t understand the difference between bluster and the reality of using tactics like that.
    Look, this is a problem.  But don’t you see how mushy it is to simply blame Obama (oh, if only our President was tougher then all would be right) and rely on vague tough-sounding solutions.  Don’t you see how hypocritical it is to attack Obama, when he’s being marginally more successful than Bush in trying to counter Iran?   This requires something more than emotional tough talk and partisan pot shots.    If you really want to talk through this, we can — but if it’s just partisan posturing and name calling, well, then you’re not taking the issue seriously or thinking it through rationally.

    • Erb–“America can only die, all the rest won’t work, or it’s toooooo hard….  I have no ideas, but you people are all just bloodthirsty dopes.  Turn out the lights…pass the hooka…”

      • Oh, this is great.  The same guy who claims Erb has “no ideas, but you people are all just bloodthirsty dopes” is the same guy who states that we should abandon the UN and gives no ideas as to the what, when, or how.
        And when asked, simply cannot be bothered.

        • I provided all I could.  It is not my fault you cannot read or think.  You need to google “hyprocrisy” along with “co-opt”.  Jest sayin’….

          • I did.  I googled “hyprocrisy.”
            And it read, “did you mean “hypocrisy?”  Which I’m sure you did.
            Just like it said, “did you mean co op?”  And I did.

          • Making new friends today, Pogue?

          • Indeed.
            I think I’m rather going to enjoy picking at this low hanging fruit.  But only if I can get over his frequent use of ALL CAPS.

          • It’s been fun.  It’s been real.  It just ain’t been real fun!!!

          • Our forefathers had formed a co-opt.

            and earlier…

            But I was forced to play with that fat f*ck because our fathers were co-opted dairy.

            Whadda marooon…

      • Since I said none of that, and the numerous arguments I made stand uncontested, you’re essentially admitting you’re just emotion over reason.

        • “the numerous arguments I made stand uncontested”

          Oh, thank you. I am going to bed with a smile on my lips.

          I don’t usually mock the afflicted but in your case I make an exception. It continually amazes me how people who have so little connection to reality manage to actually function in it. Living proof that insanity does not necessarily mean disfunctional.

    • “And there’s rats all over the place.”

      Scott, learn about coherent paragraphs built with clean, clear sentences.

      • And more time for Erb.
        You know, it’s funny that you think that you should make time for Scott as “very useful for the way he demonstrates the sort of thinking that runs rampant in academentia and various Leftist salons” and yet everyone here knows that – or at least believes that.
        In short, you are beating a very dead horse.  But you continue to do it.  Are you sadistic or simply lazy?
        Or, as I hinted before, you are merely an opportunistic simpleton wishing to only engage in arguments that you can, by forfeit, win.

        • You’re very psychological. You come off as an ex-cop who got eased out of a middle-sized department via the rubber gun squad. Half-pension.

          • You’re very psychological.
            Wait, I thought that I was a “drip.”  Now, suddenly, I’m an ex-cop who by means of disgrace, one assumes, I am apart of a “rubber gun squad with half pension.”
            And who is the one who is psychological again?
            And I thought you didn’t have time for me, Martin.  Shouldn’t you be awaiting Erb’s next comment like a kitten ready to pounce on ball of string?
            (oh, SNAP!!  See, that’s how one insults another.  See how I did that… I got a shot in at you and Erb.  All in one go.)

          • Here, let me explain it to you: I don’t have the time or the inclination to pick apart the hair balls you call arguments on a subject like Iranian nuclear weapons. That would be time consuming, with no discernible payback. There are other people around here who might have time for you on that level. I don’t.

            It doesn’t taken any time, or effort, on the other hand, to describe you so that you might better understand yourself.

            And, yes, you can be both psychological and a drip and, voila, there you are.

          • Right.
            Much easier to make your arguments against a blank piece of paper.  Or arguments against a villain that fits perfectly in one of your pigeon holes.
            That’s how two-dimensional you are, McPhillips.  That’s why its so easy for you to respond to Erb.  He represents a chess match you’ve played in your head a thousand times.  You know his moves.  Over, and over, and over again.
            Trouble is, I’ve seen your moves too.  Typical partisan hackery.  Dems = bad.  GOP = good.
            You state that Bush had “his plate full.”  Otherwise… what?  What would he have done with Iran?  What had he have done if the Dems provided no opposition?  Hmm?
            You are the mirror image of Erb.  And just as ugly.

