You might be shocked to learn that there is another reason to despise former President G.W. Bush and his gang of Neocons*…then again, maybe not. Jon Stewart had the author Trita Parsi on his show Thursday night to promote a new book entitled, “A Single Roll of the Dice” about American Diplomacy with Iran from 2003 to the present day.

You really should see the entire interview but in case you don’t have time, let me give you an important piece of information. This information is crucial to know when considering war with Iran in the near future as so many politicians, from both parties, seem to be advocating (Sen. McCain I am looking at you).

Pres. Bush received a letter in 2003 from the Iranian leaders that offered to sit down at the negotiating table giving us every concession asked for. Yes, you read that right. They offered to stop enriching uranium, to stop supporting jihadist groups, to stop interfering politically in neighboring countries, to stop threatening Israel, etc. It was the motherload, the holy grail, of foreign relations–a peaceful end to a long and ugly diplomatic battle to restrain and contain the destructive theocratic government of Iran. Most likely they were afraid we would invade them.  They had reason to fear such plans, as you will soon find out.

You know what the President Bush’s response was? He ignored it. You know why? We had just invaded Iraq and he felt that was so darn successful that we ought to do the same to Iran and we could get even more than they were willing to concede in the letter. Many people, myself included, would have advised that we take the offer because we the jury was still out on Iraq and I was never entirely convinced that war with Iraq was even necessary.

The whole point of Iraq was, at the time, because we thought they had WMD and thought they had ties to Al Qaeda….at least that’s what they told us. When that turned out not to be true, that’s when we learned that there was a bunch of Neocons (such as VP Cheney**, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and many more) were advising President Bush to invade for the purpose of regime change and the other reasons, if true–great. But if not true, “too bad, so sad”.  The typical response from these Neocons to such criticism was, “Well Saddam was evil and needed to go anyway.”  Have you heard this from people around the U.S.?  I have and I know they are simply parroting the same Neocon talking point that the GOP and Fox News propaganda machine (FOPGOX as I like to call them) had been drilling into their viewers minds to make it a little bit easy to swallow the disaster that Iraq had become.

Using Neocon logic, I can make a very long list of leaders that are evil and need to go.  But are we REALLY going to invade every one of those countries? That would be pure insanity. And yet, this is the reasoning Neocons through FOPGOX have used and are now pushing with Iran. And the problem is that this concept is leaking into the center of politics, now heard in the stump speeches of former centrist politicians like Mitt Romney and Pres. Obama (although to be fair the President is simply saying that the military option is on the table, he is not advocating for war). However, even just having the military option on the table is dangerous because it is a possibility–a possibility that is making the Neocons and their associated war profiteers (Halliburton, I’m looking at you) salivate at the prospect.

It also makes us much more vulnerable to the machinations of Israel.  If Israel were to get  into an armed conflict with Iran, we would be very hard pressed not to support  them with military forces, especially since our current President has admitted to leaving that option reluctantly open and the GOP alternatives are all eagerly clamoring for it.  I can imagine a worst case scenario where Prime Minister Netanyahu leads Israel this year to a first strike against Iran for the purposes of not only stopping their uranium enrichment project, which is real, but also to influence our November 2012 election.  This is a horrible thought, but it is a possibility since the conservative coalition that Netanyahu represents in Israel has never liked or trusted Pres. Obama.  The Prime Minister has already returned to Israel and said that our timetables for dealing with Iran are different.

Allaying fears of any imminent action, Mr. Netanyahu told the commercial Channel Two that stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability was “not a matter of days or weeks.” But he added, “It is also not a matter of years.

In other words we would prefer to wait until after the election and they would not.  So comforting that it will be a matter of months and not years. Thanks for that Israel.

