bush Beating The War Drum

On the heels of General David Petraeus‘ promotion the rumors are running rampant about a war with Iran. The bush administration would have us believe that Iran is the threat they’ve been talking about all along… What? Like Iraq was less of a threat perhaps? Beat that war drum…

With such a yes man as Petraeus at the head of CentCom, anything the bush administration wants will be touted as “necessary to the safety and security of the American People.” Don’t you believe it. If it weren’t for Iran, a cease fire in Iraq would not have happened. But the White House beats that war drum, beat, beat, beat…

Although the White House down-plays any part Iran has had in things, except of course, that they are evil and vile and the biggest threat to the United States to date, (Ya, right, where have we heard this before??? Wolf! Wolf!!! Wolf!!!). During this whole administration’s term the one thing they are consistent with is the fact that they will keep beating the same drum over and over and over again until you just want to scream at them to shut the damn thing UP! The sky is not falling chicken little, and beating a drum to death doesn’t change the facts…

What you won’t hear from the bush administration is the key roles that Iran has played in the cease fires that have taken place in Iraq. The bush administration would have us believe it is due to their brilliant planning, Iraqi involvement, General David Petraeus or some other such lie. But the truth is, Iran is a key player in all of this, working hard to stabilize the Middle East and a sister country. The United States of America MUST learn to deal with Iran, whether it wants to or not. Iran is a country of consequence and the sooner we get that, the better off everyone will be. Most especially the Candidates…

From Yahoo Opinion:

Can the U.S. and Iran Share the Middle East?

Trita Parsi Tue Apr 22, 6:27 PM ET

By negotiating a Shiite truce, Tehran embarrassed Washington last week and arguably proved itself to be a more potent stabilizer of southern Iraq.

Iran’s role in Iraq came as a sharp reminder that the george w. bush administration’s accusations of Iranian mischief notwithstanding, Iranian influence in Iraq is both undeniable and multifaceted. As Washington starts to come to terms with this reality, the Middle East inches closer to its moment of truth: Is the United States ready to share the region with Iran?

As the risk of a U.S.-Iran war is deemed to have dropped in the past few months, in spite of the resignation of Admiral William Fallon and President bush’s designation of Iran as the United States’ number one threat, a modicum of optimism for U.S.-Iran relations in 2009 has emerged.

The poisonous atmosphere between the bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad administrations has prevented the two countries from exploring areas of common interest. With a new U.S. president taking office in January 2009, and with the Iranian presidential elections in March of that year, both Iran and the U.S. may have new presidents by mid-2009. Such a development would certainly help create a window of opportunity for the two countries to reduce tensions and begin resolving their differences.

But both Tehran and Washington have a proven track record of missing political opportunities. And in this specific case, even if the two parties make use of changing political circumstances, much indicates that readiness to seek a strategic accommodation is lacking in Washington.

This is not necessarily due to a lack of will but due to a failure to appreciate what a resolution to U.S.-Iran tensions would require — from the United States.

Among the U.S. presidential hopefuls, Republican John McCain and Democrat Hillary Clinton seem intent on continuing Washington’s current thinking on Iran. While McCain has sought to soften his position from last year’s gaffe about bombing Iran by emphasizing that war would be the absolute last resort, he has been critical of Hillary’s rival, Barack Obama, for favoring direct diplomacy.

In this instance I totally agree with Barack Obama, diplomacy is the ONLY responsible, reasonable way to go now and in the future. The United States is not a bully. We are NOT the enforcers for the UN or any other nation. We used to be a shining light in the darkness, but are now reduced since this administration took office. Time to get the bullies out of office and put reason back in control.

Hillary Clinton is on the record favoring talks, but prefers to strengthen Washington’s containment policy as a first choice. During the presidential debate Wednesday night, the former first lady proposed an anti-Iranian nuclear umbrella for the entire Middle East.

Last I heard, Hillary was advocating nuclear war with Iran. This is one sick woman. I’m afraid if she is awakened at 3 am instead of hitting the snooze alarm, she will hit the button that detonates the missiles. I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her. Which, at her size wouldn’t be far…

“I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel,” she said. “We will let the Iranians know, that, yes, an attack on Israel would trigger massive retaliation, but so would an attack on those countries that are willing to go under the security umbrella and forswear their own nuclear ambitions.”

And Israel is another mad nation which refuses peace at all costs. They are most definitely a bully nation, with the most heinous of weapons of mass destruction. The USA should rethink its policies where Israel is concerned. If we weren’t standing behind this nation, perhaps then they would think about peace, for their people as well as the people around them. Leaders seem to forget that it is the average citizen that takes the brunt of any conflict while leaders sit calmly by and let others die for them.