          • Well, it’s really that I just don’t see anything to argue with in your comments.

            It’s not that I agree or disagree with them. They’re largely incoherent: hair balls. With a veil of contentiousness that cheapens even that.

            Even if I picked this or that sentence and addressed it, there’s the unpleasant fact that it would be to no consequence and then add the further unpleasant fact that it’s you. One has to learn to discriminate in these situations.

            As bad as Erb is, there’s actually a pattern to what he’s doing, and he’s representative of an entire sphere of thinking. You don’t represent anything, really. But I encourage you to keep looking for someone who finds you interesting. Regretably, I have to pass on that.

          • “You are the mirror image of Erb.  And just as ugly.”

            I beg to differ. There is a reason Bizarro-Erb (Ott Scerb) uses a clown  image. I also  find him (Erb) very amusing.

      • I think perhaps you hurt Poques feelings.  You know how sensitive the Irish can be….

      • You have to think coherently in order to write coherently.

    • We don’t have to learn it, we already DID it.  We did it from 1945 until the official collapse of the Soviet Union, with a few years in there where your hero probably cut back on doing it.  I don’t know on an official level what we did.  I DO know there were incidents, and the Cold War was surprisingly hot at times.
      And what ‘assault’ are you talking about, where did I suggest a military assault? – everything that is done is basically deniable (except for running over their LBIB’s, which of course we’ll apologize for and lament, having sent the message we wanted to send….).  It’s not done in public.  If we kill clandestine operatives in Iraq and Afghanistan and send their ears home to mother, how does Iran tell the world we killed their operatives?  By telling everyone they had clandestine commando operatives in those countries?   Good Plan.
      But really, I assume you’re reading someone else and crediting me.   But hey….you’re such fun….
      “Don’t you see how hypocritical it is to attack Obama, when he’s being marginally more successful than Bush in trying to counter Iran? ”
      Good lord, ONLY in your writings.    And if Bush were acting as wishy washy as Obama is I’d be bitching about HIS tactics right now.   Obama gets blamed because he’s in CHARGE, get it?  The buck stops on HIS desk now, not George Bush’s.  The Messiah has been found wanting, he doesn’t have any steel, he doesn’t even have bronze.  And only you (and his sycophants, but I repeat myself) think he’s doing a good job doing whatever the heck he’s doing (and I mean that, you think he’s doing good, whatever the heck he’s doing, be it on the reducing deficit, trimming the budget, saving the economy, improving US foreign Relations, relations with Israel, bowing to Saudi Kings, whatever…..)
      “We’d be incapable of doing much at that point, so we’d look weaker than ever. ”   &  “If you really want to talk through this, we can”… no, we can’t because you have no solution other than to say “it’s complicated!”.  Which ISN’T an answer.     And yes yes, weak USA, mighty Iran, yes yes, I get it.  We’re losers, yes yes.
      I’m aware it’s not EASY, but appeasement will NOT work, and the ‘sanctions’ as described,  as ineffective as those generally are, are NOT even really sanctions.

    • Really?  Do you have a picture of how we should abolish the UN?
      I mean, I would even substitute 100 words for a simple cartoon.
      What?  You ain’t got one?
      How about you substitute a picture of a unicorn for your delusions of abandoning the UN?  It would be just about as believable.
      You “radical thinker”, you.

      • As if we don’t have enough problems…but how do you clean up the UN without it looking like it’s an American pawn?
        Not to disparage worthy contributions to the UN by nations that aren’t being run by tin-pots, but we DO provide a significant portion of the UN’s actual muscle, losing us would be a dramatic hole in the fabric that would very possibly result in it’s destruction.  Seriously, do you think China or Russia is going to step in and fill our shoes?  And would Europe actually tolerate their ascension?  If not, which of the European ‘would be’ kings would step up?  France?  Germany?  The UK?
        Okay, maybe it’s hubris, I tend to think the structure would go on for a few years and then fall apart.  And yes, we’d get cheesed on by sane foreign nations for withdrawing.  I do have some respect for various foreign powers, even if they are run by bunches of danged furriners….

