WP:The fruits of weakness

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, May 21, 2010

It is perfectly obvious that Iran's latest uranium maneuver brokered by Brazil and Turkey, is a ruse. Iran retains more than enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. And it continues enriching at an accelerated pace and to a greater purity (20 percent). Which is why the French foreign ministry immediately declared that the trumpeted temporary shipping of some Iranian uranium to Turkey will do nothing to halt Iran's nuclear program.
It will, however, make meaningful sanctions more difficult. America's proposed Security Council resolution is already laughably weak -- no blacklisting of Iran's central bank, no sanctions against Iran's oil and gas industry, no nonconsensual inspections on the high seas. Yet Turkey and Brazil -- both current members of the Security Council -- are so opposed to sanctions that they will not even discuss the resolution. And China will now have a new excuse to weaken it further.
But the deeper meaning of the uranium-export stunt is the brazenness with which Brazil and Turkey gave cover to the mullahs' nuclear ambitions and deliberately undermined U.S. efforts to curb Iran's program.
The real news is that already notorious photo the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world.
That picture -- a defiant, triumphant take-that-Uncle-Sam -- is a crushing verdict on the Obama foreign policy. It demonstrates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there's no cost in lining up with America's enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.
They've watched President Obama's humiliating attempts to appease Iran >, as every rejected overture is met with abjectly renewed U.S. negotiating offers. American acquiescence reached such a point that the president was late, hesitant and flaccid in expressing even rhetorical support for democracy demonstrators who were being brutally suppressed and whose call for regime change offered the potential for the most significant U.S. strategic advance in the region in 30 years.
They've watched America acquiesce to Russia's re-exerting sway over Eastern Europe, over Ukraine (pressured by Russia last month into extending for 25 years its lease of the Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol) and over Georgia (Russia's de facto annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is no longer an issue under the Obama "reset" policy).
They've watched our appeasement of Syria, Iran's agent in the Arab Levant -- sending our ambassador back to Syria even as it tightens its grip on Lebanon, supplies Hezbollah with Scuds and intensifies its role as the pivot of the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance. The price for this ostentatious flouting of the United States and its interests? Ever more eager U.S. "engagement."
They've observed the administration's gratuitous slap at Britain over the Falklands, its contemptuous treatment of Israel, its undercutting of the Czech Republic and Poland, and its indifference to Lebanon and Georgia. And in Latin America, they see not just U.S. passivity as Venezuela's Hugo Chávez organizes his anti-American "Bolivarian" coalition while deepening military and commercial ties with Iran and Russia. They saw active U.S. support in Honduras for a pro-Chávez would-be dictator seeking unconstitutional powers in defiance of the democratic institutions of that country.
This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat -- accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum.
Nor is this retreat by inadvertence. This is retreat by design and, indeed, on principle. It's the perfect fulfillment of Obama's adopted Third World narrative of American misdeeds, disrespect and domination from which he has come to redeem us and the world. Hence his foundational declaration at the U.N. General Assembly last September that "No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation" (guess who's been the dominant nation for the last two decades?) and his dismissal of any "world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another." (NATO? The West?)
Given Obama's policies and principles, Turkey and Brazil are acting rationally. Why not give cover to Ahmadinejad and his nuclear ambitions? As the United States retreats in the face of Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela, why not hedge your bets? There's nothing to fear from Obama, and everything to gain by ingratiating yourself with America's rising adversaries. After all, they actually believe in helping one's friends and punishing one's enemies.

ثمرات ضعف

Charles Krauthammer به قلم چارلز كراتمر
كاملا واضح است كه آخرين مانور اورانيوم ايران كه به ميانجيگري برزيل و تركيه صورت گرفته يك نيرنگ است. ايران بيش از حد مورد نياز براي ساختن يك بمب, اورانيوم غني شده حفظ كرده است و با روندي شتابان به غني سازي با خلوص بالاتر (20 درصد) ادامه مي دهد. و به همين دليل است كه وزارت خارجه فرانسه بلادرنگ اعلام كرد كه جاروجنجال ارسال ميزاني از اورانيوم ايران به تركيه هيچ كاري براي متوقف كردن برنامه اتمي ايران انجام نمي دهد.
بهرحال اينكار تحريمات هدفمند را سخت تر مي كند. قطعنامه پيشنهادي آمريكا به شوراي امنيت بطور مضحكي ضعيف است- كه در آن بانك مركزي ايران در ليست سياه گذاشته نشده, هيچ تحريمي بر عليه صنايع نفت و گاز ايران در آن نيست و هيچ بازرسي بدون رضايتي, در اقيانوسهاي آزاد وجود ندارد. با اين وجود تركيه و برزيل-كه هردوي آنها عضو كنوني شوراي امنيت هستند- آنقدر با تحريمات مخالفند كه حتي حاضر نيستند بر روي قطعنامه بحث كنند. و اينك چين بهانه جديدي دارد تا آن را بيشتر تضعيف كند.
ولي مفهوم عميقتر اين شيرين كاريِ صادر كردن اورانيوم, گستاخي است كه در آن برزيل و تركيه به جاه طلبيي هستهيي ايران پوشش مي دهند و تعمدا تلاشهاي آمريكا براي جلوگيري از برنامه اتمي ايران را تضعيف مي كنند.
اخبار واقعي, آن عكس بدنام مي باشد كه در آن رئيس جمهور برزيل, بزرگترين متحد ما در آمريكاي لاتين, و نخست وزير تركيه, كه بيش از نصف قرن لنگر مسلمان در ناتو بوده است, دستان خود را با محمود احمدي نژاد, زهرآگين ترين رهبر ضد آمريكايي در جهان بلند كرده اند.
اين عكس-يك بي اعتنايي وگستاخي و اظهار پيروزي نسبت به عمو سام-يك قضاوت خرد كننده در رابطه با سياست خارجي اوباما است. و نشان دهنده اين است كه چگونه قدرتهاي در حال ظهور و متحدين سنتي آمريكا, در عمل اين دولت را نظاره كرده اند و به اين نتيجه رسيده اند كه متحد شدن با دشمنان آمريكا هيچ بهايي براي آنها ندارد و متحد شدن با رئيس جمهور آمريكا كه عذرخواهي و استمالت مي كند, هيچ منفعتي براي آنها ندارد.
آنها مشاهده كرده اند كه تلاشهاي تحقيرآميز پرزيدنت اوباما براي استمالت از ايران, كه هر تحرك دوستانه آن كه با خفت از طرف ايران برخورد شده, با پيشنهادهاي مجدد مذاكره آمريكا روبرو گشته است. تسليم آمريكا به چنين نقطهيي رسيده است كه رئيس جمهور در ابراز حمايت لفظي از تظاهركنندگان دمكراسي كه با بيرحمي سركوب شدند و كسانيكه درخواست تغيير رژيم مي دهند و پتانسيلي را براي پراهميت ترين پيشروي استراتژيك آمريكا در منطقه در 30 سال گذشته ارائه مي دهند, ديرهنگام, مردد و سست بوده است.


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