September 18, 2007

Russia, China Don't Like Sabre Rattling

Both Russia and China have reacted to the French realism over Iran with warnings about using warlike rhetoric. The two nations insisted that statements from France and the United States about military options would not help resolve the situation and said the nuclear standoff would only find resolution through diplomacy:

Any US military intervention in Iran would be a "political error" that would have "catastrophic" consequences, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said in an interview published Tuesday. ...

"We are convinced that there is no military solution to the Iranian problem. It's impossible. Besides, it is quite clear that there is no military solution to the Iraq problem either. But in the case of Iran everything could be even more complicated," he said. ...

China is opposed to threatening Iran with war over its nuclear program and stands for a diplomatic solution, a government spokeswoman said on Tuesday. ...

"We believe the best option is to peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations, which is in the common interests of the international community," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular briefing.

"We do not approve of easily resorting to threatening use of force in international affairs," Jiang said when asked to comment on remarks by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner raising the prospect of war with Iran.

The US replied by reaffirming their commitment to diplomatic solutions. However, Bush administration officials also said that no options would be taken off the table, a point underscored by former Democratic presidential contender Wes Clark on Fox News' O'Reilly Factor last night. The French and Americans who have pointed out that they retain the military option do so because diplomacy has thus far yielded no results.

In fact, Russia and China are two main reasons why diplomacy has failed to this point. Both nations only engaged the economic sanctions reluctantly, and in both rounds insisted on watering them down significantly. Russia just got caught illegally channeling German technology to the nuclear plant at Bushehr -- one of the sites that the West believes is part of the nuclear-weapons program. China has encouraged Iranian intransigence by running interference for the mullahcracy at the UN and resisting compliance with even the watered-down sanctions.

As with Iraq, the lack of cooperation on sanctions and containment have caused the situation to move closer to war. If Russia and China wanted to avoid war, they would cut off and isolate Iran economically instead of taking advantage of the situation for their own short-term economic benefit. Complete isolation could force the Iranians -- who do not love the mullahcracy anyway -- to finally push them from power and put a rational government in place. That would also have the effect of ending a substantial amount of the problem in Iraq, about which the Russian minister seems so concerned.

Diplomatic solutions should be used to solve the problem in Iran. Now that Russia and China have scolded the West about that, they can now scold the two nations that most need to hear it -- each other.


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Comments (23)

Posted by Tregonsee | September 18, 2007 8:14 AM

Not certain what they are so upset about. Doesn't the main aspect of French military preparedness mean insuring you have a sufficient number of while flags?

Posted by rbj | September 18, 2007 8:20 AM

China & Russia like having Iran where it is, to use it as a counterweight against the US in the ME. I have to think they don't believe a nuclear Iran would turn against them.

Posted by gregdn | September 18, 2007 8:23 AM

Doesn't anyone wonder why Russia and China aren't afraid of a nuclear armed Iran? It's hard for me to believe they'd put business ahead of national security. Perhaps the threat is overblown?

Posted by scrapiron | September 18, 2007 8:36 AM

Russia and China are Iran's lifeline and they can shut it off at any time. In the meanwhile they are getting a few dollars from the nut in Iran. Odds are that Russia or China will be the target of the Nut in Iran, if/or, when he actually gets an operational nuclear weapon. Dogs do bite the hand that feeds them. The terrorists are waiting for a democrat president before attacking America again, someone on the level of weakness of say Dimmy Carter or Slick Willie Clinton. Doesn't matter which democrat wins, they will display the weakness and bring on the attacks. History people.

Posted by Neo | September 18, 2007 8:39 AM

Reuters finally does something interesting, and nobody notices.

Posted by naftali | September 18, 2007 8:40 AM

It's not like they're against a military solution per se, just when it doesn't suit their needs.

Posted by richard mcenroe | September 18, 2007 9:17 AM

Russian, Chinese position translated: Geez! Are you trying to completely kill the market for clapped out, used T-72's?

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 18, 2007 9:18 AM

Diplomacy. As in Neville Chamberlain. Friendship treaties. Doesn't Russia ever learn?

Posted by gregdn | September 18, 2007 9:19 AM

"The terrorists are waiting for a democrat president before attacking America again, someone on the level of weakness of say Dimmy Carter or Slick Willie Clinton. "

Then why do we keep arresting plotters in this country? Didn't they get OBL's memo?

Posted by Cousin Dave | September 18, 2007 9:41 AM

gregdn: I'm not sure about China, but Russia believes that they have Iran bought and paid for. I believe they are wrong, but that's what they think. Plus, they regard Iran as being a big part of the beginnings of a new Russian Empire. Actually imposing sanctions would be a tacit admission that Iran is not under their control, which would be a big blow to Putin's massively over-inflated ego.

So obviously they are trying to curry favor with Iran by demanding that the military option be taken off the table. The only tools the West has in negotiating with Iran are: (a) sanctions, and (b) military threat. Russia knows that they can subvert any sanctions regime. So if they can bar the military option, then they have ensured a diplomatic victory for Iran.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 10:33 AM

Yeah. I think the Bear is dying, all over, again.

