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Foreign Affairs Hell in a Handbasket, Part 1: Nanny States and Nuclear Iran

Glossing over the news of the past few days, I've noticed that everything is bad, it's all wrong, and I ought to have just stayed in bed.

First in this series of woe, Mark Steyn is unassailable in his recognition that Western nanny states are happy to regulate everything joyous in life - except actually keeping us alive. Point in case, Iran is openly, defiantly and aggressively charging ahead toward nuclear weapons. "When President Obama took office," Steyn notes, "the Islamic Republic had 400 centrifuges enriching up to 3.5%. A year later, it has 8,000 centrifuges enriching to 20%."

Running other people's lives is simple when it's as easy as passing a law or issuing a regulation, but dealing with foreign (especially rogue) nations who flaut international law and aren't much impressed by fancy rhetoric calls for qualities of statesmanship and leadership not particularly common among au pair politicians.

Steyn concludes: "It is now certain that Tehran will get its nukes, and very soon. This is the biggest abdication of responsibility by the western powers since the 1930s." Let us pray that the consequence is not so dear. All our hope may now rest on Israel's willingness to save the Western world.

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Discussions - 12 Comments

"...dealing with foreign (especially rogue) nations who "...flaunt international law and aren't much impressed by fancy rhetoric calls for qualities of statesmanship and leadership not particularly common among au pair politicians."

So, conservatives like international law now?

Obama is an elitist and finds it easier and much more safer to point his finger and talk down to what he perceives to be the "low-class" people in America - namely anyone is who is not a radical idealogue like HIMself. However, being an elitist does not necessarily mean that one is endowed with large rocky mountain oysters. Iran, North Korea and other Evil Nations have no fear of Obama neither do I for that matter. Obama needs to cowboy up. Will that happen? No. When he loses the election in 2012 he will still blame cowboy George. He is a wus.

It is hardly unfair to cite Iran for flouting international law when the western nanny states have staked their policies on just that outcome. Of course, international law exists only among law-abiding nations, which Iran is not. The time is past for seeking law-abiding behavior; now our interest in prevening Iran's domination and/or destruction of neighboring nations must be paramount.

Israel does not seem to have much choice in being the front line for the Western world. It is on Iran's doorstep, standing like the West's Forlorn Hope in the Middle East. Iran and other of its neighbors have sworn to wipe it out. What choice has it got, but to defend itself to survive?

Mr. Reeb, are you suggesting something preemptive be done by western nations? Even reading Steyn, he has no answers for his questions.

I thought the rouge nations were the excuse to run our lives?

No time for comment, but this is a little cheery and worth a peep from under the covers.

Military contingencies have been drawn up by Israel, I'm sure, and I hope by the U.S., but I'm not sure of that. Whatever choice Israel makes, it will have harsh consequences, so the question is, which option has the least of these? That may be a preemptive strike that at least sets the Iranian nuclear programs back a few years, giving everybody some breathing room. (But then the terrorist groups will ramp up their attacks.) Steyn's hesitation is probably due to his not being an insider and therefore not knowing what are Iran's and Israel's relative capabilities.

The reason lots of conservatives DON'T like international law is precisely because they recognize that rogue states don't care for international law.

And if the United States should follow anyone's lead and example, it should be that of the rogue states!


I don't much mind if the guy next door has a cannon. If it was aimed at my kitchen or if the guy next door actually made public or even private threats against me, I might have a problem with his ownership of the cannon. It is legal for a person to own cannons. I don't much mind if the guy next door has a cannon and I actually know a guy who lives in town who collects them. No one in his neighborhood much cares. His is a quiet household in a quiet neighborhood. However, a couple moved in a few years back and when they heard about the cannons from their kids who picked up the news from other kids, the wife got worried. Her husband complained to the county sheriff, who said, “Sorry, ownership is legal. If he shoots one of his cannons, call us.” For the most part, no one minds quiet neighbors.

There is a guy two blocks down who quarrels with the neighbors all around and makes threats, both personal and at council meetings. If he bought a cannon with the expressed intent of blowing up the neighbors, the sheriff might not be so sanguine.

Switzerland is full of privately owned guns and no one worries about them. Iran might get a nuclear weapon and anyone who is not worried is a fool.

International law is all well and good, but who enforces it? As to rogue nations flaunting international law, I’d like to see it happen. The ones who flout it, those are the ones I worry about.

International law is a way to introduce tyranny and maintain plausible deniability. Instead of asking what limits its just another way of asking who rules.

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