If ever there was a time when "see, I told you so" was warranted, it is now as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports this week that Iran is close to developing a nuclear weapon.
That so many in the State Department over several administrations could deceive themselves into believing claims by the Iranians that their intentions are nothing but peaceful and their sole objective is to develop more sources of electricity for their country reminds me of the Munich Agreement of 1938. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Adolf Hitler, thought they had an agreement concerning Czechoslovakia, shook hands on it, and then watched stupefied as Hitler boldly seized the country, en route to Poland, plunging Europe into greater turmoil.
What flummoxed Chamberlain, and modern-day apologists for evil, is their refusal to accept that dictators do not live by Western standards or think as we do. The U.S. State Department seems to believe dictators act the way they do because they have been deprived of things the West enjoys and that giving them what we think they need would cause them to act rationally. The corollary to that false premise is that if Western sanctions deprive them of what we consider "the good life," they will be more likely to comply with our demands.
When Iran lies, the State Department believes their lies; when Iran tells the truth, say, about wishing to wipe Israel off the map, State doesn't believe them.
On a visit to Washington Tuesday, Israeli Cabinet Minister Uzi Landau told me, "No sanction can convince the Iranians. The only time Iran became serious (about Western threats) was in 2003 when the U.S. went into Iraq."
That's when Iran appeared to some to have suspended its nuclear program, fearing the U.S. might bomb or invade their country. Secret intelligence provided to the IAEA strongly suggests Iran continued its push for nuclear weapons.
Breaking news: Islamists lie!
What about the "land for peace" formula that has been the accepted doctrine of so many U.S. administrations? Does Landau think that formula is still valid? Not surprisingly, he does not, nor does he believe it ever was a workable formula. "The root cause of the conflict in the region," he says, "is the total refusal by Palestinians and Arab states to accept a Jewish state of any size."
How could anyone credibly argue with him, given the statements to that affect by the Palestinian leadership and some Muslim and Arab political leaders throughout the region?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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