Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The more I read about John O. Brennan the more it becomes clear why he withdrew his name in November 2008 for consideration as Director of the C.I.A. For that position, of course, he'd have to undergo Senate confirmation. As Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security he won't have to deal with that inconvenience. Brennan's firm, you might remember, was involved in the security breach earlier this year in which the passport records of Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain were accessed. Newsmax cites a source that says the "contractor accessed the [Obama passport] file in order to 'cauterize' the records of potentially embarrasing information."
Passports and probably birth certificate files aside, certainly there might have been some questions about Brennan's July 2008 article in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. The article is titled "The Conundrum of Iran: Strengthening Moderates without Acquiescing to Belligerence."
Brennan basically lays out the case why the United States should just talk to Iran nicely rather than with belligerence. He suggests we "tone down the rhetoric" and for the United States to "cease public Iran-bashing." If we don't call them terrorists anymore, they'll like us. We must also "show restraint in the face of anti-American comments" from Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials. In other words, they can call us names and we're supposed to take it but we can't call them bullies in return. Right. Got it.
He goes on to say that we should offer what equates to positive reinforcement by rewarding and offering public recognition of positive Iranian actions and individuals. Then they would all want to quit being terrorists, or sponsors of terrorism.
Brennan believes in "the establishment of a direct and senior-level dialogue between Washington and Tehran." Not only that, but he says that "These discussions must take place in private, not in the blinding glare of a public spotlight that limits the political maneuvering room of each side."
So let me get this straight. In order to repair relations with Iran, the United States should play nice, quit calling them names, turn the other cheek when they call us names, praise their good behavior and send in a senior level official to meet with them behind closed doors. Brennan even has suggestions for that official - he thinks Colin Powell would be good, or even Madeline Albright. He also suggested Al Gore.
Won't this make our ally Israel happy!
His final recommendation is that we encourage greater assimilation of the Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah into the Lebanese political system. You know, Lebanon? Those folks that are shooting rockets into Israel right now? Those guys. Isn't this sort of like giving gang-members a bunch of brand new rocket launchers? Give them the power and maybe they'll quit killing people? How exactly does THAT work?
What happened to our policy of not negotiating with terrorists? Even the New York Times reported this weekend that Iran is working quickly to the production of nuclear weapons. If we are to believe Brennan, all we need to do is ask them nicely, without belligerent rhetoric to please stop.
I'm not going to surmise what BHO is thinking, but Brennan isn't the guy that would be advising me on homeland security. He doesn't make me feel very safe.