Does The Right Like Bush’s New Iran Plan?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Foreign Policy, The War On Terrorism

Let it be known right off the bat that Bush’s “new” Iran policy is virtually a carbon copy of the one John Kerry talked about during the debates and campaign.

Now having said that, let’s see what the right thinks about it.

The following is from Ed Morrissey’s blog, Captain’s Quarters, back in October 2004. At the time, he was questioning Kerry’s plan to give “fissile materials to the largest backers of Islamofascist terror groups” because Kerry got campaign contributions from some Iranians. Here’s more on Kerry’s dangerous Iran plan:

The article also outlines other positions that Kerry has taken for normalization with the current Iranian regime rather than support the nascent democratization efforts within Iran. It appears that the Kerry campaign’s commitment to fighting terrorism and its sponsors takes a back seat to pandering to its financial supporters — as does American national security.

And Ed follows up with this revelation concerning those campaign contributions…

And now we have John Kerry offering nuclear fuel to the same Iranians that finance Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. Let me repeat this: John Kerry wants to give nuclear fuel to the people behind two of the worst Islamofascist terror organizations in the world. Now we know why.

Now let’s fast forward to 5 days ago. This time we’re going to take a peek at the FAR right-wing “news” source, NewsMax. They too talk about Kerry’s dangerous plan for letting the mullahs have nuclear fuel:

Sen. John Kerry was sharply critical of the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror during his appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

But while he complained about White House bungling of the North Korea nuclear crisis, Kerry was curiously silent on Iran.

Why?

Probably because, had Kerry’s previous advice on Iran been taken, the mullahs in Tehran would be even closer to obtaining nuclear weapons than they are now.

Okay, got all that? Cool.

Now let’s look at what Bush said yesterday

“I have made it clear that I believe that the Iranians should have a civilian nuclear power program under these conditions: that the material used to power the plant would be manufactured in Russia, delivered under IAEA inspectors to Iran to be used in that plant, the waste of which will be picked up by the Russians and returned to Russia,” Mr. Bush said at a news conference yesterday. “I think that is a good plan. The Russians came up with the idea and I support it,” he added.

Given this, I will ask a question I’ve posed before: why is it so bad to call Iran’s bluff? Why not give them fuel and then make sure we’re standing over their shoulder to take away any hint of the waste that they could use to make nuclear weapons? All I’ve heard is, “We can’t trust them.” Well, fair enough, but if we’re standing over their shoulder in the form of Russia?

And here’s one more blurb from that Captain Quarter’s post…

It’s not as if the information on Kerry’s Iranian backers has been a secret; it’s just that the media hasn’t looked very hard at it. One would think the loopy idea of shipping nuclear fuel to a country we know supports the terrorists we’re fighting would get them to ask these questions…

Yeah, it’s just that pesky liberal media. Good thing the blogosphere is here to clear things up…heh…

Here’s also Little Green Footballs, Gateway Pundit, Townhall and JustOneMinute on Bush’s dangerous new Iran policy.


This entry was posted on Friday, January 27th, 2006 and is filed under Foreign Policy, The War On Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

21 Responses to “Does The Right Like Bush’s New Iran Plan?”

  1. Callimachus Says:

    Bad idea then, worse idea now, because I don’t trust the leaders of the Iranians OR the Russians at this point. But if you want to know what Ed thinks and why, why don’t you ask him? People on the “right” aren’t mind-readers, nor do they all channel one another, despite what people on the “left” think and say.

    On the other hand, a safe policy for any candidate to propose, or any U.S. president to endorse when another nation proposes it, because the Iranian hard-liners won’t be letting any outsiders handle the keys to their nuclear plants, which would be an intolerable affront and defeat the whole purpose of the bid to be an Islamic nuclear power. It only looks like a policy. It’s just a tactic.

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    I am asking Ed. This is a public call for accountability of that statement. I thought Ed’s post was particularly vitriolic since he tied it to Kerry’s fundraising efforts. Personally, I think Kerry is vindicated in that respect with Bush’s pronouncement. As for the validity of the idea…well…that’s up for debate.

