Condoleezza Rice has stated the US request to the international community quite clearly:
The White House declared yesterday that “it is time for action” by the U.N. Security Council, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on it to take “strong steps” to force Tehran to abandon uranium enrichment.
The next question would seem to be: Who, in that community, is likely to take Iran seriously enough to act strongly? Or, as Gerard Baker asks: Do we have any reliable allies who can?
How plausible is it that this depleted and demoralized army of European governments is going to spring into battle – metaphorically or literally, with tough economic sanctions or tougher military action – to divert the Iranians from the doomsday path.
The Bush administration was excoriated at home and abroad for its unilateralism in confronting Iraq. But does anybody really think, when the hard decisions have to be made to face down the next threat, that anyone other than the US will be in the coalition?
Polimom thinks that judging the European allies on the basis of events occurring right now, at this moment in time, and weighing whether they’re willing to “spring into battle” is similar to wondering whether one should stock up on water in November for the hurricane season that starts in June. It’s probably a good idea to keep one’s eye out for sales, or signs that the stock hasn’t been replenished, but the levees haven’t actually failed yet.
Contrary to breathlessly hysterical headlines today like, “Bombs possible within 16 days!”, the actual assessments are still along the lines of five to ten years, before Iran would actually be able to deliver what we’re all pretty sure they’d like. As Right Wing Nut House said earlier, everybody please relax and take a deep breath.
Folks, that’s too long a time to toss the towel already on negotiating, or to start making a case that “the US will have to go it alone”.
The problem isn’t our allies; it’s Iran’s bizarre face to the world.
Polimom doesn’t believe for a second that Iran expects to just sit there, happy as a tick, holding “the bomb” over its enemies heads as the world frowns its disapproval. Ahmadinejad knows that even if the U.S. decides that perhaps the preemptive approach isn’t ours to make, Israel will never just sit there and wait for death to fall from the sky.
Iran seems to be on a path to suicide.
Why? I concede that it’s possible that he’s simply insane, but if he’s not, then what does he stand to gain by provoking the world, and risking everything? (via first link above)
“We’ve been trying coercive diplomacy and the Iranians have just sent a very clear message: ‘Nice try, it just won’t work,’ ” said Clifford Kupchan, an analyst at the Eurasia Group. “The only diplomatic option we haven’t tried” is to cut a deal directly. “We might as well try putting everything on the table.”
Yes, we might as well. Given the alternatives, it seems to me that it’s worth taking the time (since we have it) to find out. Don’t you?