I am less much less eager to waste more lives and treasure on such endeavors now or even next year. We are the U.S….we are not supposed to be the invaders nor warmongers. We should be the protectors of democracy, the keepers of the holy flame of liberty.  If we can  solve something peacefully, we should do everything possible to do so.  We should not be involved in the ugly conflagration of regime change via military conflict, which is what this would be.  Don’t be fooled by the talk about Iran having a nuclear weapon.  Iran doesn’t have one and there is no intelligence whatsoever to suggest that they have one or are yet capable of even making one.

So remember when you vote this November, that we had peace with Iran and the real possibility of stability in the Middle East was in our hands in 2003 and that the Republican leadership through arrogance and the Congressional Democratic leadership*** through ignorance and naivete chose war and conflict instead.  That  Pres. Obama is seeking a peaceful solution through sanctions with the military option on the table (talking softly but carrying a big stick) instead.  I would rather have no war at all, but if given the choice of a President who openly advocates for war or one who is reluctant  to go to war, I would prefer the reluctant President.

Notes:

*A Neocon means “new conservative”, a group within the Republican party that openly advocates using military force to bring democracy to other countries, i.e., invading someplace like Iraq using any excuse they can manufacture in order to force Democracy at the end of a gun on the unsuspecting populace. They are currently behind the current drum banging for war with Iran.

**Cheney, an executive at Halliburton, profited to the tune of millions of dollars from the Iraqi invasion, among other things…but that is a book in and of itself and some may have been written on the subject

***Then Senator Obama was opposed to the invasion of Iraq but once troops were committed his opposition changed to one  of  reluctant support.  He did not want to cast votes that might under fund the troops and put them in harms way but he still wanted to express his disagreement with the war in some fashion. This is the kind of nuance that escapes most voters and is eagerly used against any nuanced politician during election campaigns.

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Comments
  1. nnsavov says:

    There is a documentary movie from the BBC called ” Iran and the West ” . It is very informative about the relationship between Iran and the US during the last 30 years since the revolution in Iran. It is concentrated mostly on the diplomatic issues. The movie is in three parts – every one of them is not more than an hour.

    • drangedinaz says:

      Thanks, I will check it out. The BBC is by far a better news organization than anything we have in the U.S. Thanks for the “like” too. I would read your blog, but the one semester of Russian (presuming it is Russian from alphabet, if not, I apologize) that I took 22 years ago is not quite up to the task. 🙂

      • nnsavov says:

        Yeah, I think it would be quite difficult. I can write my articles in English, but my blog is quite new and for the moment mostly for people from my country, Bulgaria, as we also can’t rely on our media sources here.

  2. drangedinaz says:

    I was wrong! Bulgarian, sorry, but at least I still recognized the Cyrillic alphabet. I found an online free translator and was able to get a literal translation of the title and first paragraph of your latest article. You are writing about the Israeli Prime Ministers recent visit to the U.S. too. Do you normally focus on foreign relations or are you concerned about what harm would come to the region if Israel does attack Iran?

    • nnsavov says:

      I am interested in foreign relations, yes, but I also cant deny my concerns about Iran. I just think it’s not fair to act with violence against them. Sadly, politics isn’t about fair or not. I personally don’t like US politics most of any. You know, here in Bulgaria we are somewhere between USA and Russia as far as diplomacy is concerned. So here can be heared various opinions on the situation in the world now ( of course not in the media ). Many of us, who are interested in these topics don’t like the USA and Israel too, because they are trying to master the world, drain everyone until nothing is left. They fight against their own visions of “democracy” and “freedom”, because when you want to bring justice in other countries, it starts to look like terror. No offence, I hope.

      • drangedinaz says:

        Well, I understand why you would feel the way you do. You have to remember that the average U.S. citizen isn’t really thinking about foreign policy very much–our populace, in general, is woefully ignorant of what is going on the world, where our troops are and even why they are there. So the people don’t think about it as if we are trying to “drain the world” but I think if they all knew how much of the world’s resources we do consume, it would help wake us up. There has been a slow change in the U.S. (not fast enough for my tastes and I’m sure not fast enough for countries like yours) about this awareness. More and more people are beginning to realize that we can’t keep just taking from the planet (and thus taking from other countries the way we do).

        As to Israel, the U.S. has a very strange relationship to them. On the one hand, our far right politicians believe that Israel must be supported at all costs (and I think it is due to religious beliefs) and the far left politicians want to support Palestine. Again, most Americans are in the middle. We don’t mind helping Israel but we are getting pretty sick of supporting them, even when they are wrong, and usually at a steep cost to our own position in the world. Israel assumes a great deal about the U.S. and perhaps they have judged us shrewdly. However, they keep pushing and eventually the U.S. will have to face a very hard choice of it’s own interests v. those of Israel, and those interests will diverge. I hope the U.S. does what is right for us. And I suspect, but can’t be sure, that the change will help balance out things more to the rest of the world’s satisfaction so that Israel does not have so much power over us (and maybe, just maybe the Palestinians will finally have a country).

        In re: your statement “because when you want to bring justice in other countries, it starts to look like terror”…I completely understand. Those advocating for the use of military to force democracy at the end of a gun (the Neocons) are few in number. But they have a lot of money and they are very well connected. Thankfully the U.S. populace is tiring of war and much of the recent warmongering may just be an election year tactic to appeal to the far right base. Once the Republicans have a nominee, I think you’ll see this talk of war in the Middle East and regime change will die down because the rest of the country isn’t buying it this time. As to your larger point, you are right….you can’t force freedom on people and from the perspective of the country we are “helping”, we look like just another invading force. I think more Americans would understand this reaction if we weren’t so isolated from the rest of the world. The fact that the U.S. is separated by such large oceans on both the East and West sides and only shares a border with Canada (a very benign country) and Mexico (a threat, but not in an “they can invade us” way)….this geographic isolation has resulted in a culture that is extremely myopic. We haven’t been invaded in a very long time and that’s part of why 9/11 was so shocking to us….And this is so different from many other parts of the world where armies have crisscrossed borders for thousands of years. Those countries know the very ugly reality of invaders and any foreigner coming into their country, especially tens of thousands of them with guns, isn’t going to seem like help…it’s going to seem like occupation. I mean, can you imagine what would happen if another country decided the U.S. government was in need of regime change and decided to send 100,000 military personnel to our shores? Americans would be apoplectic (and rightly so). But since we don’t know what that’s like, we don’t understand the other countries’ viewpoints (I like to think I do but I’m pretty sheltered from war, hunger, disease, etc compared to the majority of the world’s population).

        So I’m not justifying our regime change strategies……just explaining how the American psyche perceives things. Our hearts are in the right place, but we are easily mislead by our own leaders and, I think, Americans are pretty naive (because of geography, of being so young a country, etc). Many of us are trying to change our country’s direction both domestically and foreign policy-wise….that’s why we elected Pres. Obama. And we’ll keep pushing for that change in the coming years, no matter who we elect. However, many of us on the left feel that the big business (who is more global than ever before, are taking over the U.S. and doing things for their benefit but not the U.S. benefit–we believe we are losing our democracy, dollar by dollar).

        So tell me, how did you and your friends feel about the air support provided to Libya? Did you perceive that as interfering? What about Syria? Do you feel something should be done there? I understand that a war between Israel and Iran would put the entire world at risk….it makes me shudder to think of it. But other than that, what informs your views on these things? In other words, do you share religious, cultural or economic ties to any of these countries? Bulgaria is in the Balkans right? I’m not even sure what form of government you have (see I am pretty educated and I don’t know anything!).

  3. nnsavov says:

    I’m very glad I wrote you my last comment and want to thank you about this explainful and honest answer. I have gained a lot from that, I mean from your point of view and I’m going to probably share it with some friends of my own. I see you are deeply interested in your country and therefore have the knowledge to form a serious opinion. Thank you, again.

    And now about Syria… It is a painful topic. Here, in Bulgaria, we share different points of view in that matter. Now, when I read your question, I ask myself: “What would I be thinking if there was no interruption in Lybia?” See, from my prespective situation in Lybia was very tense. But still it is against the principles of the UN, of NATO (i guess too) and, of course, the principles of democracy, to go there, throw your bombs and consider “a job well done”. This is not how you interfere. U.S. governments have shown us during the years that they really love using sanctions on everyone for everything. That sounds a bit harsh, maybe, but still isn’t that “rude” like what they did. We can say that Western Europeans, who always stick with the U.S. (especially France) have equal fault. There are ways, much more civilized that what they did. I know Kaddafi was no saint at all, but believe me or not, by using his oil, he was still protecting Lybians from the Western international companies, who would drain the life out of his people. Lybia has enough oil to be independent and still develop as a better country. You now that multinational companies invade the world’s weakest nation to use their recources. Now Lybia is parted in many ways, there still is no peace at all, and no one to solve their problems. Because they weren’t ready, they – I mean the opposition – don’t have any real leader who can be the face of change. By overthrowing Kaddafi, the Western forces have left Lybia in an another difficult situation.

    Now really about Syria. I don’t that war should be led against Syria. It is up to the rest of the world to try and solve the problem diplomatically. In Syria the situation is much more difficult than in Lybia. Maybe because of the religion. If the government falls, the civil war won’t stop. There will be repressions of other type – mostly on religious basis. If there is going to be an interference – you should kill everyone, so that there would be no conflict at all, but we know this won’t happen. In the Syrian society there aren’t enough people against the government – about 20% are on the side of Bassar al-Assad’s regime, 40% don’t take side and can settle with this government, 10% want a change in their country and 30% are radically against it. I have taken this data from a meeting in Sochi, were this topic was discussed in order to have a clear idea what is the atmosphere amonst the people in Syria.

    I will share something with you. Recently, i have been reading Niccolo Machiavelli – an Italian philosopher of the 15-16th century. His is theorizing state structure and his main work is called “The Prince”. So in some of the cases, he says that sometimes you have to use power in order for the good to prevail and many to be saved. I agree that such occasions arise from the to time, but don’t think Syria is one of them, judging by the situation in the country itself. I strongly recommend that you read his Machiavelli’s book, if you haven’t already, which I think it very possible, judging by the good impression that you make with your interesting points of view.

    I just want to ask you – would you mind if I use our conversation, or translate your comment, so that some Bulgarians could as well read it? I may not do it right away, but still want to know, what you think?

    • drangedinaz says:

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful reply. I learned quite a lot from you as well. Your perception of the situation in Libya and Syria is much more nuanced than what Americans hear from the major news sources (even counting the best and truest that American journalism TV and print media have to offer). And this too is typical. Americans who really care about foreign diplomacy and want to really understand the issues will watch the BBC, Al Jazeera (who has done some amazingly good stories since our supposed “war on terror” began), read blogs from the places involved or whatever we can get our hands on outside of what is so pathetically presented to us in the U.S.

      In regards to Libya…you are correct our bombing helped the opposition prevail but it has left what is called a “power vacuum” in its place. And oil companies will most likely take advantage of that. But I can almost guarantee you that the average American has not considered this aspect of the problem. We tend to be very suspicious of religion’s influence in matters of state but incredibly naive when it comes to the dangers of unrestrained capitalism mainly because the majority of us have been protected from such excesses. However, recent domestic developments are indicating that corporations have gained greater control over the U.S. government or perhaps are simply being more brazen about it. Either way, I suspect we will start to suffer the same kinds of consequences of letting corporations and greed loose without some regulation or stronger government presence to keep them in check. In other words, I think the American people will be experiencing similar mistreatment at the hands of multinational corporations that are perpetrated in vulnerable countries such as Libya.

      Furthermore, the U.S. in modern times has been horribly shortsighted by creating many “power vacuums” around the world, the most recent being in Iraq. In situations like Syria it seems as if sanctions won’t have an effect soon enough to save lives and in that particular case where the government is purposely targeting it’s own citizens, I’m not so sure that a military action would be a bad thing. Then again, we don’t want and the Middle East cannot handle another power vacuum at this point. Surely there is something more immediate short of military options that the U.N. can do? I don’t know what that is though.