    And as far as channeling anybody, well, I think that’s unfair. The right-wing spreads memes just like the left. Come on…

    But yes, one does wonder about what the reaction in the right-wing blogosphere will be, and that’s what we’ll see in the days to come I’m sure. This post was a challenge to that previous thinking, and I’m curious to see what happens.

    But here’s the thing, both you and I can surmise from past knowledge that Bush doesn’t make decisions without first getting A LOT of advice. This gambit had to come from within, and so that’s a major shift in his foreign policy stance. Our position on Iran is fast becoming akin to our position on North Korea. At least Kerry explained his position as “calling Iran’s bluff.”

    And yes, what to do? Before Iran talked about the oil thing, I was thinking, “Okay, well maybe strategic bombings would work,” but obviously that’s not the case now. Bush got some new intel and formulated from there. And I can’t help but think that many on the right wing are going to honestly change their tune on this one. Because at the end of the day, Russia doesn’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons either because they know what they’ll do with them. That would completely screw Russia if Iran tried to destroy Israel because Israel would destory Iran and there goes all that oil.

    Always go back to the oil Cal. We just need to fend off Iran for the next 20 years or so…until we develop some serious gas saving tech, and then we can cut their nuclear spigot off.

    To close, I guess thinking that they’ll reject it is a clever ploy. But we’ll never truly know if that his intention, so I’d err on the side of him actually meaning what he says. After all, I’m not one of those liberals who thinks Bush lies every time he opens his mouth. ;-)

  3. Justin Gardner Says:

    By the way, where’d you go? We miss you around these parts!

  4. grognard Says:

    The problem with any strike is that most of the equipment has already been moved, and our intellegence on the ground in Iran is limited. Iraq could then freely retaliate with terrorist groups in the Middle East, Europe, and Iraq. They could also plant mines in the straight to cut off Saudi oil for a short time. The Russian option might work, they to are getting worried about Iran. The bottom line is that Iran needs oil money to keep the nation going, cut that off and they have a problem. Could the west do without their oil? That is the real question, China is the big importer and would not want the economic dissruption, any phase out of Iraninan oil would take time so as to not shock the oil market and it is doubtfull increased production worldwide would make up the total loss. We in the US would have to cut consumption to make it work, not an easy sell.

  5. Justin Gardner Says:

    Could the west do without their oil?

    Absolutely not. Even though we don’t buy from Iran, those countries who do would have to look elsewhere for their oil. The consequences would be disastorous. That’s why you’re seeing Bush make these concessions. Iran has us between an oil derrick and a hard place.

    We in the US would have to cut consumption to make it work, not an easy sell.

    After 9/11 we were asked to give NOTHING up. In fact, we were asked to buy more so our economy would bounce back. America doesn’t know how to cut consumption anymore. Our grandparents knew, but we’re so comfortable anymore, that we simply can’t fathom it.

    And besides, it would political suicide for anybody who suggested it. Unfortunate because I know if somebody laid out a plan for frugal consumption, I’d certainly like to see it and I’m sure many others would too.

  6. TM Lutas Says:

    So what was GWB’s last Iran policy? In public, it was non-interference with EU diplomatic efforts. Today, it’s non-interference with Russian diplomatic efforts. The hidden caravan moves on despite all the noisy barking.

    Iraq’s shia are playing a dangerous cross-border game and the US is going to support it. The end result, if it works, will be a declaration of heresy from Najaf/Karbala and the fall of the Iranian regime as it’s remaining support, religious conservatives, breaks apart.

    Religious fights aren’t fought the same way that secular ones are. The bombs can be one phrase in a 50 page document. Take Pope Benedict’s 1st encyclical. It’s ostensibly about love and that is, in fact, its real object. But then we have this:

    In a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence, this message is both timely and significant.

