Anyone surprised that the FoxNews "experts" would have their knickers in a twist over Obama's video to the Iranian people for Nowruz? I mean, nobody could have predicted that William "The Bloody" Kristol would label it "appeasement," could they?
The talking heads mulled this new approach in diplomacy as Kristol referred back to his hacky National Review op-ed, repeating the criticisms verbatim. Whatever, dude. Considering that your whole world revolves around demonizing Iran, it stands to reason that anything less than a full military assault will be appeasement to you, as you confirm later in the segment.
Brit Hume, is apparently so undone by talking to Iranians like people, that he sputters incomprehensibly that this isn't the kind of "diplomacy" that the Bush administration practiced:
HUME: You know, Condoleezza Rice said something to me last year that when she said it, I was surprised. She said almost no governments in the world practice diplomacy the way the United States does. Huh? I said. She said that is that we practice diplomacy always backed up by the possibility or even the threat of some force, forceful action, whether it be economic or whatever. See, most governments in the world think diplomacy…you don’t do that. You talk, when that doesn’t work, you talk some more and you keep talking and eventually, you hope through diplomacy of this kind to persuade regimes you’re having trouble with to behave differently. Well it appears that Barack Obama, by this statement, has joined the rest of the world…she said…Rice told me, she said, the United States does it that way, the Brits do, to some extent, and the Australians do.
Well, it appears that President Obama has joined the rest of the world in practicing the diplomacy of talk. The worst thing that could happen would be for the Iranian government to respond favorably and positively, want to engage, have a discussion. And then we would be on a track like that, which will lead nowhere in the end. It’s not as if there’s not enough evidence to figure out what kind of government this is and what its intentions are, that’s been abundantly clear for many, many years. And an endless round of talk, first there would be talks about talks, and then there’d be talks, and they’d be talking and that means well, the Iranian regime would continue to do what it’s been doing but everybody in the world would sit by nodding affirmatively that this is the right approach, that’ll go nowhere.
My, aren't we a little ray of sunshine? So Hume is advocating "diplomacy" as performed by a psychotic: Do what we want or ELSE! (Why do I keep thinking of the movie The Princess Bride: "You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.")
Chris Wallace actually points out that this form of "diplomacy" hasn't actually been all that successful:
WALLACE: Bill Kristol, President Bush didn’t recognize the Islamic Republic of Iran. He didn’t engage in diplomacy without preconditions. Where did that get us?
KRISTOL: It got us three rounds of sanctions, agreed to by the UN and by the Europeans. Why did the Europeans…
WALLACE: Has that had any effect on Iran?
KRISTOL: If not, then we have to consider the use of force. If you want more sanctions…the reason the Europeans went with sanctions was because we were threatening! It’s because we deposed Saddam Hussein, that’s when they got interested in sanctions suddenly, in 2003. And because they were worried that the Bush administration might actually do something. With Obama taking away the threat of force basically off the table, the willingness of the Europeans and the Russians to be serious about sanctions are going to diminish. Appeasement begets appeasement. Appeasement does not lay the groundwork for toughness among your allies, who are already weaker.
Oh, Billy, Billy, Billy. You pathetic little warmonger. When even your enablers tell you your techniques aren't working, your answer is to escalate. Brilliant logic.
And I'm sure it doesn't surprise you to hear that Kristol is employing a bit of revisionist history. Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005, following the speech where Bush included Iran in the "axis of evil". The Iranian people had been leaning towards more moderate leaders like Rafsanjani. But then when the President of the United States (who has already invaded and occupied two countries in the Middle East) starts posturing aggressively against your country, what do you think Iranian voters are going to do but elect someone who will stand up to such bullying? And the EU sanctions got stricter in 2007, not 2003 as Kristol suggests, because of the US insistence that Iran was pursuing a nuclear program, all intelligence to the contrary.
So essentially, ignoring the realities of what put us in this stalemate, Kristol thinks that upping the rhetoric and posturing even more aggressively is the answer, something that puzzles Juan Williams:
WILLIAMS: Why do you think he’s taking anything off the table? He simply offered an opportunity to have the discussion. The second point to make is in terms of these elections that are scheduled, I think you have to have some faith in the Iranian people that they are in fact hoping for some moderation and change and view this as an opportunity to isolate the hardliners.
Pearls before swine, Juan. They'll never get it.