        This is the one and only time I will pour information into what you use for a brain.  Argue with the various authors, if you want.  I ain’t got time for your BS.

        • LOL!!!
          Your response, is to give me link to a google search of “leave the UN.”
          Lookie here, Martin… you’ve made mentor!!  How exciting.  Double the pleasure here at QandO.
          Hey, Ragspierre… Here’s a google search for you.  Learn something!!

          • You are an attorney, right Ragspierre?  If your clients ask you to make a case for them, is this your advice?  If so, it’s good advice.

          • …and with that Poque raised the well-worn blogospheric flag of surrender…
            I want to thank you for participating in my little demonstration, Poque.
            We have now established, for anyone with eyes, that you are–

            too intellectually dishonest to meet arguments on their merit, after hectoring me all afternoon to expound;
            so devoid of manhood…and brains…that you can only sputter insults in the face of argument; AND
            such a coward that you will not say in the open “go Poque yourself”, even from the safety of a blog post, since you know you could be kicked off the site.

            This has been fun…
            BTW, I do this for a living…in a courtroom…with great gusto.

          • I want to thank you for participating in my little demonstration
            Wait, your little demonstration???  What did you do?
            too intellectually dishonest to meet arguments on their merit, after hectoring me all afternoon to expound;
            so devoid of manhood…and brains…that you can only sputter insults in the face of argument;

            What argument?  All you did was to say that we should kick the UN out of here and leave the body.  And when asked of the consequences, you displayed this tortuous dance before simply linking to a google search of “leave the UN.”
            Some argument.
            AND such a coward that you will not say in the open “go Poque yourself”, even from the safety of a blog post, since you know you could be kicked off the site.
            Oh, I don’t think that will get me kicked off this site.  After all, McPhillips does it all the time.  And I linked to the google search of “go f*ck yourself” because after your brilliant linkage, it was just too damn funny.
            Oh, and for the record … Hey Ragspierre, go f*ck yourself.
            And until you can make a better argument for leaving the UN other than linking to a google search, it will remain a ridiculous idea.

  • The easiest way to cleanup the UN is to relocated it to Mombasa. or perhaps Harare.

  • Re: Coulda Fooled Me [Cliff May]
    Yes, Mark, it is improbable for Erdogan to say “It is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide.”
    That is especially the case now, as Erdogan is supporting Hamas and cozying up to Iran. As I note in my NRO column today:
    Abdallah Jarbu, Hamas’s deputy minister of religion, recently asserted that Jews “want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria — a microbe unparalleled in the world.” Jarbu thien offered this prayer: “May He annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience.”

    Jarbu is restating what Hamas’s Iranian sponsors have been saying for years. Kayhan, the newspaper that speaks for Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, recently called Israel a “cancerous tumor” that must be excised from “the Islamic Middle East.” The goal, Kayhan added, must be Israel’s “total annihilation from the political geography of the region.”
    But as Joseph Goebbels wrote:
    “[W]hen one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it…”

  • The UN is most effective in its sub-organizations — UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, FAO, etc.   These organizations have saved literally millions of lives, and have put first and third world folk side by side to work on practical issues.  Alas, the critics of the UN are right that it is riddled with corruption (since most member states are, it follows an organization of those states would be), and it has limited efficacy dealing with major world issues.  The ironic thing is that quite often the US has used the UN as an instrument of its policy, and as a security council member, the UN cannot act against the US in any significant way.  That means that most policy makers, left or right, see the UN as useful for American policy — we can use it, but it can’t do anything against us.  Thus few of any particular stripe see it in our interest to leave it, and there are benefits of having a forum for leaders to get together.   Also, even in its failures the UN has lessons, such as the debacle in Rwanda, and the heroic work of Romeo Dallaire.

    • You’re comparing HEALTH initiatives to stopping Iran from getting nukes?


      PS- Every single UN “sub-organization” is massively rife with corruption, incompetence and all sorts of shenanigans.

    • “Also, even in its failures the UN has lessons, such as the debacle in Rwanda”

      And the Belgian Congo, and the Balkans, and….
      How many lessons does it take to demonstrate that the UN is, at best, irrelevant?