The Tehran regime was caught trying to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States. The mullahcracyhad hoped to hire out a Mexican drug cartel (!) to set off a bomb at a restaurant, killing the Ambassador and a whole slew of Americans who would have been eating there, too.
Lest anyone think this was just a weird one-off, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear some of what’s at stake (Weekly Standard, emphasis in original):
Here is what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to say during an interview with NBC’s Today Show about the Iranian plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S.
Clinton believes that the alleged plot by the Iranian government to kill a Saudi official, which she called a “dangerous escalation,” came from the highest levels.
“We think that this was conceived and directed from Tehran,’’ Clinton said. “We know that it goes to a certain level within the Quds Force, which is part of the Revolutionary Guard, which is the military wing of the Iranian government. And we know that this was in the making, and there was a lot of communication between the defendants and others in Tehran.
“So we’re going to let the evidence unfold. But the important point to make is that this just is in violation of international norms. It is a state-sponsored act of terror, and the world needs to speak out strongly against it.’’
Naturally, much of the reaction has centered on what action will or should be taken against the Tehran regime (Weekly Standard), although the U.S.-Mexican border has been a topic (NRO and WS), as well as American energy policy (NRO).
Yet something continues to be missing: any talk of repercussions for Tehran’s strongest ally and arms supplier – the Chinese Communist Party.
Few Americans (let alone citizens of the rest of the democratic world) think much about Zhongnanhai’s continued support for the mullahs in Iran – and that’s just how the cadres want it. For years, they have sought out opponents of America who were both willing to attack us and shield the CCP from any responsibility. Terror sponsors in the Middle East and Central Asia, for their own reasons, almost always fit the bill. That’s why the Iranian mullahcracy, al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and Stalinist North Korea have all found favor with the cadres since the Tiananmen Square massacre forced a reset of the Party’s geopolitical priorities.
Now, the first of that bunch (the mullahs) are taking the battle to American soil – and once again, the Chinese Communists are getting off scot free.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, our Pakistani “allies” have once again sided with the Taliban and al Qaeda against us (first WS link), while openly boasting of their friendship with Beijing; no consequences have hit the latter.
This cannot go on.
When Cuba decided it wanted a nuclear weapons program, no one in Washington tried to separate Fidel Castro from his weapons suppliers in Moscow. In fact, no Soviet satellite actions were considered to be free of Soviet influence – or unworthy of counteraction against the Soviets themselves by the free world.
The Chinese Communist Party needs a similar understanding of its attachment to its allies and beneficiaries. Washington should make it clear in no uncertain terms that Zhongnanhai will be held responsible for actions taken by their allies in Tehran, or Islamabad, or Damascus, or Pyongyang, or anywhere else on the globe.
This need not necessarily mean a military reaction. There are plenty of diplomatic and economic levers than can be used against the Communists and their allies. Acceleration and increase of arms sales to Taiwan, greater military cooperation with the CCP’s rivals in Southeast Asia (to be fair, the current Administration has already made moves on this front), encouragement of Japan’s remilitarization, threats of a retaliatory strike against China if Iran detonates a nuclear weapon by itself or throught its terrorist proxies (and yes, I do mean a nuclear retaliation), a public alliance with India, all of these should be considered and adopted (as well as my favorite, counterproliferation).
These policies (and the list is not exhaustive) would make it abundantly clear to the Chinese Communist Party that its actions have consequences, and force the regime to understand that being a superpower has grave responsibilities. The cadres in Zhongnanhai have been spared that lesson so far. It is time to teach them, good and hard if need be.
Cross-posted to the China e-Lobby