Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bush's Bungling of Iran

Esquire has a fascinating article on Iran, The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know . " Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann worked at the highest levels of the Bush administration as Middle East policy experts for the National Security Council. Mann conducted secret negotiations with Iran. Leverett traveled with Colin Powell and advised Condoleezza Rice." They tell of negotiations with Iran after 9/11 and negotiations with Arab nations to solve the Palestinian problem. All of these were killed by the white House (Cheney and Rumsfeld).

The article contains one amazing event after another. Crown Prince Abdullah confronting Bush in Crawford about doing something about "the Palestinian issue".

Powell presented a middle east peace roadmap idea at a meeting "expel your terrorist groups and stop trying to develop weapons of mass destruction, and we will take you off the sponsors-of-terrorism list and start a new era of cooperation." "After the meeting, [deputy national security advisor, Stephen Hadley] wrote up a brief memo that came to be known as Hadley's Rules: If a state like Syria or Iran offers specific assistance, we will take it without offering anything in return. We will accept it without strings or promises. We won't try to build on it."

He described receiving "a detailed proposal for peace in the Middle East, approved at the highest levels in Tehran." "A two-page summary was attached. Scanning it, Mann was startled by one dramatic concession [by Iran] after another -- 'decisive action' against all terrorists in Iran, an end of support for Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, a promise to cease its nuclear program, and also an agreement to recognize Israel."

Really the article is just incredible. I knew 9/11 was an opportunity that was completely blown by this administration but I had no idea how good things might have been. And it all seems to have been blocked by Cheney and Rumsfeld. It's no clear what their reasons are. Do they have some deranged plan to get oil? Do they like war so their Haliburton buddies can prosper? Are they insane? Or are they just completely incompetent at dealing with other humans in a way to build trust and cooperation instead of using force? Unfortunately I don't think we'll ever know the answer to this question.

"This is what Leverett and Mann fear will happen: The diplomatic effort in the United Nations will fail when it becomes clear that Russia's and China's geopolitical ambitions will not accommodate the inconvenience of energy sanctions against Iran. Without any meaningful incentive from the U.S. to be friendly, Iran will keep meddling in Iraq and installing nuclear centrifuges. This will trigger a response from the hard-liners in the White House, who feel that it is their moral duty to deal with Iran before the Democrats take over American foreign policy. "If you get all those elements coming together, say in the first half of '08," says Leverett, "what is this president going to do? I think there is a serious risk he would decide to order an attack on the Iranian nuclear installations and probably a wider target zone. This would result in a dramatic increase in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, attacks by proxy forces like Hezbollah, and an unknown reaction from the wobbly states of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where millions admire Iran's resistance to the Great Satan. "As disastrous as Iraq has been," says Mann, "an attack on Iran could engulf America in a war with the entire Muslim world."


DKB said...

Well, I think you're right that we'll never know the exact truth, since truth is anathema to this administration. If I didn't think they were so demonstrably evil, I'd wonder if Cheney and Rumsfeld share Bush's Christian end-times mentality, thinking that having WWIII in the Middle East will bring about the Rapture and have them all teleported to paradise.

If they do start a war with Iran, I think impeachment is WAY too good for them. I'd suggest military tribunals.

Howard said...

Remember, impeachment is just the accusation, the punishment can be anything.