07/28/08 — Iran's show: Leader's comments do not reflect change in behaviors

View Archive

Iran's show: Leader's comments do not reflect change in behaviors

There is tendency for most people to want to believe that somehow, some way, all the United States has to do to fix the problems in the Middle East is to talk nicely.

So, when the call came out for those who would be president to discuss their plans for the future, one of the biggest statements from Democratic leaders was that they wanted to pursue more diplomatic relations and to improve the U.S.'s reputation around the world.

Forget the Pollyanna nature of that statement and turn your attention instead to the current relations with Iran.

That country's leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has informed the United States and others that as long as the world continues to treat Iran with respect, there will be calm. He has also stated that he will continue to develop a nuclear program and that it is not for national defense. Add to that a declaration that Iran is a mighty country that does not need the rest of the world -- read, United States -- and you get the impression that this is not a man who thinks he needs to negotiate with anyone.

Does that really sound like someone who can be dealt with rationally?

The reality is that no matter how much most of us would like to believe that teaching the world to sing will put an end to genocide in Africa or battles in the Middle East, these areas are suffering from the grips of radicals and others who have no interest in any kind of peace that involves relinquishing power.

Strength as well as diplomacy with some teeth is what will make the world safer. Anything less than a declaration that there are rules that will be followed will offer a show of weakness that this nation, and the world, cannot afford. There can be no chances taken with those who have proven they cannot be trusted. The risks are too great.

Published in Editorials on July 28, 2008 10:58 AM