The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – II

The six Western nations meeting with Iran in Vienna set a strict deadline of 12:00 midnight on this date for Iran to accept their latest proposals for third party nuclear enrichment. Iran, of course, appears to have let the deadline pass. Reuters reports:
VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran told the U.N. nuclear watchdog it is favorably examining a plan for it to cut an atomic stockpile the West fears could be used for weapons, the agency said, but delayed a response to next week.

Iranian officials gave a more negative message earlier on Friday by saying Tehran preferred to acquire enriched uranium abroad rather than send out its own under the U.N.-drafted plan accepted by the United States, Russia and France.

Their remarks suggested that instead of engaging with the IAEA's draft, Iran was following a well-tested strategy of buying time to blunt Western pressure for harsher international sanctions while it presses on with nuclear research.

About a month ago, I wrote:
And that’s at the core of the problem. President Obama, a man who supposedly analyzes changing situations and adapts accordingly, seems wedded to his non-confrontational approach to this Islamist regime. He remains committed to long-term negotiations, soft power, and, well, dare I say the word “appeasement.”

If we just offer the right collection of “incentives” and “sanctions,” the Mullahs will see the light. Never mind that any agreement will be abrogated, that other secret facilities will continue to operate, and that their rogue regime (you remember, the one the violently suppressed its own citizens less than two months ago) will not change its ways. Ultimately, further down the line, the world may pay a very heavy price, but for now, we can all play make-believe and think happy thoughts—the Iranians are only enriching Uranium inside a fortified mountain for medical purposes.

The Iranians are playing us, but why shouldn't they? Our behavior has been considerably less than resolute, and they have nothing to fear from "soft power" and appeasement diplomacy. Besides, President Obama is perceived (correctly) as unwilling to act in any aggressive manner.

As part of that earlier post, I quoted Investor’s Business Daily who used a memorable analogy to describe our feckless approach to Iran’s provocative behavior:
Which leaves us with what might best be called Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Diplomacy. Dustin Hoffman, the divorcing dad in the movie "Kramer vs. Kramer," haplessly warns his bratty little boy again and again not to get the chocolate chip ice cream out of the freezer before finishing dinner.

"You take one bite out of that, you're in big trouble," the ever-more-ridiculous-looking father says. As the bite gets closer to the boy's lips, he says: "You put that ice cream in your mouth and you are in very, very, very big trouble. Don't you dare go anywhere beyond that. Put it down right now. I am not going to say it again."

That's us now. Neither Iran nor any other terror state has any reason to believe America's tough words have steel behind them.

Whipped cream, anyone?