Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
“Carthage delenda est” – Marcus Cato
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” – Sir Winston Churchill
“No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.” – Dean Acheson
This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Peace In Our Time, are my thoughts on Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s ‘charm offensive’ and President Obama’s reaction to it. Here’s a slice:
President Obama’s latest diplomatic foray involves ‘engagement’ with Iran over its illegal nuclear program.
During his recent speech to the UN General Assembly, the president said unambiguously that the U.S. was not seeking regime change in Iran, and spoke about pursuing ‘the diplomatic path’. According to President Obama, he was basing this on Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, who President Obama characterized as “having received from the Iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course”, on Rouhani’s commitment not to build a nuclear weapon and on a fatwa against nuclear weapons issued by Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei.
The press absolutely jumped on this. NBC News reported that this was “the first time leaders from the U.S. and Iran have directly communicated since the 1979 Iranian revolution.”
The always servile AP reported that Rouhani’s speech to the UN was ‘absent anti-Israel rhetoric’ ( it clearly wasn’t) , while CNN went so far overboard as to perform what appears to be a deliberate mistranslation of President Rohani’s remarks to make it appear that, unlike his predecessor, he condemned the Holocaust.
But all that aside, let’s look at the shiny , new diplomatic track President Obama, his media allies and his foreign policy team are so enthused about.
First of all, Hassan Rouhani isn’t Iran’s leader in any sense of the word. Iran is a villayat e’ fiqh, an Islamic theocratic dictatorship, just as the Ayatollah Khomeini envisioned. Iran’s dictator is Supreme Guide Ayatollah Khameneni, head of the Supreme Council of Guardians. It is Khamenei and the Guardians who vet all candidates for office and decide who gets to run for president and who doesn’t, as well as who ends up winning the ‘election’. Rouhani, like his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a carefully vetted regime loyalist who serves at Khamenei and the Council’s pleasure and follows their orders exactly. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been allowed to run for election, let alone be president.
Nor is Rouhani a ‘moderate’, whatever that means. Especially not when it come to Iran’s nuclear program. No, he pretty much endorses the Iranian mantra of no compromise on nukes. Or as Rouhani put it to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton about two weeks before his speech at the UN, Iran “will not give up one iota” on nukes. AFP referred to that as ”echoing his hardline predecessor” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Of course, you didn’t read about that in the New York Times.
When you’re speaking to Rouhani, you’re really getting a PR version of Khameini’s views, with a helpful smile for the gullible western press and politicians.
Now, a meeting between President Obama and the Ayatollah Khamenei would be worth citing as a breakthrough of sorts..except that Khamenei has refused to do anything of the kind. On the other hand, the telephone conversation between President Obama and President Rouhani that the current occupant of the Oval Office is so excited about is the diplomatic equivalent of a noncommittal little chat with Khamenei’s personal assistant.
Even worse was the message President Obama sent to the Iranians with his speech at the UN.
The current Iranian regime is one of the most evil in human history. It has the blood of many of its own people on its hands as well as a being a major state supporter of terrorism world wide, even being implicated in the 9/11 bombing of the World Trade Center. All that aside, President Obama’s pledge not to seek regime change and to in effect recognize the Iranian regime’s legitimacy may have whizzed right by a number of American commentators, but I assure you it did not pass unnoticed by the Iranians. Nor did the president’s apology for U.S. help in ridding Iran of a Soviet collaborator, Mossedegh, who had ignored a call from his own parliament to resign and who would have put the Iranians under communist slavery as part of the Soviet empire if he hadn’t been stopped.
It’s vital to see this not through our western eyes, but through the Iranians.
In Muslim culture, apology is seen as weak and servile, something an inferior does to ingratiate himself with a stronger superior. That’s why the Iranians have never apologized for taking over our embassy and holding our diplomats hostage, allowing al-Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan to move through their territory after Tora Bora, their support for terrorist groups, targeting our troops in Iraq or gathering in howling mobs chanting ‘Death To America!’.
It’s why Rouhani made no pretense of making a concession by doing it in his speech at the UN.
So given all this, what our president referred to as ‘mutual mistrust on both sides’, how well is any attempt at negotiation likely to work? President Obama’s is basing his new diplomatic track on his feeling that the Iranians can be trusted with any agreement they make with America and the west on nuclear weapons, on Rouhani’s moderation, and on a religious fatwa against the use of nuclear weapons by the Ayatollah Khamenei.
Let’s examine these items in turn.
More at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis Hanson with Obama: Transforming America submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s Professor Hanson’s superb catalog of exactly how the current occupant of the Oval Office has attempted to change America – for the worse.
Okay, here are this week’s full results. Only The Mellow Jihadi was unable to vote, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:
- *First place with 4 2/3 votes! – Joshuapundit – Peace In Our Time
- Second place *t* with 2 votes – The Right Planet – ANNA — Syria from the Russian Perspective
- Second place *t* with 2 votes – Liberty’s Spirit – Who Elected these Egomaniacs as Jewish-American “Leaders”?
- Third place with 1 vote – The Razor – Republican Rebels
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb – Why Was An Al Qaeda Commander Photographed Inside a USAID Tent? (Video)
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews – Christiane Amanpour and Hassan Rouhani: almost there, only to get a slap on the face
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Noisy Room – Envisioning a Cruz Coalition
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Hey, when will ABC do a hidden camera show on something like this?
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Bookworm Room – Thoughts on a mouse’s death
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Remapped
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Government Sends 800,000 Unnecessary (Nonessential) Workers Home. Obama Goes to Maximize Pain
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Political Commentator – Malpractice Analogies: If Barack Obama was a…
- *First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Victor Davis Hanson – Obama: Transforming America submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 2 votes – Michelle Malkin – Obama Lied, My Health Plan Died submitted by The Watcher
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Mark Steyn – Worse is the New Normal submitted by Liberty’s Spirit
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – The Kernal – What I learned watching North Korean TV submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – The Commentator – Christianity gone haywire, and going down submitted by The Political Commentator
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Sultan Knish – Bill de Blasio and the Jews of New York submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Michael Walsh/NRO – What We Just Saw submitted by Nice Deb
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Yourish – The new lying liar who leads Iran submitted by Simply Jews
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Reason – Obamacare vs. Samaritan Health-Care Ministry: A Case Study submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Discriminations – “Simple” Partisan Bias At The Washington Post submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Brendan O’Neill/Telegraph – I’m sorry, but we have to talk about the barbarism of modern Islamist terrorism submitted by The Right Planet
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Sean Trende/Real Clear Politics – The Politics of the Government Shutdown submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Megan McArdle – 11 Pieces of Obamacare Conventional Wisdom That Shouldn’t Be So Conventional submitted by The Razor
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Tea Party News Network – Chris Matthews: ‘Ted Cruz Is Brilliant… The President’s Met His Match’ submitted by VA Right!
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Bill Whittle – Umbrella Men submitted by The Watcher
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!