Obama’s Letter to Iran

by Sal on January 29, 2009

in International Relations,Politics,War on Terror

Yesterday Ryan wrote on how Iran would like an apology from the Obama administration.  Well, the Obama administration is planning to send a letter to the Iranian Regieme (H/T:  Sister Toldjah), letting them know that we mean them no harm!  As part of the brave new age of capitulation and appeasement, the Obama administration will beg the Iranian Regime to change their ways.  And if they don’t?  Well, we won’t do anything about it.  We will talk some more, maybe say please?  Some details of the letter:

Diplomats said Obama’s letter would be a symbolic gesture to mark a change in tone from the hostile one adopted by the Bush administration, which portrayed Iran as part of an “axis of evil”.

It would be intended to allay the ­suspicions of Iran’s leaders and pave the way for Obama to engage them directly, a break with past policy.

State department officials have composed at least three drafts of the letter, which gives assurances that Washington does not want to overthrow the Islamic regime, but merely seeks a change in its behaviour. The letter would be addressed to the Iranian people and sent directly to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or released as an open letter.

One draft proposal suggests that Iran should compare its relatively low standard of living with that of some of its more prosperous neighbours, and contemplate the benefits of losing its pariah status in the west. Although the tone is conciliatory, it also calls on Iran to end what the US calls state sponsorship of terrorism.

Do we learn nothing from the lessons of history?  Capitulation to dictators and thugs leads to war, tragedy, and mass death.  With Iran probably only a year away from a nuclear weapon, it is forceful diplomacy backed up with the threat of force that will change things, not love letters.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

rightonoz January 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Sorry, Sal, 8 years of GWB being ‘Strong’ and doing a lot of chest thumping achieved absolutely ZERO on this score.

Iran gave the West the ‘Digit’ and continued on their merry way, most likely hiding equipment/material further underground after all the threats to minimise damage in an attack. Perhaps a less ‘agro’ approach followed but a sudden and unexpected attack while everyone knew where the equipment was? Remember also, all the threats and ‘strong leadership’ have achieved next to zero with North Korea.

As you know, my personal opinion is that instead of invading Iraq, which has turned out a lot better than I expected, we should have taken out Iran. Mind you, we should have done that at the time of the hostage crisis way back! OK Carter stuffed that one up to start with, but then Reagan performed no better on that particular score in my view. Lets just slip them some weapons via the back door and hope they treat us nicely.. Appeasement, in your own words.

I have no problem with Obama sending an open letter to the Iranian people saying we mean them no harm etc, as long as there is, either in the letter, or via other channels a clear warning of an end game if they don’t back off the nuclear tack.

Unlike you, I also had no issue with his interview where he admitted the US had made errors (Like it or not, the US is seen as the class bully in a lot of the world – possibly unfairly, but the US is seen in many areas as feeling it can do what it likes and to hell with enyone else).

My take on his interview was that he would be seen by the general population of the Muslim world as more reasonable and open than GWB, who like it or not is seen as anti Muslim (I know that is not the actual case, but perception is everything, especially in a poorly educated world).

He was definitely not addressing the terrorists or their financiers in that interview. From what I can see, he is not backing down from taking them on. My hope is that he is going to follow the words of a great American and “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, rather than the GWB/Cheney policy of run amoke in the china shop… (NO I AM NOT SUGGESTING HE IS ANYWHERE NEAR BEING ANOTHER Roosevelt)

He has no doubt been exposed to the realities in the briefings and should understand there is only one way with terrorists, hence the continued drone attacks in Pakistan, which if he is as weak as you fear would likely have been one of the first actions to stop. I am more confident after his retention of Gates in his role. I’m certain you would agree that Gates will give blunt council.

Like you, I fear his left wing approach on SO MANY fronts, however have the hope he will turn out to be a leader who rebuilds some of America’s prestige on the international stage. I have even greater fear of many of the far left in Congress/Senate… you’re screwed!


rightonoz January 29, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Just saw this report which hopefully shows that force is still on the table

The White House has refused to rule out the use of military force to put pressure on Iran to suspend its nuclear programme.

Robert Gibbs, a White House spokesman, said Barack Obama, the new US president, was keeping open “all his options” in dealing with Tehran, despite signalling that he was prepared to engage in direct diplomacy.

“The president hasn’t changed his viewpoint that he should preserve all his options,” Gibbs said on Thursday in response to a question about the use of force against Iran.

“We have many issues to work through – an illicit nuclear programme, the sponsorship of terrorism and the threatening of peace in Israel are just a few of the issues that this president believes the Iranian leadership must address,” Gibbs said.

Iran is engaged in a standoff with the West over its uranium enrichment programme, which it says is for the peaceful generation of electricity but which Western countries say is a cover to build an atomic weapon.

Presidential pledges

Gibbs also denied a report in the British newspaper Guardian that said Obama and Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, were drafting a letter to Iran’s leadership to push ahead with the administration’s pledge of diplomatic engagement.


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