5 years ago
Sanctions against Iran are biting hard and triggering divisions among its leadership, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday, as he argued against a military strike over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Iran has agreed to meet with a representative of the six big powers for the first time in more than a year over its uranium enrichment drive, but diplomats and analysts see little chance of a breakthrough in the long-running dispute.
Gates said he saw little choice, however, to pursuing a political strategy that includes sanctions and renewed his concerns that a military strike would only delay Iranian nuclear capabilities by two or three years.
He added that sanctions “have really bitten much harder than (Iranian leadership) anticipated,” and suggested Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was increasingly at odds with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“We even have some evidence that Khamenei, now, (is) beginning to wonder if Ahmadinejad is lying to him about the impact of the sanctions on the economy. And whether he’s getting the straight scoop in terms of how much trouble the economy really is in,” Gates told the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington.
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Although he acknowledged on Tuesday that Iranian leaders “are still intent on acquiring nuclear weapons,” he said military action was not a long-term answer.
“A military solution, as far as I’m concerned … it will bring together a divided nation. It will make them absolutely committed to obtaining nuclear weapons. And they will just go deeper and more covert,” Gates said.
“The only long-term solution in avoiding an Iranian nuclear weapons capability is for the Iranians to decide it’s not in their interest. Everything else is a short-term solution.”
Oh goodness. Gates has bought into the notion that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons because they seek a deterrent to aggression against Iran. Convincing Iran to relinquish its pursuit of nuclear weapons is synonymous with convincing them that no one intends Iran harm. Military action only pushes they into the very decision point we wish to avoid. Or so the narrative goes.
It’s the same mistake made by most of the secular, post-modernist Western elite who sees things mainly through Western, secular eyes. It’s all about self preservation viz. Darwin, and upon being assured that they are safe, and since there is no such thing as real evil in the world and no absolute against which to measure such a thing as right or wrong, there is only the pragmatic. The Iranian rulers will be pragmatic and see the error of their pursuit and act in the defense of themselves and their own people. Altruistically, of course. It’s all about diplomacy. It just means saying the right things.
Except the world and mankind don’t work that way, and objective evil does in fact exist. Seeing things through eschatological eyes is uncomfortable to the Western secularists, but absolutely necessary in order to understand the radical Mullahs, who believe that:
“We do not worship Iran. We worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”
To be sure, military action is undesirable. There is always another way, involving covert operations, intelligence warfare, fomenting an internal Iranian insurgency, and catalyzing regime change. But with eyes through which the Western secularists see the problem, this will never occur. This virtually ensures war with Iran, sooner or later. Our own desire to avoid confrontation is at least a contributing cause to such an exigency.
This is the second awful decision Gates has made within a week. Does this set the expectations for the remainder of his tenure? Will it be two per week?