The better informed everybody becomes the greater the chance that war can be prevented and propaganda can not distort reality. With a couple of clicks you can do your part by simply forwarding this to others.
Former CIA Officials Say Iran’s Clerics Want to Goad Israel Into an Attack
by Aram Roston
"… some intelligence officials and Iran experts tell The Daily Beast that an Israeli attack may be exactly what Tehran’s most hard-line leaders have been trying to provoke.
Martin, who spent most of his 25-year career at the CIA in the Middle East, argues that some clerics and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders, confronted with a discontented and restless population, are looking for ways to solidify public support. “The way they see it, if Israel bombs them it relieves the internal pressure,” says Martin. “Amid this turmoil, it's always good to have an outside enemy.”
Paul Pillar, the former national intelligence officer for the Middle East, agrees, though he emphasizes that only part of the Iranian leadership is likely plotting this way. “It’s quite rational,” he said, “from the perspective of the specific elements in the regime that believe it would work to their political advantage.” Pillar, who spent 28 years at the CIA, is now a professor at Georgetown University. “I strongly believe that the net political effect of an attack would be to help the hardliners,” he says.
“I do think that a military conflagration could be one of the few things that could potentially rehabilitate the regime,” said Sadjadpour. “It could resuscitate revolutionary ideology and repair the deep fractures both amongst the political elite and among the population and the regime.”
“The guys you are talking about, they are not going to die,” he says. “They are not the ones who are going to get bombed. They can always find another lab technician, or another scientist. Those are the ones who are going to die.”
(I seriously doubt if there is some hidden away situation room where these so called war seekers are plotting how to provoke an attack so that they can consolidate their power, brush internal problems under the rug, and cheer the bombing of Iran. Most likely what these former CIA agents and Iran experts perceive is the general incompetence that is rampant throughout this government. From top to bottom "bi-orzegi" (incompetence) reigns supreme and the level of skilled administration is so hopeless that from the outside it may mistakenly come across that these cunning Iranians are plotting something sinister.)
The Dangers of Warmongering on Syria, Iran
by Leslie H. Gelb
I’m not supposed to tell you this. I’m violating the code. I’m giving away the deepest, darkest secret of the foreign policy clan: even though we sound like we know everything, we know very little, especially about the intentions of bad guys and the consequences of war. But since the media keeps treating us like sages and keeps ignoring our horrendous mistakes, we carry on with our game, and do a lot of damage. Let me give you of few of the more recent examples of how ignorant and dangerous we are, and why you should be wary of any flat out “truths” and certainties uttered by my clanspeople.
(This is a very good article by a sage of the foreign policy establishment and I suggest reading the whole article but here are a couple more highlights:)
There’s an even longer list of questions that the war humanitarians should be made to answer before any president lifts his sword. Americans need protection from these snake-oil salesmen, and that protection depends almost entirely on Congress and the media. They have got to be much tougher with the experts, pin them down on what they know and don't know and what facts their views are based on. They've got to demand real answers,
But it is the rarest of occasions when legislators or journalists bear down on the experts. If the questioners don’t do their job once again, as with Iraq and Afghanistan, then we’ll be in wars once again. And once again, we’ll be very sorry. But the interventionists won’t be. They never are. They’ll just want to keep fighting every war forever until we “win.”
Iran Must Make a Move to Save Diplomacy
By R.K. Ramazani
Iran needs to make a practical and positive move to support diplomacy and avert a possible war.
I realize that any positive diplomatic gesture by Iran will be viewed gleefully as Iranian surrender to America as a result of presumed efficacy of the “crippling” sanctions imposed on Iran’s financial system and export of oil. But Iran has shown before that it is capable of innovative moves without the fear of losing face. It voluntarily suspended uranium enrichment for about two years when it was negotiating with the EU-3 (Britain, France and Germany). An Iranian conciliatory offer now would put to shame those who view Iran as “messianic” and “irrational” and would also honor the ancient Iranian value of “pragmatic wisdom” (hekmat-e amaly).
In the face of rising sentiments for striking Iranian nuclear facilities, this is the most opportune time for Iran to prove by action the credibility of its longstanding claim that its nuclear program is for such peaceful purposes as producing electricity and providing medical treatment for many Iranian cancer and other patients.
On this basis, Iran should offer to suspend all activities for enriching uranium at the 20% level and allow monitoring and verifying by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors. The offer must come before the start rather than during the negotiations…"
For their part, the P-5 plus 1 nations should provide Iran with 20% enriched uranium. This exchange would jump start the negotiations in regard to such thorny issues as the level of enriched uranium acceptable to both sides and the unhindered access of the IAEA inspectors to Iran’s nuclear sites at times of their choosing.
If Iran were to make this practical and positive move, President Obama should welcome it. Despite the clamor for military strikes, he should continue to emphasize diplomacy as an important American option.
Beyond the need to highlight the importance of negotiations, President Obama should be prepared to pledge that the United States will not seek to change the Iranian regime.
(But isn't what this is all about, regime change?)
(This all sounds very good but given the level of mistrust, misunderstanding, miscommunication, and general frustration and anger, talking to each other seems almost impossible.)
In the case of Iran, the United States can follow its own precedent. The Algiers Accord of January 19, 1981 between the United States and Iran that settled the hostage crisis provided, “The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s affairs.” The United States can make a similar pledge for settling the nuclear dispute and perhaps pave the way towards normalizing relations with Iran after thirty-three years of mutual hostility.
(Did the Algiers Accord have an expiration date? Many would argue that for the past ten years the United States has been in violations of the Algiers Accord … though this debate needs the opinion of an international lawyer familiar with such matters because it's way over my head. As far as normalizing relations goes: this is not going to happen with Israel constantly sabotaging the tiniest steps towards peace and reconciliation.
I want to thank Cyrus Safdari at Iran Affairs for providing the link to R. K. Ramazani's article. Check out his blog, it's very informative and well written.
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