Thank you. Here’s the point: There is an agreement we have with the U.N., dating to 1947–it is an organization we built and continue to pay for (or at least we pay more than anyone else for it). And yet, It has become a forum that has caused more harm than good in its blind eye toward and coddling of tyranny and terrorism. Let me rephrase that: it puts tyrants on the same moral plane as democrats and it cannot even agree on what terrorism is.
That said, here you have a leader who is responsible for directing the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq; who is attempting to become a nuclear power; who heads the lead terrorist state in the world, funding and supporting Hamas and Hezbollah among other organizations; and has threatened (in contravention of the U.N. charter) the obliteration of a U.N. member state. Seems to me those are a lot of laws it is breaking that we are asked to ignore in favor of upholding one law: abiding the Headquarters Agreement of 1947. One might say we are being asked to not commit a misdemeanor while at the same time we are being asked to ignore a number of felonies.
As Ledeen, Rubin, and others have documented, Iran has been at war with America for nearly thirty years. What message is sent to such a leader when we say, “Given all that, and more, much more than can be documented here, you should feel free to come to our country, travel here, speak here, and leave here in safety as our news media treats you as it would treat, say, Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair, were they to travel here?” The only message Achmadinejad can take from all that is: “The US is a blunt sword, its rhetoric meaningless. They allow me safe passage in and out and give me microphones despite the words and threats of George W. Bush.”
The question is are we serious or are we not? And what message are we sending Achmadinejad and others? As for Reagan, whom you cite: It was his administration that barred Arafat entry to the U.S. to speak at the U.N. And it was Reagan’s ambassador to the U.N., Jeane Kirkpatrick, who documented–in a great essay in Commentary in August of 1989 I encourage you to read–just how Arafat and the PLO became legitimized given its blood soaked record. How was it? She concludes: giving it credibility at the U.N.
Oh, and by the way: Realpolitik? Sure, but with madmen set on destroying all that is not Islamist? With madmen who lead states that support terrorism, debate the Holocaust, threaten to wipe Israel off the map, and argue that 9/11 was perhaps an inside job?
There was a time when we didn’t put up with the notion of Realpolitik above other considerations: That’s why Reagan did not meet with a Soviet leader until Gorbochev. And that is why Reagan put up with Kean and Cuomo not giving landing rights to Gromyko after KAL 007.