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Monday, April 6, 2015

So Is Iran The New China?

It's not often that the left says something nice about Richard Nixon.  Nevertheless, many in the liberal media are proclaiming president Obama's framework with Iran to be the equivalent of Nixon's opening to China.  Let's examine that idea for a bit.

1.  Before Nixon went to China in the early 1970s, the USA and China were enemies.  China was on the side of the USSR in the world Communist movement.  Of course, at that time the USA was engaged in the Cold War against what was believed to be monolithic world Communism.  In 1969, however, it became clear that the monolithic movement had fissures in it; Chinese and Soviet troops battled each other in a short war along the Sino-Soviet border at the Amur River.  For Nixon and his main foreign policy advisor, Henry Kissinger, that presented an opportunity to further American aims.  They realized that it might be possible to split China from the USSR and thereby greatly weaken America's adversaries.  A secret plan was then hatched to approach China about the two countries reducing hostilities.  Those secret contacts produced Nixon's trip to Beijing and the "opening" to China.  The Chinese saw that as a great way to counteract the immense force of the Soviet Union that was on their northern border.  About 15 years later, when the USSR was collapsing and the world Communist movement was in tatters, the Chinese leadership decided to adopt, in essence, a capitalist economy with a communist government.  That is how we got today's huge Chinese economy still ruled by the Chinese Communist Party.

2.  Since 1979, America and Iran have been enemies.  Iran has been on the side of America's enemies in every conflict since that time.  The Iranians fomented terrorist attack around the world against American and other people.  The Iranians supplied weapons and even some troops/advisers to those who have been fighting us in Iraq and Afghanistan.  With the current fighting across the Middle East, we are seeing the sectarian battle between Sunni and Shia Moslems.  In Lebanon, the Shia have taken control by means of Hezbollah which is controlled by Iran.  In Syria, the Shia government of Assad is only being sustained against the attacks of various Sunni factions with Iranian support.  In Iraq, the complete departure of US forces left a vacuum that allowed the Shiite Moslems to take control in Baghdad and attempt to crush the Sunni minority.  Not surprisingly, that led to the current fighting in Iraq.  We are witnessing similar fighting in Yemen now with Iran furnishing the main support for the Shiite Houthi rebels who are fighting Sunnis.  In other words, we already have Shiite Moslems who foment terrorism around the world fighting Sunni Moslems who foment terrorism around the world.  The terrorists and sponsors of terrorism are fighting each other.

Until now, the USA has not taken sides in the battles between Shia and Sunni.  We support governments like Saudi Arabia which are world leaders of the Sunni movement.  We made possible the establishment of a Shia government in Iraq (before we abandoned it) by ousting and destroying the old Sunni government forces.  Our policy of not taking sides in sectarian violence made sense.  The hatred between the Sunnis and the Shia goes back 1400 years.  It extends well beyond the small percentage of Moslems who believe that jihad means using terrorism now to fight the West.  Taking the side of one of the religious grouping would generate enormous anger from the other side and expand the scope of Moslem animosity towards the USA.

So what is Obama doing?  He is opening to Iran according to the liberal pundits who compare the framework to Nixon's opening to China.  In other words, he is moving the USA towards some sort of alliance with Iran.  Iran will help us fight ISIS (of course, they are already doing that.)  Iran will supposedly stop supporting Shia terror groups (although there is no reason to believe that to be true.)  Iran will become the benevolent hegemonic power of the Middle East and no longer an enemy of the USA.  Just look at China!

This view is crazy.  Iran is not going to change anything.  We know that because they have told us so explicitly.  All that is happening is that Obama is now alienating huge swaths of the Sunnis.  Remember, the numbers of Sunnis around the world are many times more than the numbers of Shia.  Iran and Iraq are the only countries of any size with Shiite majorities.  All the Moslem nations of North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and the Pacific are Sunnis.  Think of nuclear armed Pakistan and Indonesia which have close to 400 million people and which are almost exclusively Sunni Moslems.  Those people will be angry if America is seen siding with the Shiites against the Sunnis.  Then come Egypt and the Saudis who are also Sunni.  These countries have been our allies.  They have helped in the fight against ISIS and the other terrorists.  Obama's new Iran policy drives a wedge between the USA and the Sunni countries.  Iran and the Sunni Moslem countries already did not get along.

So, in summary, Nixon's move with China worked well because it split the alliance of America's enemies and helped move America towards victory in the Cold War.  Obama's move with Iran is splitting America's alliance with a large number of Sunni Moslem countries while not affecting anything among those forces the carry out or support Islamic terrorism.  Obama is weakening America's position, not the position of our enemies.  Simply put, Obama's move is moronic.


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