Mike Smith

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Category: International News


The release of the US Senate Report on the torture of detainees, gives us all an opportunity to examine the connection between war and our value system. At the heart of the report is the question of our values. Those that have judged have done so with the strict interpretation of our value system, never wanting it to be called into question. The question that needed to be asked was, do we fight a war without overstepping our values, or do we fight a war to keep our value system. While both sides of the debate are philosophically right, the reality is we fight to maintain our way of life and values.

911 was the most evil act against innocent people. Americans and the world demanded action. The protection of citizens, our freedom and values were at the heart of the war against the terrorists. To accomplish this, it required those that perpetrated this crime be brought to justice, and the only way to do so was by taking the war to them and destroying them.

Wars can never be fought with our value system being the guiding principle. If this was so, we would never go to war, because based on our value system we would never want to harm or kill anyone.

The acts in question occurred against terrorist, that sought to harm us or had knowledge of harm to come to us. The governments in question did what was necessary for the protection of its citizens, our way of life and our value system, which the terrorists so much despise. Difficult times called for special techniques, to acquire information for our protection.

While the CIA is being dragged through the mud for this, the reality is that they did what was required of them by their nation for our continual survival, enjoyment of our value system and way of life. If anyone feels that the war against the terrorist should have been fought only using our value system, they need to sit down and re-watch the 911 videos of the planes crashing into the towers, the pentagon and Pennsylvania.   The images of innocence loss, people jumping out of the towers, and the thousands of families who will never see there loved one again is proof enough that this can never happen again. No one asked for this tragic event to occur, but everyone wanted a response. If only one attack was prevented from all the techniques applied it was worth it. None of us deserver to ever be subjected to this kind of terror again. The terrorist made their choice, so they have to live with the results.

Is history about to repeat itself in Iraq, in the form of “Iraqnamization?”

In 1969 President Nixon anounced a new military policy called Vietnamization, where the Vietnamese people were to be responsible for fighting their own war against the North Vietnamese, thus augmenting US forces.

After years in Iraq, the new American rules for the conflict in Iraq against ISIS,  is to send advisers to Iraq to assist the Iraq military, who are to fight the war for their country themselves. Again augmenting so US forces to not have to return.

Will history repeat itself?

Who is really holding the carrot?


As the international community has been hoping that its carrot and stick approach to dealing with Iran would pay off, the reality is that they have unloaded the wagon of all-bargaining power, and have nothing to show for it.  Iran for its part jumped at the initial offer, filled their coffers, stocked up on what they needed, and in exchange only made promises, giving up nothing.

Now Iran is looking for an extension to the deal.  Having positioned themselves as rational players, they are now demanding an extension citing that they have complied. In reality, Iran has maintained its pile of weapons grade material, and if they choose to, can restart or excel its enrichment program anytime, having lost nothing.

Sitting on the sidelines watching this is Israel. While the international community can claim to have Israel’s back, Israel is the only one in immediate proximity, as well as the recipient of repeated threats by Iran with being “wiped off the face of the earth.”  So where does this place Israel?  Regardless of the international communities actions, Israel remains the only one who can claim the right of unilateral action.  Just as America has the right to be pre-emptive in defending itself so to does Israel in deciding their course of action against Iran. 

The question that has to be asked, who is holding the carrot leading whom?

The Second Great Appeasement – Iran

If history has shown us anything, it is that appeasement of a regime bent on war and destruction of a race of people, only empowers the regime to grow bolder. Iran feeling empowered is now boldly looking for an extension of the original agreement, all the while giving up nothing that eventually could not be restarted and excelled at to their final goal.  The actions of the international community is paramount to letting the bank robber keep his gun and disguises as long as he says he will not do it again, but free to start up again untill caught.

As the international community ponders an extension of the 6-month deal, it has voluntarily removed its own teeth and is merely massaging Iran with its gums.  Iran sees no teeth to the bite, so fears nothing.  Having tasted the lifting of sanctions and the benefits that they are now achieving/enjoying, makes now the time for the international community to remind Iran, that anything short of a total elimination of all potential weapons grade material, or soon to be material, is the only acceptable condition for an extension. If Iran is sincere and wants to be welcomed back into the international community it must first rid itself of potential nuclear weapons grade material, and then denounce its threat to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth.