      In regards to Machiavelli, I have read a couple of his works including “The Prince” :). Your point that “sometimes you have to use power in order for the good to prevail and many to be saved” is a valid point, but taken to extreme it can be quite dangerous. The problem being who gets to decide what is “good”. The U.S. has followed this principal before. For instance we can easily look back on WWII and say that military action was the only thing that would contain and eventually destroy Hitler’s evil regime. Syria isn’t the same but the targeting of their own citizens is in this particular sense is similar to WWII. Ultimately, I would prefer a diplomatic solution in Syria but I don’t think it will be soon enough to save lives, which is what we all want.

      I am flattered that you would like to translate my comments and/or posts into Bulgarian. Please feel free to do so. The only thing I ask is that you note the fact that it is translated and link to the original in English. Is that okay? Thanks again for stopping by my blog.

  4. nnsavov says:

    Yes, I will give a link to me readers, when I publish it.
    About WWII I think Great Britain and France are also guilty in my point of view, because they have led such policy that allowed Nacy Germany to become the force it was at that time. Western countries also feared the threat from Bolchevic Russia and that is considered to be on of the reason’s for not being so harsh with Germany before the war. Britains and French counted that Germany will eventually go against Russia and destroy the threat coming from the East. So I think in the case of Syria, things are a little different and not just because of that.
    I want to ask you something else too. Do you know that during WWII there had been Internment camps (concentration camps) in America too, where they held Japanesse?
    Tirany was and still is everywhere, I’m afraid.

  5. drangedinaz says:

    Yes, I agree in regards to Britain and France’s responsibility in WWII. But it wasn’t just a fear of Bolshivik Russia. The British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was naive. He spoke with Hitler several times and Hitler kept lying to him and Neville kept believing him. So Chamberlain’s delay bought Hitler a lot of time to wreak havoc in Europe. And I agree, that Syria differs in quite a few ways from the WWII situation–the only way in which it is similar seems to be killing a lot of their own citizens.

    And yes, I knew about the Japanese Internment camps which began in 1942. Our President at the time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was so progressive in many ways but this was an incredibly reactionary and dumb thing to do. It was also a very sad situation where some Japanese American men were serving in our military and fighting for us while their wives and children were torn from their homes, put into these camps without decent medical care or adequate food. Many of them died. There were a couple of court cases in 1944, the most well known one, Korematsu v. U.S., was about the suspension of “habeas corpus” during war time.

    This case is still on the books today and is once again a subject of debate because of the seemingly endless detentions in Guantonomo Bay. After 9/11 I would bring up the Japanese Internment camps in conversations about the War on Terror because I was fearful that we would make the same mistake again by rounding up Muslims. Thankfully, to date that has not happened.

    However, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012” recently passed into law and it authorizes “our military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge”–an obvious violation of habeas corpus. I and many others in the U.S. really want the Supreme Court to overturn this bill and all the other rulings that allow for indefinite detention but I don’t think that is going to happen.

    Pres. Obama could not veto the bill because it was passed with a supermajority of Congress. This bill was also about funding for our military, who would be put in harms way if they didn’t get these funds. So he signed the bill but attached what is called a signing statement saying that his administration “will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens”. But this doesn’t mean that future Presidents will exercise such restraint. Many on the left and on the right are upset about this law but the Republican Party in general, is supportive of it so it will be a while before we can get rid of it. Furthermore, our Supreme Court is predominantly conservative now and I don’t hold out any hope that they would actually declare it unconstitutional (although it clearly is, just like Korematsu and others).

    It’s sad to say but it’s true, even in the U.S. tyranny abides.

  6. […] https://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/not-another-war/ Не съм превел целият ни разговор, а само по-интересните части, разбира се, без да се губи смисълът. Надявам се да ви бъде интересно. […]

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