Originally posted at Voices In The Wilderness
The United States of America has truly become a paper tiger and their threats to shoot down a North Korean missile test makes that evident but even more evident is there inability to negotiate with two members of the "axis of evil" from a position of strength irrespective of the fact that they have one of them, Iran, completely surrounded with American soldiers & allies and the other, North Korea, under heavy sanctions.
Even more telling is the entire Iranian nuclear standoff. For those unfamiliar with what has actually happened over the past 3 or 4 years I will give a quick rundown.
The Iranians unilaterally decided to suspend enrichment and allow snap inspections while the European Union put together an incentive package that aimed to convince Tehran that nuclear technology was not in the best interest of their country. Iran was at this time adamant that the United States give security assurances but Washington refused to, under these circumstances even talk with Iran (This comes into play later). When the EU3, France, Germany & Britain, finally gave their "incentive (or bribery) package" Iran essentially laughed it off and pulled out of the Paris agreement (that was only ever put in place as a confidence building exercise until the package was offered). The United States and the EU3 during this time consistently skewed the reality and convinced their respective majorities that the truth was that Iran was bound to these agreements and by pulling out they were somehow in violation of the NPT (Though the IAEA refused to confirm that). From there the western coalition managed to garner support for the United Nations Security Counsel (UNSC) to get involved. The members of the UNSC eventually agreed upon a very weak statement that called on Iran to stop Enrichment and once again allow spot inspections (The additional NPT protocol). Iran, knowing that the so called International Community had no real legal leg to stand on not only ignored the request but sped up the process and made some timely breakthroughs.
The "international community" at this point tried to bring much tougher language to Iran, even going as far as threatening sanctions if they fail to comply but neither Russia nor China was willing to sign-on to anything that threatened sanctions or military action. The double minded "International Community" then decided to offer Iran another package under the condition that Iran halt any enrichment and implement the additional protocol; adding that the United States would now be willing to, under those circumstances, join discussions with Iran (EXACTLY where this started except now Iran has a better package and they are surely farther along with their nuclear program).
The catch here is that Iran must first stop enrichment and secondly re-implement the protocols. This is a horrible suggestion and whoever suggested it should be dismissed immediately. Consider this; the end goal of the international community is for Iran to stop enrichment and implement the additional NPT protocol. If Iran agrees to this can someone please tell me what The United States and Iran will negotiate as Iran will have already conceded everything.
The EU3 & the United States of American have shown that in terms of negotiating skills they are among the worst. I suppose it is relevant to add that there have also been reports the United States has offered Iran nuclear technology as apart of the package.
To listen to the mainstream media these days it would be difficult to believe that the above is what has actually happened but it is much more accurate (though not complete) than what the media has been feeding the populous of late.
This being the case the lesson that should be learned is simple:
Ladies & Gentleman, THIS is the perfect example of how NOT to negotiate.