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The Hawks and the Doves Are Aflutter over U.S. Iran Policy

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democratic Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:20 PM
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The Hawks and the Doves Are Aflutter over U.S. Iran Policy
The Hawks and the Doves Are Aflutter over U.S. Iran Policy

July 23, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Danielle Pletka

Every few years, with soothing regularity, a prominent research institution comes along to recommend that the United States reengage with Iran. The gist of such reports usually follows the same line: Isolation just isn't working; reformists (or sometimes they're called moderates or pragmatists) need Washington's help in the battle against hard-liners; the country is not (nor will it ever be) on the verge of a new revolution; and only relations with the U.S. will provide incentives for better behavior.

This week, it was the Council on Foreign Relations that sounded the call in a 79-page report from a task force chaired by former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA Director Robert M. Gates.

Given the seriousness of the threat Iran poses, fresh ideas from the Council on Foreign Relations and elsewhere are, of course, welcome. Iran, after all, is Terror Central: It has become an operational headquarters for parts of Al Qaeda, continues to sponsor Hezbollah and Hamas, and senior officials remain under indictment in U.S. court for masterminding the 1996 bombing in Saudi Arabia of the Khobar Towers military housing complex, in which 19 Americans died. According to U.S. and European officials, the regime also remains bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and is well down the road to doing so.

So what to do? President Bush has taken the first step by making clear that the Iranian clerical regime is anathema to the U.S. national security. But we're not likely to invade for a variety of practical reasons, among them a shortage of troops and an absence of targeting information about Iran's nuclear sites. Nor can we count on Iran's weary and miserable population to rise up unaided and overthrow its oppressors; virtually all analysts agree that's not about to happen.

Instead, a new three-part policy is needed.

First, the administration must ante up promised support for the Iranian people. Just as we supported Soviet dissidents, we must use the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to embarrass the regime for its abysmal human rights abuses, rally behind dissident student groups and unions and let them know that the U.S. supports their desire for a secular democratic state in Iran.

Second, the administration must persuade the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency to stand firm in their confrontation over Iran's nuclear program. Iran has made commitments to end the production and assembly of nuclear centrifuges. It has reneged on those promises, and the next step is for the IAEA to refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council. There is quiet talk of economic sanctions in European capitals; the EU must know that a failure to follow through would mean an Iranian nuclear weapon within a few years.

Finally, the U.S. must lead in the containment of Iran. Iranian weapons imports and exports should be interdicted; financial transfers to terrorists must be identified and confiscated; terrorists traveling into and out of Iran should be aggressively pursued and eliminated.
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Gyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:47 PM
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1. The first paragraph characterizes this "report" perfectly.
Nothing here about the root cause of the rise of the fundamentalist Islamic movement (The Israeli/Palestinian conflict) and how to address it in the only way that will win "hearts and minds" (ie, to treat both sides as equals). Not surprisingly, that's the only course of action that's missing (the elephant in the corner).

This is a dusting off of the same old tired neocon theories re: Iran based on numerous C level doctoral dissertations submitted to the American Entrprise Institute. Pfffffft!

Only difference is that a presumptive-democrat is one of the authors, but it's still obviously the work of atrophied old white man brains.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 04:23 PM
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2. Indeed. Recycled, unrealistic blather.
False premises, timid groupthink, and willful exclusion
of unpleasant realities in pursuit of the pre-determined
conclusion that the old ways are best. Just because this
sort of shit has failed repeatedly and miserably is no reason
to give up on it now, eh?. :puke:
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