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MAY 26, 2012 5:24PM

What To Make of Iran Talks: Ike's Jee-Jaw & War, War,War

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"Diplomacy is the art of saying Nice doggie! till you can find a rock." Unknown.

"Jee-jaw(diplomacy) is better than war, war, war." Dwight David Eisenhower, aka Ike.

As to context, Ike said Jee-Jaw, i.e. diplomacy, talk, talk, talk, is better than war, war, war, and Ike was smart, and more importantly usually wise, if we have the Islamic Republic partly because Ike let the Dulles Brothers, Kermit Roosevelt, and Stormin' Norman's Dad topple Mossadegh in 1953.

Maybe to be fair to Ike, Mossadegh would have really ended up closer to Ivan than we would have liked, since we have allies that points in that direction anyway.

Hope springs eternal, and yet look at the Assad negotiations in Syria, or what is happening with Egypt's elections, to appreciate why Leonid Brezhnev became an opiod sleeping pill addict: he couldn't take the antics of the Arabs and Israelis anymore, as he thought that it would get everyone killed, and now we have crazed mullahs in the mix too.

As to Ike and wisdom, and as to decisions made and unmade, Ike allowed Russia to acquire a nuclear Assured Destruction capability with respect to the United States that in a military sense was not necessary, if politically it almost certainly was, just as we did the same thing with China too, if Assured Destruction is weaker in that case.

That history does demonstrate that States once found to be "crazy" can be tolerated with nuclear weapons, at least over the medium run, as the initial proliferation of nuclear weapons was to Stalin and Mao.

Stalin and Mao were at least as "crazy" as Ruhollah Khomenei and his successor mullahs in Iran, and yet, we're still here, so far so good.

Then again, if nuclear deterrence ever fails, we may rue the day Ike gave the Russians and Chinese that survival chance too, and as a factual matter, Israel may well be signifcantly more risk averse on this point than we were to due size and history both pointing in that direction of risk-aversion with nuclear deterrence.

Moving to the micro-level of the P5+1 talks this week in Iraq regarding Iran's nuclear programs, for Iran to give up the nuclear triggers as to inspections as was reported is a good sign, possibly, but we can't do this dance forever, and the dance only started because the .44 Magnum's are now on the table.

In the latest reporting, however, one does not see any talk of the nuclear triggers issue, if that was the most controversial part of last Fall's IAEA Report as to intelligence sourcing. What to make of that lacunae in current reporting is hard to say, although nuclear triggers are decisive as to intent, as the rest if not passing the "walks like a duck, quacks like a duck" nuclear duck and cover test could be thinly rationalized. Nuclear triggers only are there to make things go boom.

Even talking with the Iranians is "progress" to many minds, per Ike's dictum that "jee-jaw" of the talk, talk, talk of diplomacy is better than "war, war, war," if it also gives the Iranians time to do what they may well want to do anyway as to weaponization, and even as now, the talks seem at each turn to always be held on the Iranian's terms, as to where it is acceptable, next in Moscow.

(We can infer we lost the Kazakhs from that last discussion point as location of meetings as to power diffusing away from the United States in the international system, and Turkey as well in this context can be inferred to be a much freer agent than we are used to, if in rivalry with Russia over Azerbaijian, the Caspian, and the Greater Middle East per the rise of Neo-Ottomanism as the core of Turkish foreign policy as a factual matter, Dovotuglu having in effect institutionalized that as a conception, AKP or not.)

How much more moreover is there really to debate, in reality? It's not rocket science as to what's at issue, so where's the upside in letting them stall forever, as that didn't end up going well with the case that comes closest to mind: North Korea.

The again, the Iranians keep political power at home by being difficult with us, so that cannot be said to be a surprise that they are stalling and hissing etc... .

In any event, a nearly, but not quite (especially in terms of the capital in its heavy bombers and nuclear systems to make deserts of regimes in North Korea, Iran, and Syria) bankrupt empire ought to think very carefully about how it deals with this phase of its existence, which might mean settling some old problems once and for all, deserts being well-defined as peaceful, and handing over the keys to who's there in the aftermath while doing so.


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It's not just the nuclear triggers Donny. It's the quantity of enriched uranium by itself. Since the Iranian centrifuges keep spinning, and probably will not stop even after 6-7 weeks of intensified sanctions beginning July 1, then you know who will do you know what in August....crossing my fingers
The amount is concerning, because they could de-centralize the centifuges as well.
Optimum solutions for clandestine programs aren't the same as for open programs; hence uranium in the first place.
Plutonium is better bomb material, but leaves more of a signature as to needing a reactor, for example.