    In other words, pay attention muslims! Pay attention haters of all stripes. God is love, not hate, and when somebody says that you have a duty to hate someone, that person is not from God.

    No doubt, what will set off the Iran/Iraq religious strife is going to sound just as innocuous outside of Shia Islam as an agnostic may perceive the Papal statement above. Hopefully, it will have deadly consequences for Khomeinism and the current regime in Iran.

    Getting back to the Kerry/Bush thing, I was absolutely convinced that we were sending troops into Iraq long before we declared hostilities to have resumed in order to prepare the battle space. I don’t think a President Gore would have done that. I don’t think that President Kerry would have instituted a hidden campaign against Iran or would push the wedge issue of Shia heresy as a solution for the problem of Iran. Later events showed that we had, in fact, sent troops in to prepare the battlefield in Iraq in advance of hostilities. Only time will tell if the hidden campaign that I (and probably many on the right) assume is going on is also a reality or just wishful thinking.

  7. Tom Says:

    All the options suck for dealing with Iran. Having outsiders provide the fuel, and cart off the waste is the only reasonable option, but Iran isn’t keen on it. And from their point of view, why should they be? Even if they don’t want nukes, they DO want energy security. And, as we well know, you don’t have energy security as long as someone else provides your fuel. So we’re looking to get them to do something that isn’t in their self interest. Something’s got to give.

    Anyway, if we can make this happen, the important thing is to keep Russia and Iran at arm’s length. With Putin and his cronies running the show in Russia, we can’t trust them farther than we can spit. If Iraq taught us anything, it’s that Russia is in this for their own self interest. So everything has to go through the IAEA, who needs to account for all the fuel, and all the waste.

  8. DosPeros Says:

    That “plan” is laughable, farsical, and potentially tragic.

    If I were Iranian, yeah, I’d love nothing more than to be in the secondary market for nuclear waste with…the Russians, international models of nuclear integrity. I’d move to Moscow just for the price of gas. What will the effects on Chechnya be — what arrangments can be worked out, Vlad?

    John Kerry greased palms with Daniel Ortega – what does that say about his judgment?

  9. Justin Gardner Says:

    That “plan� is laughable, farsical, and potentially tragic.

    And what is your plan DP?

  10. TM Lutas Says:

    DosPeros – Which plan are you commenting on?

  11. Justin Gardner Says:

    I’d imagine he’s talking about the plan to give Iran nuclear fuel and let Russia take the waste away.

    Am I right DP?

    My question to you is, “What other choice do we have?” This way it seems like we’re acting in good faith, and if they begin to resist, we’ll bomb their plants. No matter if the President were a Republican or Democrat, they’d be considering the same options. And that’s blatantly obvious now from Bush adopting Kerry’s strategy.

  12. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    The problem with the plan is that if Iran cheats on the deal (when it cheats), and siphons off some waste or decides that the russians are “spying” and kicks them out after enough fuel is delivered, we would have no choice but to invade the country, occupy and change the regime.

    There is no way that John Kerry would have done that. Jack Straw has already said that military options are off the table for Great Britain. We gave fuel to North Korea in the late 70′s for “peaceful purposes” and they built bombs with it. Kim-Jeong-Il is crazy, but he doesnt seem to have the apocalyptic visions that Armageddonajad has, and I don’t hear anything about wiping Seoul off the map.

  13. DosPeros Says:

    Justin – I don’t have a plan. I fear Bush doesn’t really have a plan either, but good point about the options.

  14. Justin Gardner Says:

    There is no way that John Kerry would have done that.

    Wrong. Kerry specifically said that giving nuclear fuel to Iran was calling their bluff. If they kicked people out, the only other options would be sanctions or strategic military attacks.

    But what people don’t realize is that Iran already has a WMD. It’s their oil. And if they shut off the spigot, the cost to the world’s economy could be incredibly severe.

