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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:43 AM

Mr President, tear down this wall

A newly re-elected Obama must rethink his strategy with Iran if he ever hopes to break down the wall of mistrust.

In Election 2012's theatre-of-the-absurd "foreign policy" debate, Iran came up no less than 47 times. Despite all the fear, loathing, threats and lies in that billionaire's circus of a campaign season, Americans were nonetheless offered virtually nothing substantial about Iran, although its (non-existent) WMDs were relentlessly hawked as the top US national security issue (the world was, however, astonished to learn from candidate Romney that Syria, not the Persian Gulf, was that country's "route to the sea").

Now, with the campaign Sturm und Drang behind us but the threats still around, the question is: Can Obama 2.0 bridge the gap between current US policy (we don't want war, but there will be war if you try to build a bomb) and Persian optics (we don't want a bomb - the Supreme Leader said so - and we want a deal, but only if you grant us some measure of respect)? Don't forget that a soon-to-be-re-elected President Obama signalled in October the tiniest of possible openings toward reconciliation while talking about the "pressure" he was applying to that country, when he spoke of "our policy of... potentially having bilateral discussions with the Iranians to end their nuclear programme".

Tehran won't, of course, "end" its (legal) nuclear programme. As for that "potentially", it should be a graphic reminder of how the establishment in Washington loathes even the possibility of bilateral negotiations.

Mr President, tear down this wall

Let's start with the obvious but important: On entering the Oval Office in January 2009, President Obama inherited a seemingly impregnable three-decade-long "Wall of Mistrust" in Iran-US relations. To his credit, that March he directly addressed all Iranians in a message for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, calling for an "engagement that is honed and grounded in mutual respect". He even quoted the 13th century Persian poet Sa'adi: "The children of Adam are limbs of one body, which God created from one essence".

remainder: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/12/2012127112548497972.html

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Reply Mr President, tear down this wall (Original post)
Jefferson23 Dec 2012 OP
yurbud Dec 2012 #1

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:55 PM

1. Iran has 1% of our military budget, and no ability to take and hold land in the US

if they are truly the biggest threat we face, we don't need a military.

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