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March 9, 2010
'Secret' Gates-Ahmadinejad meeting in Kabul?
Funny coincidence. SecDef Robert Gates is going on a surprise visit to Afghanistan. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also happens to be going to Kabul, overlapping with the Gates visit. It's possible they will just drive past each other in Kabul. But it seems more likely that they are going to finalize some sort of agreement that's been bubbling up behind the scenes. Possibly the Afghan government, which wants good relations with both Iran and the US, will try to broker an agreement.
This administration has totally avoided any negative public language about the Tehran regime, in spite of democracy protesters being openly bloodied in the streets, and being tortured and executed behind the scenes. Obama's public silence may indicate behind-the-scenes negotations.
The question is: What would the US be gaining and giving up? The only plausible answer has to do with Iranian nuke development. Robert Gates is not a Carterite appeasement type, but this administration seems to be following that well-worn path to perdition.
My guess is that it's Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang again. Albright literally waltzed in public with Kim Jong Il, while thousands of soldiers marched through the streets below in a typical Stalinist display. Coming back, Albright claimed success in getting North Korea to sign an agreement for inspecting plutonium-based nukes. Now we know that the NoKo's kept their uranium-based nuclear program going anyway. What plutonium agreement? Oh, that one! Well, we just made an enriched uranium bomb. And exported our technology to Iran and Syria.
Such an agreement might even have the limited benefit of slowing down Iranian nuke development, in exchange for dropping sanctions, or even buying off Iran with money and technology. That's what Albright did with North Korea.
Because missile defenses are now developing very fast (regardless of what the US does, because everybody is rushing their high-tech missile defenses) it may in fact be desirable to gain a year or two. Only very technical military analysis can answer that question.
The cost? A US-A'jad agreement will probably kill the Iranian democracy movement for the time being. That's the biggest incentive for Ahmadinejad. It will not stop Iran's road to nukes. The US will promise to keep Israel from attacking Iranian nukes, a difficult but not impossible task. Such an agreement may in fact facilitate Iran's eagerness for nuclear weapons. The Gulf will therefore be bristling with anti-missile systems, both naval Aegis ships, and US anti-missile systems in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Jordan, Israel, Kuwait, and Iraq (where US troops presumably have those already).
This administration has only carrots for Iran, no sticks. All its sticks are for Israel, as Obama has shown by putting up the fake Soros front J-Street, which claims to speak for American Jews. It's just another Stalinoid front group, like all the other ones that Soros and the Left routinely use. J-Street is all set to celebrate a great victory if a US-Iran agreement is announced -- regardless of its reality.
Obama will not stop Iran's race to dominate the Middle East But it may postpone the day of reckoning, as Madeleine Albright did for the Clinton Administration.
Only Republican presidents act decisively in foreign affairs. Democrats since Carter practice appeasement. By avoiding the problems, Democrats essentially force Republicans to clean up their messes. Or, in the case of 9/11, they hope that any military crises will happen in some other administration.
Obama may turn his attention to Israel and the Palestinians, trying to force at least a PR agreement to bolster his own reelection prospects. We know how he thinks about the Middle East. As far as Obama is concerned, Iran is just a "distraction," to be appeased while this administration goes for a breakthrough on Israel. It suits Obama's grandiosity to finally "solve" a problem that may not have a permanent, stable solution.
All this looks like a replay of Carter and Clinton.