The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for December 22, 2010:

Commentary: Jonathan Tobin writes on Commentary’s Contentions blog that the Obama administration has fallen for the Iranian’s ploy of practicing “Fabian diplomacy in which they play upon the West’s belief in negotiations with endless delays.” According to Tobin, the administration’s position that the West could accept Iran enriching uranium for peaceful purposes “is an open invitation to Iran for more stalling and pretense” and  “a signal that Obama and Clinton are willing to appease Ahmadinejad in order to gain his signature on an agreement that will pretend to stop an Iranian nuke but will, in fact, facilitate one.” Tobin, attacking Tony Karon’s recent piece in The National, concludes, “talk of a ‘diplomatic solution’ that ‘could be years in the making’ helps to stifle the calls for action against Iran from sensible Americans that rightly fear the consequences of the mullahs’ gaining possession of a nuclear weapon while giving Ahmadinejad and his confederates all the breathing space they need.”

USA Today: Sarah Palin opines that “it’s time to get tough with Iran” and repeats the hawkish, but misleading, talking points that the WikiLeaks cables show Arab leaders want the United States to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. “If Iran isn’t stopped from obtaining nuclear weapons, it could trigger a regional nuclear arms race in which these countries would seek their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves,” writes Palin. Stressing the threat to Israel posed by a nuclear Iran, Palin writes, “Iran already possesses missiles that can reach Israel. Once these missiles are armed with nuclear warheads, nothing could stop the mullahs from launching a second Holocaust.” She calls for dramatically tighter sanctions, advocates the threat of military force, and states that “I agree with the former British prime minister Tony Blair, who said recently that the West must be willing to use force “if necessary” if that is the only alternative.”

The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin blogs on the Post‘s website that it’s time for the United States to give up on the Israeli Palestinian peace process and “do something more productive.” She advises the administration to “fire George Mitchell (whom neither side trusts), work on Palestinian institution-building, and go after the main sponsor of regional terrorism, Iran.” Rubin argues against “linkage,” again (making it explicit with a tweet), writing “the Obama administration was convinced that a peace deal would bring about progress on Iran. This was another false premise.” She repeats the “reverse linkage” argument that “regime change in Iran would help to stem the supply of weapons and support to Hamas and Hezbollah and re-establish the U.S.-Israel relationship as the essential component in a stable, peaceful Middle East.”

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.