Luttwak: Why Obama will fail on Iran

Rick Moran
There is too much common sense in this article by Edward Luttwak that appears in the Wall Street Journal for anyone in the Obama White House or State Department to take the brilliant historian's advice to heart.

These guys don't do common sense very well, preferring to believe things about the world that are demonstrably false, but soothing to the liberal ego.

Luttwak instructs Obama anyway, on the reality of Iran:

Mr. Obama's problem is that Mr. Khamenei could only have chosen Ahmadinejad because he does not want friendly talks with the U.S. He evidently calculates that without the ideology of "anti-Americanism" the regime would collapse. He is right.

Certainly religious support cannot be enough anymore. Too many high-ranking clerics, including Grand Ayatollahs Hosssein Ali Montazeri and Yusef Saanei, now publicly oppose the regime. Nor can Persian nationalism serve as the prop: Its chief target is the despised Arabs, which is problematic, as the regime keeps trying to be more Arab than the Arabs in its hostility to Israel. Yet this hostility is itself a problem internally because the regime's generous funding of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad is extremely unpopular in Iran. Only anti-Americanism is left, and Mr. Khamenei will not let Mr. Obama take it away.

Unless Iran's politics change, Mr. Obama's policy will fail. At that point, he will need a new, new policy of increasingly severe sanctions under the looming threat of bombardment-exactly Mr. Bush's old policy. But as Iran's nuclear program advances, time is running out for this policy to work.

There is absolutely no carrot with which Obama can tempt the Iranians to give up their anti-Americanism much less their nuclear program. And has been pointed out on this site and elsewhere, Obama's "engagement" policy with Iran backfired when Khamenei cracked down on dissent following the stolen election.

Read Luttwak's entire critique - a very good exercise in logic and common sense.




There is too much common sense in this article by Edward Luttwak that appears in the Wall Street Journal for anyone in the Obama White House or State Department to take the brilliant historian's advice to heart.

These guys don't do common sense very well, preferring to believe things about the world that are demonstrably false, but soothing to the liberal ego.

Luttwak instructs Obama anyway, on the reality of Iran:

Mr. Obama's problem is that Mr. Khamenei could only have chosen Ahmadinejad because he does not want friendly talks with the U.S. He evidently calculates that without the ideology of "anti-Americanism" the regime would collapse. He is right.

Certainly religious support cannot be enough anymore. Too many high-ranking clerics, including Grand Ayatollahs Hosssein Ali Montazeri and Yusef Saanei, now publicly oppose the regime. Nor can Persian nationalism serve as the prop: Its chief target is the despised Arabs, which is problematic, as the regime keeps trying to be more Arab than the Arabs in its hostility to Israel. Yet this hostility is itself a problem internally because the regime's generous funding of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad is extremely unpopular in Iran. Only anti-Americanism is left, and Mr. Khamenei will not let Mr. Obama take it away.

Unless Iran's politics change, Mr. Obama's policy will fail. At that point, he will need a new, new policy of increasingly severe sanctions under the looming threat of bombardment-exactly Mr. Bush's old policy. But as Iran's nuclear program advances, time is running out for this policy to work.

There is absolutely no carrot with which Obama can tempt the Iranians to give up their anti-Americanism much less their nuclear program. And has been pointed out on this site and elsewhere, Obama's "engagement" policy with Iran backfired when Khamenei cracked down on dissent following the stolen election.

Read Luttwak's entire critique - a very good exercise in logic and common sense.