January 20, 2006

Iran... What to do?

David Ignatius has a great op-ed in the Washington Post today. "A key question for U.S. officials is how to assess Ahmadinejad's radicalism. Many were surprised by the belligerent tone of his speech to the U.N. General Assembly last September, and worries deepened after his reckless statements denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel's destruction. The toxic spirit of the 1979 revolution seemed to have returned."

1 comment:

Clark Patterson said...

Now we’ve heard everything! The election of Hamas Wednesday in the Palestinian Authority elections has to be the death knell for the neocon Bush administration’s so-called “Forward Strategy of Freedom.” [I’m approaching this issue as a Ron Paul non-interventionist Republican, NOT a Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore leftist.] Just a few weeks ago, weren’t the neocons singing hosannas to Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as being the reason for Lebanon’s “Cedar Revolution” as well as the elections in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan [elections which turned out not to be multi-party, competitive, or “free”]. About the only thing the neocons weren’t crediting to Bush’s Middle East invasions was Texas’ victory over USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl! And I’m sure it was only a matter of time before we would have heard that! And don’t hold your breath waiting for any mea culpas from either Bush or any of the neocons, who evidently still haven’t given up their now-discredited notion that freedom and democracy can be spread by the sword.

And the current Iranian nuclear crisis should be telling us that Condoleeza Rice and Stephen Hadley are the LAST people we should look to for guidance on what to do. The anti-conceptual neocon left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. [Sometimes it doesn’t even know what the left hand is doing!]

What the neocons don’t seem to grasp is that if Saddam had been left in power – even without WMDs – he would have served as a perfect counterweight and bulwark against a Shia-dominated, nuclear-armed, theocratic Iran. Remember, the last time that Saddam used chemical weapons was in 1988, in the last days of his war with Iran. [He used them against the Iranian-allied Kurds. I’m not defending Saddam’s killing of innocent civilians here. I’m just pointing out that the neocons were incredibly wrong to believe that a WMD-armed Saddam would ONLY use his WMDs against the U.S. Yet, that is precisely what all of their arguments before the Iraq invasion seemed to imply. Talk about an egocentric worldview!]

Yet, which country is the biggest beneficiary of Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the subsequent election of a Shia-dominated Iraqi government? Is it the U.S.? Is it Israel? Try Iran! And when the current Iraqi sectarian civil war really heats up after the U.S. pulls out of Iraq in the next couple of years [the Iraqi civil war probably started in late 2003], which country will be waiting to help Iraq’s Shia? A WMD-armed Iran!

And you think the Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia will allow the U.S. neocons to maintain military bases in Iraq? Fat chance! But should we really be surprised at any of these “unintended consequences” of neocon Middle East policy? When have the neocons been right about anything in the Middle East?! Yet, I’m not expecting the neocons to give up their interventionist views any time soon. But when will they ever learn that foreign policy interventionism never works in the long run? When will they ever learn?!