The international community took the first step, by agreeing to the primary agreement, now Iran needs to step forward and make its first step for an extension.  To do otherwise is to watch the world fall into another case of appeasement, and we all know how that last one turned out.

Rushing to the table.

If sanctions described as crippling could not slow down the Iranian rush for the bomb, what makes anyone think that a negotiated deal will? 

Lets remember that while under international sanctions, Iran was able to carry on massive military maneuvers, threaten to close the Straight of Hormuz, continued to build new missile technology, build new naval boats, build drones, threaten Israel and continue to build on its nuclear bomb technology. How crippling could the sanctions have been?

My theory is that the sanctions were a failure.  The international community frustrated by Iran and worried about Israel’s promise to “go it alone,” decided to try a new strategy. Rushing to the negotiation table, they laid out all kinds of offerings.  Iran having nothing to lose, attended the meetings, took whatever was offered, gave little in return, and at the same time continues on its quest for the bomb. All the while beating down the clock.

Unfortunately this has done nothing to reduce Iran’s chances at getting the bomb.  Sincerity on Iran’s part, would have had them turning over all enriched material, beyond what is need for peaceful purposes, to a third party country. They did not, and have no intentions of doing so.

Iran’s quest for the bomb will now be accelerated; as it knows the international community is running out of options. I think we all know how this will end.

Iran argues the deal

The ink has not even dried on the nuclear deal, and Iran is already at odds with the meaning of the deal.  For Iran they claim the deal is a validation of their right to acquire nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.  The United States, does not appear to support this claim.

So why is Iran doing this?  Simply put, Iran wants the bomb. Iran will manipulate every situation it can so as to run down the clock and inch closer to the bomb.  Just as North Korea was successful at this game, so too will be Iran, if we are not careful.  How many times did the international community waived sanctions on North Korea, only to have them return to their nuclear ambitions?

If sanctions were having the effect of crippling Iran, they would have gladly returned to the international community, dropping their nuclear ambition.  Iran was not crippled and only expedited their nuclear ambition. As for building nuclear sites for peaceful purposes, Iran could have agreed to have a neutral country remove all weapons grade material that the peaceful reactors create.  But they want the bomb.

All evidence indicates that Iran will continue on its quest for the bomb.  A more appropriate action would have been to impose the same conditions on Iran as the world did on Syria.  Turn over all weapons grade material or the sanctions stay and get turned up.  One way or another, the world will have to deal with either a nuclear Iran or pre-nuclear bomb Iran.

A Nuclear deal, or borrowed time?

The world would like to believe that the deal brokered, would put an end to Iran’s nuclear bomb ambition.  We would also like to believe that Iran would stop sponsoring state terror, and the imprisonment of people because of their religious beliefs.  But the reality is not so.

 Iran has openly stated and repeated its intended goal of acquiring a nuclear bomb far to many times for us to just forget about it.  This is a country that uses force on its people to stay in power, and oppresses anybody who they view as a threat.  Is this the type of regime that we should be trusting?  Lets not forget, that estimates put it between six months to even shorter periods till it has the capability to build a bomb, then what?

So the world lifts the sanction, Iran goes on a shopping spree, brings in all it needs to last for a few months, warehouse everything, and then they thumb their nose again at the international community, knowing sanctions are coming, but this time they have stocked up and are prepared.  When the sanctions hit they are now able to weather the storm, but only this time in the next approach by the international community it will be to late, as Iran will have the bomb.  

Sound far-fetched, maybe, but remember history and Chamberlains deal with Nazi Germany. 

There is nothing wrong with lifting sanction, but the world community should have done like it did with Syria.  Turn over all nuclear product, that are of weapons grade, and the sanctions are lifted.  Simple.  To do less is borrowed time.