Friday, December 22, 2006

Iran

Nettertainment is no fan of flaming anti-Semite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the last thing I want to see is us ruining another beautiful country over this asshole. The fact is that his only power in foreign affairs is the publicity he can generate, because the mullahs, who are also huge assholes but not as crazily megalomaniacal, make all the decisions and important contacts. The ones that move oil and weapons around.

Since I know a number of Persian Americans, I know from their connections and visits back in Iran that the people, in general, hate the mullahs and have an exponentially more favorable opinion of the U.S. than every other country in that region.

But if we start blockading, instigating, shooting or bombing over there, we're making a whole new country full of enemies.

The Baker Group advises taking diplomatic steps with Iran, with the idea that we work smartly vis-a-vis their self-interest (such as regime preservation) as a means to advance some of our own goals in that region.

No way, not as long as Shadow President Cheney is running our El Presidente's foreign policy, and not as long as that man is President. They are ideologically opposed. Not wired that way. And far from correct about it.

Here's what The New York Times is saying in their Friday editorial, "Saner Voices in Iran" about how by not doing anything, we're letting Ahmadinejad lose from within:
The clearest evidence of Mr. Ahmadinejad's troubles came in last week's elections for municipal offices and the national council that oversees the work of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Mr. Ahmadinejad├é’s supporters fared surprisingly poorly. The main gainers came from two very different opposition groups, one aligned with former President Ali Rafsanjani, an establishment conservative, and the other with remnants of the cautious reform movement led by former President Mohammad Khatami.

And he's getting faaaaced by puny students:
Last week, in a remarkable show of courage, students at one of Tehran'’s elite universities openly denounced Mr. Ahmadinejad as a dictator and a fascist, forcing him to cut short his planned address.

The Times favors economic pressure/sanctions tied to that President's nuclear ambitions to make matters worse among his own electorate.

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration is so paranoid that public opinion might shift hard enough into pressuring them to negotiate, they even redacted a major portion of a Times op-ed by ex-CIA Analyst Flynt Leverett advocating a "grand bargain" with Iran as they've wanted since before the Iraq War -- only Bush completely shunned them then and we're in an indescribably weaker position to negotiate now.

The first half of the piece reveals how Bush and his neocon team completely botched their chance to influence that country by squandering all the ripe diplomatic opportunities. Much of this is blacked out by the pathologically humiliated Administration. (Is that Dick's pen running through it? Karl's? Hadley's?)

Then in developing the second half:
Iran will only cooperate with the United States, whether in Iraq or on the nuclear issue, as part of a broader rapprochement addressing its core security concerns. This requires extension of a United States security guarantee -- effectively, an American commitment not to use force to change the borders or form of government of the Islamic Republic -- bolstered by the prospect of lifting United States unilateral sanctions and normalizing bilateral relations. This is something no United States administration has ever offered, and that the Bush administration has explicitly refused to consider.

The only way to diminish any Iranian threat, believes Leverett, is to negotiate all the concerns at once. From where I sit today, it seems impossible that BushCheney Co. will do anything but let it slip away:
If President Bush does not move decisively toward strategic engagement with Tehran during his remaining two years in office, his successor will not have the same opportunities that he will have so blithely squandered.

Is there anyone who believes for a second that Bush won't try to screw over the next guy who gets his job? Especially if it's a Democrat?

Is there anyone who believes, whether well-intentioned or foolish or just plain-vanilla evil, that George W. Bush won't end up screwing over the people of America?

No comments: