Friday, March 5, 2010

Why We Will Pursue The Wrong Strategy With Iran

Roger Cohen, in an excellent piece on how to approach Iran, says this about sanctions:
I’m told that’s how Obama, who remains intellectually committed to the idea of an Iran breakthrough, views them: a necessity in the light of Congressional and Israeli pressure, but not a likely means to get sanctions-inured Iran to change course.
Now sanction for Iran are worse than useless. They serve mainly to enrich the political leadership which can get around them and profit by selling things ordinary citizens can't get. It's a perfect way to further alienate the Iranian people. This is widely known. But we're going to get them anyway. Why? Because Israel and their allies in Congress (who put Israeli interests before American) want it. 

When it comes to foreign policy in the Middle East, Congress no longer serves the American voter. It serves Israel.

Stratfor has a very interesting suggestion on how to deal with Iran. I'll excerpt a little, but you should really read the whole thing. (Stratfor is a leading global intelligence consulting company.)
Iraq, not nuclear weapons, is the fundamental issue between Iran and the United States. Iran wants to see a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq so Iran can assume its place as the dominant military power in the Persian Gulf. The United States wants to withdraw from Iraq because it faces challenges in Afghanistan — where it will also need Iranian cooperation — and elsewhere. Committing forces to Iraq for an extended period of time while fighting in Afghanistan leaves the United States exposed globally. Events involving China or Russia — such as the 2008 war in Georgia — would see the United States without a counter. The alternative would be a withdrawal from Afghanistan or a massive increase in U.S. armed forces. The former is not going to happen any time soon, and the latter is an economic impossibility...
It is said that Ahmadinejad is crazy. It was also said that Mao and Stalin were crazy, in both cases with much justification. Ahmadinejad has said many strange things and issued numerous threats. But when Roosevelt ignored what Stalin said and Nixon ignored what Mao said, they each discovered that Stalin’s and Mao’s actions were far more rational and predictable than their rhetoric. Similarly, what the Iranians say and what they do are quite different.

When it comes to foreign policy in the Middle East, Congress no longer serves the American voter. It serves Israel.

Rapprochement with Iran, and an acceptance of that nation's desired position of relative power in the Middle East could have great benefits for Iran and the United States. But it will never happen, at least not anytime soon, because Israel doesn't want it. And Israel, ultimately, decides what American policy will be-not Americans.

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