Died the first time, and no one at our State Department even knew. (And, by then? Reagan, who knew what was coming, had Alzheimer's.)

But the Soviet regime; HATED by every single state it touched, PUSHED the Bear back into it's "original borders." Yes. Still a land mass. Still rich in natural resources. (So is africa.) A lot of good it does ya, if you don't have CAPITALISM. Without Capitalism you're still holding a bag full of crap.)

As to putin, his recent moves? He's lashing out, folks! He knows a "bit more" than you know. Because the spooks, who ply their trades in every nation, are pretty up on what he's up to. And, for all you know? It's the Godfather actions that occur when your territory is being theatened.

To make a commercial, to show on TV, you'd need Ron Popiel, and his "slice and dicer." It's that bloody. And, if you think the russians are collecting points, they. Are. Not! Former allies? Go look at the map. India, once hand and glove, these two ... No longer deal, together. And, a lot of Hindus woke up to a world LESS than they could'a gotten, if Gandhi had "played" smart. He didn't. He played koo-koo.

But that's all water under the bridge.

With the only new-new thing available, a GLOBAL NET. That captures people to tune in. In other words? As I'm typing this, you wouldn't surprise me to tell me, that the Captain picks up "crews" from "strange lands," all over our map. Signals beam up. Not Scotty.

Yes, putin is a vile mobster. So is Mubarak. So are all the misfits in the House of Saud.

So are cockroaches. Flies. Mosquito's. All parts of our world. We can complain. Or we can use DDT. And, tell the UN to go to hell.

So far? Africa suffers because condoms aren't readily available. But they can kill each other very fast. Very primal stuff. But they can't dig a water well. Go figa.

The whole Goody-Two-Shoe routine is full of crap.

And, surrounding russia are lots of people who hate here. Oh, yeah. I mean the billion of Chinese; even when they're making nice.

Heck, when the Chinese are making "nice" to the Koreans, you think you're seeing a love match? Hoo. Hoo.

Since our military is equipped with RETALIATION; we're in a better boat, than one just full of hand-wringers.

I'd also bet that Affirmative Action is on the way out. Can I prove this? No. But Affirmative Action has the sounds of women shrieking. And, then? Most men just ignore these sounds.

And, Western Civilization has been built on a Paternalistic view of things. With rare "interceptions."

Is Putin, as a tough, a Western Civilization "survivor?" You're kidding me. His only option is to kill everyone else on the Island. Till he gets killed.

Just in case you didn't know it, Stalin did NOT die a natural death. He got "halped" out.

Killer environments; sometimes farce. Like OJ's crew to "reclaim" his goods; that were really stolen from the Goldman's. But what goes around comes around.

And, as I said, the ships at sea are silent. And, our military is our success story. Runs silent. Runs deep.

And, putin's stuck.

He's stuck in ways most people don't even see.

But I gotta tell ya; when Olmert okayed the "over-flight" ... and ALL it's parameters; it wasn't for public consumption. But the Bear took a hit.

Fear not.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 10:38 AM

HOw do I know the Bear took a hit?

Here, take this into the "fitting room," and try this sentence on for size: "NO JAM FOR YOU GOT JAMMED, A LOT." Bread, for another sale?

Posted by Jazz | September 18, 2007 11:17 AM

And just recently, on this very page, somebody was laughing at me for mentioning that Iran's list of possible "allies" would include Russia, China and Germany, and that saber rattling against them and pushing for war would be more complicated than knocking over Iraq.

Even if some people actually believe that another war is just what we need right now, targeting Iran as a goat for this won't be as as much of a "cake walk" as you may think.

Posted by Bill Peschel | September 18, 2007 11:39 AM

Soooo, does this mean China will forego a military option in favor of diplomacy if Taiwan declares independence?

Thought so.

Posted by PalmettoTiger | September 18, 2007 12:01 PM

Those three countries weren't so hot on the Iraq idea either, Jazz. While they may support Iran out of their own self-interest, to ally themselves with Iran would be totally contrary to those same interests. Diplomacy, without all the options on the table, is a rathe rpointless exercise as the Russians have shown by providing both nuclear tech and anti-aircraft systems to Iran. War may not be a good option but in the end, it may be the only option.

Besides, Moscow and Beijing are out of missile range for Iran.

No one is betting on a cake walk there either but then we were also told that this was going to be a long and hard struggle. Too bad some have chosen to forget that.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 12:08 PM

Perhaps there's a bigger picture? I came across this on a post Lucianne has; about Israel's latest foray (or not), into Syria. Sure. Involves all the major players. But take a look at what you'd learn from this post. #33.

Reply 33 - Posted by: bropous, 9/18/2007 12:23:48 PM

Some of us may have slept through a major story. Several L-Dotters did not.

