As this President and his party preside over the decline of our economy, the country’s ability to influence events which impact its vital interests and national security continues to wane. The utter pointlessness of the nuclear weapons talks between the five permanent powers of the UN Security Council and Iran and the relentless slaughter in Syria have a number of common threads running through them.
Both debacles demonstrate that Iran and Russia are treating the Western powers generally and the US specifically as if they consider us as paper tigers and fools. As the third round of talks was scheduled to resume in Moscow this Monday and Tuesday, Iran’s lead negotiator, Saeed Jalili, threatened to pull out of the talks altogether if they didn’t also include Iran’s concerns, human rights in Bahrain and piracy in the Persian Gulf. He went on to say that he only changed his mind after Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s Foreign Secretary (and ideological soul mate of Neville Chamberlain) called to reassure him that Iran’s bogus concerns were on the table…pure fecklessness on parade. It’s hard to imagine how Iran’s success at playing the West for fools could be more transparent.
In my new book, Lessons from Fallen Civilizations, I show that one of the most commonly recurring factors that lead to the fall of great civilizations is what I call my Immutable Law # III – Appeasement of a ruthless outside power always invites aggression. Treaties made with ruthless despots are always fruitless and dangerous. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov went to Tehran this week to strategize with its ally on how to further outsmart the West as it pertains to Iran’s nukes and the Syrian problem. As the Wall Street Journal put it, Mr. Laverov didn’t give any details of his meetings but said that the “Iranian side is interested in coming up with solutions to settle the standoff.” Right.
In Syria, America’s weakening military posture has already allowed for greater carnage than that which caused us to intervene in Bosnia. When the White House press corps have pressed for reasons why the Administration is not doing more to stop the killing, they are told that we don’t know enough about the opposition or what it would do if it came to power. But this belies the real motivation of this administration.
It is clear that Obama fears that any Middle East strife will dampen an already weak economy and doom his chances for reelection.
The Iranians and the Russians who sponsor Syria clearly sense this and are eagerly filling the power vacuum. In the Libyan war against its people one of Obama’s spokesmen informed the world that the US was “leading from behind.” America’s performance in this Syria tragedy is much worse because if Assad survives he will be extremely indebted to his sponsors and will be easily compelled to make trouble throughout the region, backing insurgents seeking to destabilize our allies. Assad’s survival will make the whole of the Middle East much more precarious. America’s vital interests may well be in play.
American fecklessness demonstrates that while we may be winning the war against the stateless actors in Waziristan and Yemen, the state sponsors are winning their war against us.
No one can be surprised if the outcome of next week’s nuclear talks in Moscow end in further humiliation for the West.