Western politicians are wedded to the idea of diplomacy – cutting deals with bad guys on the assumption they are rational players. But diplomacy with irrational players will just cause nuclear wars.
The Brit Foreign Office
Here’s what they said about the sophisticated night vision equipment they provided to Iran:
The goods are for the use on the Iran-Afghanistan border against heroin smugglers…there was no risk of these goods being diverted for use by the Iranian military.
That’s presumably because their Iranian opposite numbers promised not to pass the equipment on. But Iran is run by homicidal maniacs, so they gave the stuff to Hizbollah (my ellipsis):
One set of the equipment was found by Israeli forces in the southern Lebanon village of Mis-a-Jebel on August 10, in a house belonging to a 60-year-old man whose four sons are all Hezbollah fighters.
One was described as (an Agema) Thermo-vision 1000 LR system with a serial number 155010, part number 193960. Other equipment, including radios also thought to be British, and sophisticated recording and monitoring devices, were found.
Israeli commanders had complained that night-time operations in the border region had been hampered by the ability of Hezbollah fighters to observe and counter their moves.
In more than six days of fighting around the village of Mis-a-Jebel, the Israelis lost six soldiers and 20 more were injured.
The Brits sold 250 of these systems to the Mullahs – that’s a lot of dead Israelis. They should never have trusted this regime – if it hangs rape victims in town squares and aims to kill all the Jews, is not going to keep its promises to Rupert of the FO.
The State Department
This beats even the Brit FO for poor judgement. It’s just ruined Condi’s career – the image of her voting for the French ceasefire will dog her forever. But that’s the tip of the iceberg.
For example there’s the game-playing on the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
12/16/2004 US President George W. Bush, who promised during his first presidential campaign to start relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as soon as he took office, has postponed the move for another six months, citing national security.
“My administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem,” he said in a statement issued Wednesday. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 obligated the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999, but allows the president to delay the move every six months.
He’s delayed it every 6 months since and that’s why many Israelis don’t trust US promises. I’m pretty sure this is State’s doing – the president would not use the weasel words about national security. The result is Israeli nukes – when they’re used, the world – the US included – will be set back decades.
And then there’s Taiwan (WSJ, $):
After nearly five years of the global war on terror, you’d think the Bush administration would understand the importance of military preparedness. But apparently some lessons are harder to learn than others. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld last month wrote to the U.S. Congress opposing a measure calling for upgraded military exchanges with Taiwan. Mr. Rumsfeld argued it would interfere with the “President’s authority to conduct diplomatic, intelligence, and military activities.”
The present situation, under which only more junior military officers, such as colonels and captains, are allowed to visit Taiwan, doesn’t work.
Only generals and admirals command joint land, sea and air operations, have experience in comprehensive military planning and the bureaucratic authority within the Pentagon to push through new initiatives to help Taiwan.
This has State fingerprints all over it – they’ve cut a deal with China for the US to leave Taiwan vulnerable in return for China’s promise not to invade it. But China is spending billions on its invasion project. And Taiwan won’t go quietly – absent US support they’ll be building nukes as fast as they can. Do the idiots at Foggy Bottom have any idea what a nuclear exchange will do to the Asian and US economies?
The assumption of rationality in their enemies isn’t confined to Brit and US diplomats:
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said that he was in favor of withdrawing from the Golan Heights in return for true peace with Syria. The former head of the Shin Bet told Army Radio, “We have paid similar territorial concessions in the past when we signed peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt.”…
According to the minister, “Talks with Syria are legitimate. If there is someone to talk to on the other side, we should talk. Israel can initiate this or turn to a third party.”
Jordan and Egypt signed peace treaties because:
a) The Israelis had comprehensively defeated them in battle, and
b) they aren’t committed to the destruction of Israel.
Hizbollah and its Syrian and Iranian sponsors don’t fit this model.
That’s why Israel was just attacked from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, it’s most recent “land for peace deals”.
Political institutions can change, but slowly – hopefully ours will in time to stop the nuclear wars.