Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Iranian Issue

The Jerusalem Post has two (three) very interesting articles today on Iran.

In one it reiterates a long time American (Israeli) security concern that a Nuclear Iran would simply spur development of a Nuclear Middle East - proof seen in 13 Islamic Nations drafting nuclear programs in the wake of Irans declerations of intent, from secular Turkey who would be least likely to develop a weapons arsenal, to the Wahhabist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who views the Shia of Iran as heretics and foes.

In the other article, it is reported that the Bush Administration plans to attack Iran by the end of his term (January 19th, 2009). Sources said:

The official claimed that a senior member of the president's entourage, which concluded a trip to Israel last week, said during a closed meeting that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action was called for.

However, the official continued, "the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice" was preventing the administration from deciding to launch such an attack on the Islamic Republic, for the time being.

This of course is in contrast to the recomendations of another key partner in the region, Russia, who believes it is as much a 'nightmare' to have a nuclear Iran, is urging restraint and a more nuanced approach. The Russian Ambassador to Israel is quoted as saying a more prudent approach would be that which the west used against Ghadaffi after the Lockerbie bombings,

The best advice, he said, was to "get Gaddafi's name off the front pages, leave him alone with his domestic problem, because he won't
be able to stand them."

"Regimes like that, Gaddafi and [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, use outside threat as inner consolidation of the society. I am convinced of that," he said.

Rather than pushing Iran into a corner, Russia's position, Stegniy said, was designed to keep Iran at the negotiating table, and to keep the Intentional Atomic Energy Agency inside Iran. ...

"We will do our utmost to keep Ahmadinejad from having a nuclear weapon. It is the consensus aim. We may differ on the means, but we are united on strategy."

That position, it should be noted - concerning saber rattling for the sake of guising against Domestic distress is similar to what Barack Obama suggested this past Sunday: "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela - these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, `We're going to wipe you off the planet."'

The question now is: will George Bush and his administration, with the country distracted by domestic problems such as the economy and skyrocketing fuel costs, use the authority granted by Congress in declaring the Iranian Quds a terror organization (thank you Hillary and John McCain), to extend the war from Iraq to Iran - furthering this cowboy diplomacy of going in guns blazing leaving yourself no ammunition to defend yourself from all of this missed shots you fired that has failed over the past seven years.

The irony being of course that one could argue that the actions President Bush and his war cronies are suggesting is the same saber rattling and distractions from Domestic ills that Mahmoud is using in Iran.
I don't have the ear of the President, who believes he has the ear of God vis-a-vis his warmongering council of Neo-Cons, but if I did, I'd urge - like our Russian partners - restraint. And against his predilictions for cowboy diplomacy, would recommend that he assert the Krauthammer Holocaust Decleration, which is and of itself a face of Neo-Con ideology if only a softer facet:

"It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear attack upon Israel [or other Middle Eastern Ally] by Iran, or originating in Iran, as an attack by Iran on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon Iran. ..."

while pursuing the more cautious diplomacy as advocated by Defense Secretary Gates and Secretary of State Rice, and leave it to the next administration, an administration that will be done with this cowboy mentality.

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