April 14, 2006

Getting Rid of Evil Doers

Posted in International Politics, Iran at 8:21 pm by greatparanoiac

check list.jpgIf you haven’t already seen Seymour Hersh’s article “The Iran Plans” in the upcoming issue of the New Yorker, it’s an interesting but disturbing read. Hopefully you can open the link to print. Hersh writes:

“The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack.”

Maybe I'm being a bit paranoid…maybe not…but there's a lot of similarity with what Seymour reported and what Joseph Cirincione, a director for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote in the March issue of Foreign Policy magazine on the parallels between Iran and Iraq. Three years after misleading its country into a war in search for WMD, the administration may be ready to have another crack at it. In “Fool Me Twice,” Cirincione says:

“Nothing is clear, yet. For months, I have told interviewers that no senior political or military official was seriously considering a military attack on Iran. In the last few weeks, I have changed my view. In part, this shift was triggered by colleagues with close ties to the Pentagon and the executive branch who have convinced me that some senior officials have already made up their minds: They want to hit Iran.”

This should keep Iraq out of the headlines for a few days….while the neocons work on their plans to continue spreading democracy in the Middle East…

Here's the rest of Bush's To-Do List. It's a bit old, but still good for a few laughs.

April 13, 2006

Picking Ahmadinejad’s Brains

Posted in International Politics, Iran at 9:57 pm by greatparanoiac

Mmmm....Forbidden Nookular Weapons... 

Mmm…Forbidden Nookular Weapons…. 

There was a very interesting artcle by NYT writers Eric Sanger and David Schmidt in today’s International Herald Tribune, “Iran Has Bush’s Aids Scratching their Heads.”   

Ashton Carter, a security expert from Harvard, was interviewed by the writers and said:

“In Tehran, the threat of military action is double-edged. It may scare leadership, but it could also cause people to rally around the leadership.”

Interesting quote–although many Iranians didn't support Ahmadinejad's bid for presidency, I wonder how much support he can garner if citizen's feel their country is being badgered by the West–or if there is a believable threat for sanctions?

 It would be a challenge to get international support for economic sanctions, especially since it doesn't seem Russia or China are too pressed over the U.S.'s objectives in Iran. Even if the U.S. could convince Russia and China not to veto resolutions against Iran in the Security Council, how will sanctions change policy? Look at the effect of sanctions in Cuba, North Korea and Iraq. How would an oil embargo or ban of investments in Iran affect its civilians? These are some of the things the S.C. have to consider–they don't want a looming humanitarian crises in Iran–with a much larger population than Iraq.

Perhaps it is to Bush’s advantage that Ahmadinejad continue to antagonize the U.S. and Europe and ignore the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency? What better poster boy for regime change in Iran than someone threatening to wipe a nieghboring Middle Eastern country off the map–and claims to have waves of martyrs ready to do his bidding?  After all, Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric only serves to make any future dialogue between Iran and the West look like conciliation.

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