01 June 2006

Are the Sign Carriers Watching?

Fast forward 4 or 10 or 20 years from now, when whackjob Iranian 'leadership' is threatening some part of the world with its nuclear weapons . . . you know, the ones that only the United States tried to prevent them from acquiring way back in '05/'06.

Unfortunately, at whatever level of engagement we find our nation, in this future there will be the inevitable policy-come-lately's, still with the Kerry/Edwards sticker on the rusty Civics, who holler from the rooftops, and whine on the editorial pages, and carry signs on street corners lamenting our/Bush's failure to have dealt with Iran diplomatically back when we could have prevented the escalation.

What? The Bush White House IS trying to deal with Iran diplomatically?

The US shift puts the ball squarely back in Iran's court. In a sense, Ms Rice's statement was Washington's response to the open letter written last month by the country's hardline leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Despite the president's anti-western and anti-Israeli rhetoric, Iran has repeatedly offered to hold talks with the US. By conceding Iran's right to civilian nuclear energy and dangling a wide range of incentives, Ms Rice has called Mr Ahmadinejad's bluff.

If, after serious consideration, Iran formally rejects the offer and the accompanying carrots-and-sticks package to be finalised in Vienna today, the US will be able to say that it has tried its best. And western nations, plus Russia and China, will almost certainly agree. They will be much more likely to unite behind Washington in seeking coercive UN security council action against Tehran. Ms Rice will have achieved her "coalition of the willing".

Not only is the administration doing the right thing, it is again going it alone. So far there has been no effort on the part of Russia, China or India, to say nothing of the laughable UN, to mitigate Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions.

More from the Washington Post:

(Iran) will try to dodge the choice it will be presented or reject it altogether. It will look for support to actors such as Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who has publicly undercut the decisions of his own board and the Security Council by proposing that Iran be allowed to continue uranium reprocessing. Tehran also will count on the Bush administration's critics in Europe and Washington to decry the offer to negotiate as unworthy and to insist that the United States offer Iran unconditional bilateral negotiations on all issues.

Ms. Rice made it clear yesterday that no such "grand bargain" is on the table. Were the Bush administration to propose such a scheme, Iran would surely pocket the concession of de facto U.S. recognition while continuing to pursue its nuclear program. Fragile European support for sanctions would quickly give way to pressure on Washington to offer Tehran greater and greater concessions. If, on the other hand, Iran accepts the coming offer, it's possible that Iranian-U.S. talks could evolve into a larger discussion of security issues -- Iraq, Lebanon, global terrorism -- that would benefit both countries, though it's hard to imagine that happening under Iran's current government. For now, the administration has rightly put the focus on forcing Tehran -- not Washington -- to make a choice.

1 comment:

flamer said...

OB,

You spend all day bashing big media, and then you go and rely on them for your news.
I just don't understand.

Some snippets from http://www.taylormarsh.com/archives_view.php?id=2348


We all know about the first letter from President Ahmadinejad. However, you might not be aware that there was a second letter. The second letter was from Hassan Rohani, the spokesperson for Ayatollah Ali Khameini, who has all the power in Iran. Unlike Ahmadinejad's letter, Rohani, who used to be Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, lays out 8 specific points the Iranians are willing to implement to change the dynamics between our two countries.

It's not a minor point to ask, Why isn't anyone talking about this move towards negotiation with the U.S.? [the second letter] Why the silence?

Iran wants to negotiate. They're writing multiple entreaties to President Bush, none of which are being considered or even remotely covered by the traditional press. When you have the top person, a man who speaks for the Ayatollah, coming forth to present "Iran's Nuclear Program: The Way Out," you'd think the American president and the Republican Party would sit up, take notice and listen, not to mention actually read, consider and reply to the gesture.