News from a former Israeli commando is that Israel inserted a commando unit into Syria which took out the ground-based radars for the Pantsyr Russian-made AAM system, and Israelis F-15Is took out two sites: One had nuclear weapons components shipped into Latakia from North Korea and hustled into the Western Desert, the other was stocked with long-range Zil-Zal surface-to-surface missiles just shipped in from Iran.

Israeli force are on the highest level of alert, with more planes in the sky and pilots are sitting in aircraft on tarmacs ready to hit the skies on 5 minutes' notice. Soldiers were not allowed to return home for Rosh Hashana and won't be home for Yom Kippur. Israeli military censors have shut down press reports.

Assad's brother-in-law and his generals gave him an ultimatum: Hit back at Israel for the attacks, or he will be removed.

Pay attention, folks. Things are heating up very, very fast.

Posted by quickjustice | September 18, 2007 1:08 PM

And the Red Chinese general who informed us that Chinese missiles are targeting LA? What was he? Chopped liver?

Typical totalitarian "Do as we say, not as we do" rhetoric.

Posted by Crunchy Frog | September 18, 2007 1:09 PM

Bill Peschel: Beat me to it!

China doesn't seem to have any problems with its own use of "warlike rhetoric" wrt Taiwan & North Korea. Can't for the life of me understand why...

Posted by Carol Herman | September 18, 2007 1:59 PM

Oh, and China is thrilled to host the upcoming Olympics. Just so they can go to war? Get real, folks.

Taiwan, once Formosa, no longer belongs to the people who are FORMOSAN. The kleptocrats that fled from Mao; made their home there. And, everybody's got relatives.

China doesn't have to do a thing to get to the BEST PIECE OF LAND in all of the Pacific. Per General Douglas MacArthur; who pointed out how vital Taiwan IS!

Oh, and don't discount the Japanese. They are, in fact, re-arming. They won't settle for a bunch of Chinamen doing "funny stuff."

As to "missiles facing LA" ... we've got defenses.

Heck, Israel's a lot smaller. And, the arabs just thought a nuke in syria would do the trick; and flip the "balance of power."

So, there must be missing billions.

And, a new respect.

Ehud Barak left his calling cards.

Gee, I sure wish we could do the same. But if we're doing the same? No news is still the order of the day.

Posted by Scott Malensek | September 18, 2007 3:31 PM

There is a very simple and effective military way of forcing Iran to comply with the will of the international community: blow up their gasoline refinery. It doesn't even have to be a direct action. A few American-sponsored special forces, some satchel charges in the right places (gasoline refineries are juuuuuust a bit on the explosive side), and that's it. The result is an oil-rich nation starved of gasoline, and forced to comply with the international community AS WELL AS its own people who would have to be convinced that it was more beneficial to spend hundreds of billions on a nuclear program without nuclear power plants rather than more gasoline refineries.

Simple solution, no fingerprints

Posted by Shaprshooter | September 18, 2007 4:01 PM

More "useful idiots" (in Stalin's words, referring to diplomacy)?

Posted by Mikey NTH | September 18, 2007 6:36 PM

quickjustice: I think Chinese missiles have been targeting US cities for years; as American ones have returned the favor. The question is - What will China and Russia do if the USA and other nations, perhaps, act to take out Iranian nuclear facilities? Will they go to war with the USA over Iran?

My guess is 'no'. Stalin did not roll the tanks west over the plight of North Korea, Mao did not insist that PLA divisions take part in the Viet Nam War.

Support Iran with funds, equipment, diplomacy, and rhetoric? Yes. Take a hit for?

Eh, how about them Chechens, and Uighurs?

Posted by TMLutas | September 21, 2007 10:57 AM

Most of the commentary assumes Iran is a unitary dictatorship. It is not. The Hojjatieh are *crazy* and they back Ahmadinejad. This is the crowd that thinks the 12th imam is just around the corner and are thus essentially undeterrable. They've been checked in the recent elections by the corrupt conservatives led by Rafsanjani. The parliament is on Rafsanjani's side, the Supreme Leader Khameni blows in the wind but he's very sick and Rafsanjani just got control of the body that's going to name his successor.

Rafsanjani's for sale. I think he's getting money from both Russia and the PRC and this is a major source of their reluctance to go forward with any actions against Iran. They don't want to risk their investment in buying a working majority (except Ahmadinejad who's a kook but seems to be a personally honest power mad one) of the Iranian government. Revolution would upset their interests, invasion would upset their interests, and when Ahmadinejad's term expires he's not getting reelected (that boat sailed a long time ago) so they'll be sitting pretty with regard to Iran.

So there's a reasonable non-military plan out there, buy off Iran with PRC and Russian bribe money and as soon as the last of the Hojjatieh kooks have left power with Ahmadinejad have Iran close down the weapons labs in exchange for western aid and an end to sanctions (Romania took this deal with its Ceausescu era bomb program and got the Cernavoda nuclear power complex in exchange). This is not a deal that the US can make but it might be a deal that is better than any one that we can make.

And we won't know if this is my flight of fancy or the real deal for years.

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