Friday, May 26, 2006

It's Time to Engage With Iran

Is this guy smoking CRACK
By David Ignatius
Friday, May 26, 2006;
Page A21

"Only connect." That was the trademark line of E.M. Forster's great novel "Howards End." And it's a useful injunction in thinking about U.S. strategy toward Iran and the wider conflicts between the West and the Muslim world.

We are in the early stages of what the Centcom commander, Gen. John Abizaid, calls "the first war of globalization, between openness and closed societies." One key to winning that war, Abizaid told a small group of reporters at the Pentagon yesterday, is to expand openness and connection. He called al-Qaeda "the military arm of the closed order." The same could be said of the extremist mullahs in Tehran who are pushing for nuclear weapons.

America's best strategy is to play to its strengths -- which are the open exchange of ideas, backed up by unmatched military power. The need for connection is especially clear in the case of Iran, which in isolation has remained frozen in revolutionary zealotry like an exotic fruit in aspic. Yet some in the Bush administration cling to the idea that isolation is a good thing and that connectivity will somehow weaken the West's position. (That's pure bullshit. First of all to have an open exchange you have to have 2 parties that want to exchange. The Islamofacists only want to exchange our souls/lives for Allahs blessings. Via our deaths.) That ignores the obvious lesson of the past 40 years, which is that isolation has usually failed (as in the cases of Cuba and North Korea), while connectivity has usually succeeded (as in the cases of the Soviet Union and China). (Several GREAT Examples the Soviets which due to their Isolation crumbled and after we opened full relations with them, their society has degenerated into a Mafia based dictatorship that is restricting more and more of its citizens freedoms everyday. China on the other hand since getting favored nations status and being given missle guidance technology by the Clintonistas in exchange for campaign money, has done nothing except build its military at a rate of 100Billion dollars a year with a heavy investment in offensive weapons systems. Even though no one is threatining them. N Korea is another example of what happens when you give a lunatic what they want. Once again the Clintonistas gave them what they wanted a nuclear reactor and OH big surprise they built a bomb. Cuba is a good example no one engaged them and they stayed a nice little isolated Island whose citizens flee from on a daily baisis.)
A telling example was the decision to engage the Soviet Union in 1973 through the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe. At the time, some conservatives argued that it was a dangerous concession that the Soviets might interpret as a symbol of weakness. But the CSCE provided a crucial forum for dissidents in Russia and Eastern Europe, and with astonishing speed the mighty edifice of Soviet power began to crumble. (NONSENSE it was Ronald Reagan and Star Wars that brought the Soviets to their knees. They reached critical mass on military spending and their communist regime collapsed) Similar warnings about showing weakness in the face of an aggressive adversary were voiced when President Richard Nixon went to China in February 1972. (and other than an immense trade deficit what did that gain us except a temporary 2nd front threat to Russia, which was Nixons whole purpose in opening relations with China)
I cite this Cold War history because the moment has come for America to attempt to engage revolutionary Iran. (Except that you CITE IT completly WRONG) The invitation for such a dialogue came this month in a letter to President Bush from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- a man whose rabble-rousing, Israel-baiting career gave him the credentials, if that's the right word, to break a 27-year Iranian taboo on contacts with the Great Satan.
Ahmadinejad's letter clearly had the backing of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Yeah if you read the Letter it could be summed up as a request to convert to Islam or DIE) In the American context, that's like having the support of Vice President Cheney for a peace feeler. (because we all KNOW Cheyney is as nutty as the Mullahs) My own Iranian sources say there is broad consensus in Tehran that it is time for talks with the United States. (tap this mans phone) "Iran wants to start discussions the same way the Chinese wanted discussions" with Nixon, (yeah give us technology so we can kill you) an Iranian businessman named Ali Ettefagh told me in an e-mail this week. "Great Satan doesn't sell anymore. More than half the population was not born 27 years ago, and the broken record does not play well." The Iranian offer of dialogue, he says, "ought to be taken as an opportunity, if only to air out grievances and amplify differences." (missiles will do that even better)
I suspect Iran wants dialogue now partly because it perceives America's position in Iraq as weak and its own as strong. That may be true, but so what? (except it's not true except in the minds of the american press.) Washington should still take yes for an answer. The United States and its European allies this week are crafting a package that, one hopes, will include everything the Iranian people could want -- except nuclear weapons. (but thats all they want except the time to build them themselves) The bundle of goodies should stress connectivity -- more air travel to Iran, (more planes to hijack) more scholarships for students, (the implanting of suicide bombers in our schools) more exchanges, (only if its bullets) Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization. (yeah so they can lobby to take oil off the dollar and move it to the Euro and destroy our economy) The mullahs may well reject these incentives as threatening, but that's the point. Their retrograde theocracy can't last long in an open world. (yeah they'll just give up and walk away singing Kuhmbiah) This very week, about 40 police officers were injured in a clash with demonstrators at two Tehran universities. One of the hand-lettered protest signs captured in an Iranian photo said: "This is not a seminary, it is a university." (and if that student was caught they would have been hung like several other protestors were last month)
Karim Sadjadpour, an Iranian analyst with the International Crisis Group, noted in Senate testimony last week that opinion polls show 75 percent of Iranians favor relations with the United States. "Embarking on a comprehensive dialogue with Iran would provide the U.S. with the opportunity to match its rhetorical commitment to Iranian democracy and human rights with action," Sadjadpour said. He's right. (what is this reporter basing this analysis on besides his pipe dreams?)
There's no guarantee that a policy of engagement will work. (no shit its guaranteed to fail) The Iranian regime's desire to acquire nuclear weapons may be so unyielding that Tehran and Washington will remain on a collision course. But America and its allies will be in a stronger position for responding to Iranian calls for dialogue. (no they won't, by then they would have their bomb. Which is the only reason they want to talk, to buy them more time) Openness isn't a concession by America, it's a strategic weapon.

No comments:

Post a Comment