  15. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    If they kicked people out, the only other options would be sanctions or strategic military attacks

    I don’t doubt Kerry would advocate sanctions after Iran cheats on the deal. Sanctions aren’t good enough. Once you got the fuel, you make the bombs. Sanctions are too little to late, they didn’t do crap to stop Saddam Hussein or North Korea either. We don’t need to punish Iran economically as retribution for cheating, we have to stop them from making the bomb period.

    You can’t guarantee you’ve ended the nuclear threat by strategic military strikes either. Look at Iraq; there were strikes in 1991,1993,1994,1998 and all intelligence agencies in the world still believed some wmd was there. We never would have known for sure without invasion/occupation.

    Find a quote from kerry that said he would advocate invasion, occupation, or regime change as a consequence of breaking the deal and I will take back what I said.

  16. DosPeros Says:

    Wouldn’t an Iranian spigot turn-off accelerate the world towards alternative fuels (a good thing)? I seems to me that this is the worst kind of appeasement: It is a manifestation of our whorish addiction to petro, except this time we’ll be paying not only with the environment, but also with national security.

  17. Justin Gardner Says:

    I don’t doubt Kerry would advocate sanctions after Iran cheats on the deal. Sanctions aren’t good enough. Once you got the fuel, you make the bombs.

    Bush has already said he’d consider sanctions too. But if you think a Democrat wouldn’t consider military strikes, then you are sorely mistaken. Just look at Clinton’s record of strategic military strikes, especially in and around Iraq.

    (sanctions) didn’t do crap to stop Saddam Hussein

    Yes, they did. He didn’t have WMDs, remember?

    Find a quote from kerry that said he would advocate invasion, occupation, or regime change as a consequence of breaking the deal and I will take back what I said.

    I never said he has openly called for invasion, and honestly, neither has Bush. However, what they’ve both said is that they’ll use any type of force necessary to protect the American people. I read from a statement like that, every option is on the table, including your three.

    Protection of the country has unfortunately been turned into a partisan issue, and I wish it hadn’t been. The Republicans have everybody convinced that Kerry would have just handed over nuclear fuel with no restrictions because he got campaign contributions. Are you kidding me? That’s insane, and any reasonable person should see through that obvious partisan hackery.

    Wouldn’t an Iranian spigot turn-off accelerate the world towards alternative fuels (a good thing)?

    Well sure, but not before it seriously cripples the economies of countless countries.

    But I ask you this, do you really think Republicans are going to push for alternative energy sources or call for drilling in ANWR? I haven’t seen any REAL progress on the alternative energy front since Bush paid the completely unworkable hydrogen energy idea lip service in his 2004 SOTU address.

    Jeezus, alternative energy sources and finding other ways of making crude should be one of our TOP activities right now, and it simply isn’t. This baffles me.

  18. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    “(sanctions) didn’t do crap to stop Saddam Hussein”

    Yes, they did. He didn’t have WMDs, remember?

    We still did invade iraq (remember?) because sanctions did not work to provoke accountability from the regime. Everyone believed there were still chemical and biological weapons even 10 years after the first of many strategic air strikes. Do you believe Amedinajad would be more forthcoming than Saddam Hussein?

    Besides, we would know for sure that Amedinajad would have WMD, since we directly supplied the plutonium already!!

    I never said he has openly called for invasion, and honestly, neither has Bush.

    I don’t care what you never said about what he said, the point is he didnt say it!

    Frankly, when John Kerry says he would use military force if necessary to defend the american people, I don’t believe him; at least not in the scenario we are discussing here. It doesn’t pass the global test. He has to spell it out in plain english and make the guarantee I mentioned above to get me to believe otherwise. When Bush says it is unacceptable that Iran gets a nukeyaler weapon, I’ll take his word for it. He seems to “say what he means and means what he says.”

  19. Jeff Says:

    Justin,

    Your blog is being infiltrated by sneaky jackass advertisers. You should round up all the lawyers your read Donklephant and sue the bastards.

  20. Justin Gardner Says:

    Haha, I’m doing my best, and I delete these fake comments daily.

    Know any good lawyers Jeff?

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