Editor's Note: This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison.
Secretary Hillary Clinton took to the air yesterday to boast of the “toughest sanctions” yet imposed by the international community on Iran. Recall, this administration came to office three years ago offering olive branches to the mullahs who rule Iran. President Obama even sent Persian New Year greetings to the same men who held our hostages for 444 days in Tehran in 1979-81. Our American diplomats and Marines were subjected to daily beatings and threats of execution.
These clerics were the ones who invented suicide bombing, starting with the killing of 241 U.S. Marines and Navy corpsmen in Beirut in 1983. If we think they have somehow moderated, how can we explain their latest plot to bomb a Georgetown restaurant to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. With him, possibly, hundreds of Americans could have died.
Secretary Clinton wants to give diplomacy time to work. But three years have already been wasted in merry-go-round diplomacy. These are three years the locusts have eaten. All the while, the mullahs have been building, hiding, advancing their nuclear weapons program.
While some elements of their regime talk about possibly allowing UN inspectors back in, other parts of the same regime say Iran will never give up its nuclear research. Defiantly, they say that research is for peaceful purposes. This, from a regime whose mouthpiece, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, publicly calls Israel “a two-bomb country.” He openly says he can foresee a world without Israel—and without the U.S.
Winston Churchill was surely right that “jaw jaw is better than war war.” Nobody wants a war with Iran. But the Iranian leaders have been at war with us for thirty years. They arm jihadists who have killed American soldiers in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
This administration frittered away its best chance of avoiding war with Iran when it held back from giving support to the pro-democracy demonstrators. These unarmed protesters filled the streets of Tehran after the patently rigged June 2009 elections. Then, we might have seen real regime change in Iran and with it the best hope of a peaceful resolution of the nuclear standoff.
This administration, so closely tied to MoveOn.org, quickly moved on. The blood had hardly dried in the streets of Tehran when the Obama administration was at the UN pushing for another round of sanctions.
Russia and China are not cooperating. Neither is Venezuela. This is the key to the crisis.