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.
*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.