Rep. West: Diplomacy With Iran Is "Unconscionable"

January 19, 2012 12:15 pm ET — Walid Zafar

An Iranian lawmaker is alleging that President Obama recently sent a letter to the country's leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, proposing direct talks between Washington and Tehran. The White House is denying that such an offer was made.

But the mere suggestion of diplomatic outreach to Iran is apparently too much for some hawkish lawmakers. Rep. Allen West (R-FL), for instance, took to Facebook yesterday to attack the reported diplomatic opening, calling it "unconscionable" and comparing the president to Neville Chamberlain:

The news that President Obama has sent a secret letter to Iran's supreme leader for direct talks is unconscionable. This comes after the Obama administration seeking to release Afghan Taliban leaders in a show of good faith to enter negotiations with the Taliban, after Vice President Biden stated that we were not at war with the Taliban. The US military just cancelled an exercise with Israel that focused on missile defense. President Obama is not only decimating our economy and our military......he is becoming the 21st century Neville Chamberlain. This is alarming and disgraceful.

It's important to point out that West is reacting this way to something that his own government is denying. And he's doing so in way that strongly suggests that the very idea of diplomacy is, as he sees it, unconscionable. Since being elected to Congress in 2010, West has said that the idea of mutually assured destruction is "out the window with Iran" and even called on Israel to preemptively bomb Iran's nuclear sites.

His reaction to the suggestion of diplomacy indicates that as concerned as West may be about a nuclear-armed Iran, he doesn't care much about any solution that doesn't involve dropping bombs. He said last November that sanctions, too, will fail to persuade Iran against developing a nuclear capability because Tehran doesn't "care about the standard of living of their people." West told Newsmax that the U.S. "should strike when we have the right kind of conditions."

West also gets something else wrong in his short rant about Iran. The U.S. did not cancel a joint military exercise with Israel. Instead, Israel asked for the planned exercise to be called off and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta agreed to delay it.

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