Obama, on the other hand, stands out as the sole candidate articulating a broader strategy on Iran centered on diplomacy. Yet even though Obama is less likely to miss the political window of opportunity in 2009, it remains to be seen if his administration would be clear on what Iran would expect in a give and take — and if he is ready to consider such an arrangement.

The discussions in Washington regarding any potential opening to Tehran have centered on boosting economic incentives in hope that larger economic carrots would compel a change in Iranian behavior. At times, the idea of offering security guarantees has been considered in an effort to deprive Iran of incentives to develop a nuclear deterrence against the U.S.

Though both of these components may be necessary to put U.S.-Iran relations on a different footing, they are likely not sufficient. The notion that the U.S.-Iran standoff can be resolved solely through economic incentives and limited security guarantees is premised on the realities of yesteryear’s Middle East. Current facts on the ground are quite different — Iran’s regional influence is unquestionable and rolling Iran back out of Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and perhaps even Gaza may no longer be realistic.

The question is no longer — if it ever was — what economic incentives are required to change Iranian behavior. Rather, to reach a settlement with Iran that could help stabilize Iraq, prevent a Taliban resurrection in Afghanistan, reach a political deal in Lebanon and create a better climate to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. must arguably grant Iran a role in the region and begin focusing on how to influence Iranian behavior rather than how to roll back Iranian influence.

Neither Washington nor Tehran can wish the other away. While the United States’ days in Iraq may be numbered, it is not likely to leave the entire Middle East anytime soon. Nor can Washington continue to design policies and arrangements in the region based on the notion that Iran can be neglected and excluded. Sooner or later, Iran and the U.S. must learn how to share the region.

But a full comprehension of what a future Middle East order with Iran fully rehabilitated in its political and economic structure has not been reached or considered in Washington. While keeping Iran out is no longer a realistic option — at a minimum Iran has sufficient spoiler power to undermine any initiatives aimed at prolonging Tehran’s exclusion — bringing Iran in from the cold will have momentous repercussions for the region’s order and for U.S. allies that currently are benefiting from Iran’s exclusion.

It is understandable that Washington is unprepared for this scenario. After all, Tehran has itself been notoriously incapable — or unwilling — to define the regional role it envisions for itself and the implications this would have for the U.S. and Iran’s neighbors. With Tehran reluctant to clarify what it wants, Washington has been left guessing. Tehran’s failure to be more forthcoming about its ambitions has also enabled rivals to describe Iranian objectives as hegemonic.

Nevertheless, reality requires Washington to begin considering not if, but the extent of an Iranian role in the region that the U.S. and its allies can agree to. This may necessitate a paradigm shift in Washington’s approach to Iran and the Middle East, but failure to reconcile with Iranian demands justified by the new balance in the region will likely disable future administrations from turning political opportunities into real diplomatic breakthroughs — irrespective of their positive intentions.

Trita Parsi, author of the newly released “Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the U.S.” (Yale), is president of the National Iranian American Council. This analysis was first published by IPS.

It is time, past time, that the US grew up and faced a reality that includes Iran, not excludes it. We cannot continue to say we are the only opinion that counts out there. We aren’t. The world, all the countries out there, demand their voices be heard. We are but one of them. The days of being a bully and of saying “this is how it will be” are done and gone. In the past, the United States of America has stood for peace, law, freedom and democracy. Right now we have cowards and bullies in the White House who have ruined our good name in the World around us. It is time to have done with them and their failed policies.

And before we go off on Iran about nuclear weapons as bush and company are so fond of beating the drum about, read this:


Middle East News

US criticism of IAEA-Iran deal unhelpful, diplomats say
Aug 22, 2007, 15:03 GMT

Vienna – Vienna-based diplomats on Wednesday slammed as ‘unhelpful’ US-criticism of an agreement reached between Teheran and the International Atomic Energy Agency on solving outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme.

IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen had judged Tuesday’s agreement with Iran a ‘milestone,’ one diplomat said, so it was ‘disingenuous to discourage it, partly before even knowing the details of what it contains.’

The IAEA declined to comment. The agreement aims at resolving IAEA concerns about possible military involvement in Iran’s push for peaceful use of nuclear energy and improve access of IAEA inspectors to its enrichment facilities.

The United States remained unimpressed, despite welcoming the progress. US Ambassador Gregory Schulte said the US understood that there were limitations to the plan, including Iran’s continued refusal to implement the Additional Protocol, which grants far- reaching inspection rights to the UN nuclear watchdog.

And does the USA currently have such an agreement with the IAEA inspectors to inspect our facilities? I’m only curious since it seems the pot is calling the kettle black. Of course, this is just a personal opinion. I have no diplomatic stance in the world. However, if we wish for someone else to do something, we should be equally willing to have those same conditions placed on ourselves…

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~ by justmytruth on April 27, 2008.

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