News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Why Worry About Iran?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Why Worry About Iran?

As the following article argues, there is little reason to pursue a conffrontational stance towards Iran. Instead, a properly understanding policy takes into account the "facts on the ground" inside Iran. As Thomas B. Barnett shows, these facts simply belie the monster demon painted by the mass media in the US. Instead, Barnett shows that Iran's ruling elite has little support and is basically ignored by its own people. Like the former Soviet Union, it will simply implode from its own dead weight and hollow center. ...

On the nuclear issue, Barnett observes that it's much better to keep the lines of communication open with Iran. It is in US foreign interests to appear to support a moderate and rational Iran than to provoke it into taking an extremist, hard-line stand against the US.

Barnett writes:

Tell me, since Iran is getting the bomb anyway eventually, would you feel less comfortable about this possible scenario if Iran were to open up to the West or if it remained isolated and surrounded by hostile American troops?

In which scenario do you think Tehran might risk it all by sponsoring a terrorist WMD strike against Israel or the West — when it has something to lose or nothing to lose? If America wants Iran to act responsibly in the region, it needs to give Iran some responsibility for regional security.
These comments reflect rational, considered, and decent assumptions. Former General Wesley Clarke supports this view, as do many other authorities on the region. (See my previous posting on the Nelson Report). And, as I have argued over and over, they echo the findings of the US Army War College's ISS recommendations.

Update 1/27/06 According to a FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll, 51 percent of Americans would support US air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, "if diplomacy fails." Even with the stipulaton added, this is a troubling figure. It appears that the American people have been bamboozled once again into thinking that an enemy exists where it does not. How many times can the Bush admin play the fear game and the people buy into it? Rhetorically, that is an absurd question--for fear knows no bounds and people will always respond blindly and insanely when they are told that monsters exist in the wilderness of their ignorance.

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