In many respects, perceptions of Iran parallel the ancient parable of how 6 blind men describe an elephant based solely on touching one part of the animal. 

The man who felt the broad side of the elephant thought it must be a wall, the guy who felt the trunk thought they had confronted a snake, the tusks must be spears, the knee must be a tree, the ear must be a fan, the tail must be a rope.

They’re all reasonable and honest mistakes for the unsighted although I would think that if nothing else the elephant’s elephanty odor should at least have convinced their olfactory senses it was one smelly wall, snake, etc., but that’s just an opinion.   

There’s a lot to be said for that metaphor as it applies to how world leaders perceive the West’s and particularly the United States’ attitudes toward Iran, the threats posed by that nation, and how to deal with the ancient land of Persia in the twenty-first century.

It’s no great revelation that the man re-elected president of Iran last June, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in an election that would have made Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro proud, is a raving lunatic with as much popular support as Pol Pot had back in his Cambodian heyday.

Ahmadinejad Iranian people has sworn to destroy the “Great Satan,” (that would be America), push Israel into the Mediterranean, develop its  nuclear and missile capabilities, and indirectly has sworn to wreak havoc throughout the non-Islamic world.

In retrospect, Adolph Hitler could be classified as a moderate maniac in comparison.

Still, our own President Obama voiced little concern over Iran’s tainted balloting last June.  Nor was he perturbed by the ensuing riots in the streets of Tehran beyond his Carter-esque pronouncement that he “was deeply troubled by the violence surrounding the election, but stressed it was up to the Iranian people to choose their leadership.”

His deep, impotent troublement must have cheered the very souls of of the current Iranian leadership and when he added that “he would maintain his policy of directly negotiating with Iran’s leaders on its nuclear program, irrespective of the vote,” they must have gone positively orgasmic.

“It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” Obama, the blind man, spake in all his infinite wisdom: http://bit.ly/Mr1IJ  We can scale the wall of that Iranian elephant by ignoring truth and sitting down for a nice one on one chat. 

What else could we expect from the peace-in-our-time prince of the Western World?

Exactly which “Iranian people” Obama believed elected Ahmadinejad was left unclear.  The tens of thousands who rioted in the streets against him?  The undisclosed numbers who were beaten and arrested by Iranian storm trooppers?  The protestors who were executed?

Had Obama’s empathy extended to dispatching Cass Sunstein to Tehran to share his views on controlling the minds of dissidents, all that troubling violence may have been avoided.  (See “Big Brother’s Paranoia,” http://bit.ly/9vTcAi)

Demonstrating a clear disconnect with reality, on the same day Obama’s National Security Advisor General Jim Jones was telling reporters that all was peachy keen with Iran our allies were saying, “Baloney!”

“Engagement, our strategy in Iran, has resulted and is resulting in an unprecedented level of international consensus and unity on Iran,” the general said at the same time the internationals announced in effect, “Rats to consensus!” 

Jones is a real company man, rambling on during an address to the left wing Center for American Progress that “the administration’s strategy of engagement was not simply for the sake of shaking hands with leaders of potentially hostile regimes, but to strengthen America’s bargaining position.  He said the administration would not ‘engage in other nations for the sake of engagement.’ “

That’s a very good thing.  I just hate when we engage just for the sake of engagement, sort of like getting betrothed for the sake of betrothal.

Jones continued, “Engagement is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end of greater cooperation on common challenges, greater burden sharing, and greater security for the United States and its friends and . . . tangible, meaningful results across the board:” http://bit.ly/9ArtzE 

Gimme a break! 

With Iran governed by an intransigent madman, on the verge of becoming a nuclear power, impervious to threats and sanctions, and with Russia’s Medvedev/Putin in its corner, does this 4-star really expect anyone to buy that balderdash?

In their complementery blindness, European nations aren’t buying anything unless the omniscient United Nations confers its imprimatur. 

Regrettably, aside from passing toothless, repetitive, laughable resolutions, the U.N. is the proverbial teats on a bull–useless and non-functional except as a repository of sycophants and moochers.

Consider some of the reactions to U.S. initiatives, some of General Jones’ “unprecedented level of international consensus and unity on Iran:” http://bit.ly/cLMejd

.  “The sanction instrument is a very blunt one, so it should be used with extreme care.” (Sweden–this creature has sharp tusks!)

.  “If there is no agreement in the U.N. Security Council there won’t be any sanctions.”  (France–this creature is some kind of tree too steep to climb.)

.   For sanctions to be effective, all Security Council permanent members would have to agree.  (Estonia–this creature’s ear affords us a fine breeze, so just enjoy!) 

.  “We just have to wait and see what comes out of the discussions of the Security Council,” (Catherine Ashton, the E.U.’s foreign policy wonkette– we can always swing on this creature’s rope and have a jolly, good time) 

Jones never even mentioned sanctions but the Europeans were way ahead of him.  As ineffectual as they are, what other recourse do we have after his “strategy of engagement” falls flat on its face? 

We’re witnessing the blind leading the blind in dealing with Iran.  That scenario usually ends up in a dead end, especially when blind leaders and followers can’t tell an elephant from a horse’s ass.