Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nah, This Won't Inspire Conspiracy Theories

Arab states are worried about Iranian aggression and are horrified that we are seeking to strengthen Iran and end their isolation. Our response to that worry and horror is that we'll gladly sell them very expensive weapons to the threat that we are enabling. I think you could make a good conspiracy theory out of that with very little effort in the Middle East.

Aw, Hell no:

The White House message appeared to be not that the US is undergoing a policy “realignment” favoring Iran, as some critics have charged, but that American and indeed Gulf Arab interests are best served by encouraging the emergence of a strong but cooperative Iran – a responsible member of the “community of nations,” as Obama likes to say.

In the meantime, Obama said the US can best help the Gulf states counter Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region not by going head to head with Iran and its proxies in conflicts in Syria and Yemen, but by reinforcing security cooperation.

The US is committed to expanding intelligence and maritime-monitoring cooperation with its Gulf partners, the president said. Specifically, the US committed to helping the Gulf states implement a regional missile defense system.

For critics of the White House approach, Obama has simply fallen back on the traditional means of American support for Gulf states worried about an interventionist Iran: arms sales and provisions of evermore sophisticated weapons systems.

“It’s not diplomacy, it’s an arms fair,” said William Hartung, director of the arms and security project at Washington’s Center for International Policy, about this week’s summit.

So let me get this straight. President Obama thinks that ending sanctions and empowering Iran won't actually make Iran a nicer neighbor for our Arab friends. But we'll gladly sell sophisticated and expensive arms to our Arab friends to cope with a stronger Iran?

Now that's smart diplomacy! And you wonder why the belief that we created ISIL in order to justify our military actions in the Middle East is so strong in the region? Imagine what this "smart" diplomacy will spawn?

Oh, and one more thing. The missile defenses we offer are only useful for defending against shorter-ranged ballistic missiles. There is a way to get around that system limitation, even if it seems unlikely.

Or there are the simpler methods Iran could use like loading a nuke on a civilian plane and sending it on a regular, scheduled run into Arab air space before plunging to the target; or sailing a container ship loaded with a nuke into an Arab port. Or maybe a suicide sub surfaces inside the port and lights one up?

"Involuntary martyrs" are a feature and not a bug for true believers, remember.