JOIN VNN COLUMNIST TEAM | SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER
VETERANS NEWS NOW ON : FACEBOOK | TWITTER | FORUM
|

Obama in Tehran

The most annoying adage of American diplomacy is surely “Only Nixon could go to China,” as it credits the 37th president with solving a problem that he did more than anyone to create during his tricky career of redbaiting, fearmongering and saber-rattling.

 

By Chase Madar, for the Washington Spectator*

 

U.S. diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China should have been a no-brainer for all sorts of reasons, chief among them national self-interest.

Yet rapprochement with the PRC took 24 years, during which American China experts who dissented from the national groupthink were ignored, smeared or given pink slips.

 

Flynt appeared on the PBS NewsHour last night (see here or click on the embedded video below) to talk about U.S.-Iranian nuclear diplomacy.  Among other points, he critiqued the Obama administration’s “dual-track” approach as “internally contradictory and ultimately counterproductive…” 

 

Watch Biden: U.S. Would Use Military Action to Stop Nuclear Iran on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

An eye-opening argument for a new approach to Iran, from two of America’s most informed and influential Middle East experts

Flynt Leverett and   Hillary Mann Leverett are the intellectual descendants of those China hands, but their focus is the Islamic Republic of Iran.  In their new book, the Leveretts (who have between them worked in the National Security Council, the CIA and the State Department) make an ironclad case that President Barack Obama not only can, but   must, “go to Iran” to establish normal diplomatic relations.

Jimmy Carter’s plan to turn the Persian Gulf into a militarized American bathtub has been a bust.  After two   Gulf wars and rising naval tension, the much-mouthed goal of “regional stability” will continue to elude us until there is rapprochement with Iran.

Going to Tehran is a reasoned, methodical critique of the ideological folklore that prevents Washington from setting up normal diplomatic relations with Tehran.  For instance, the myth that mullahs want nukes to wipe out Israel—only in turn to be wiped out by Israeli nukes.  (The notion of Iran as an irrational “suicide nation” has been repudiated by almost all senior Israeli security officials, including the current minister of defense, but Washington clings to it.)

Other myths include the claim, contrary to nearly all polling data, that Iran’s 2009 elections were “stolen” from liberal reformers by the socially conservative incumbent; and the dream that an Iran led by these liberal   reformers would be a Persian version of Canada—subservient to Washington, eager to drop its nuclear program (which, according to our own CIA, is purely civilian).

Because the Leveretts fail to condemn the illiberal nature of Iranian social and political life, high-minded blowhards such as Jeffrey Goldberg have wasted no time in tarring them as apologists for the Islamic Republic. But domestic repression in other countries has never stopped Washington from establishing diplomatic ties.

Take our close regional partner Saudi Arabia, a neomedieval kingdom that in terms of personal freedoms makes Iran look like the West Village.  Or Egypt, recipient of $60 billion in foreign aid over the past 30 years, until very recently an authoritarian torture regime without real elections.

And then, of course, Israel, our most expensive client state, gobbling up Palestinian land and water in an occupation that violates international law and defies U.S. foreign policy positions.  Whence the squeamishness about talking with Tehran?

Of course the Leveretts’ real sin isn’t defending the Islamic Republic but holding U.S. policy elites—in government, media, academia, and think tanks—to account in intimate detail for making such a volatile hash out of our Iran statecraft.

The book is scrupulously sourced and the Leveretts make ample use of the Wikileaks files to argue, convincingly, that Obama’s early vaunted overtures to Tehran were empty gestures intended only as a prelude to severe economic sanctions, a policy that jibes well with our own tribal politics but will never bring about the pro-American regime change that remains the goal of official Washington.

Just as Nixon’s opening to China helped Washington achieve numerous mutually beneficial objectives in East Asia, only rapprochement with Tehran can bring stability to the Persian Gulf, to its critical oil flows and for that matter to Iran’s chaotic eastern neighbor, Afghanistan.

The year is young but Going to Tehran is likely the most important book on U.S. foreign policy in 2013.


Chase Madar is a lawyer in New York and a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books, the American Conservative magazine, CounterPunch.org, and Le Monde Diplomatique.  His next book, The Passion of Bradley   Manning: The Story Behind the Wikileaks Suspect ,will be published by O/R Books this fall.  He is covering the Bradley Manning case and trial for TomDispatch.comTo listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest TomCast audio interview in which Madar discusses the Manning case, click here, or download it to your iPod here


Short URL: http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/?p=222250

The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VNN or any other VNN authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors or partners and technicians. Notices

Education
Get Your Loan Now
Get Your Loan Now
Get Your Loan Now
Apply for your VA Home Loan Now
Apply for your VA Home Loan Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now
Austins School of Spa Technology
ME Online
slow aging
What Price Gold


Posted by on Mar 5 2013, With 0 Reads, Filed under AfPak, Africa, Editors' Picks, Expert Opinions ME, Middle East Conflicts, News From the Region, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS

To post a comment, you must login using Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail in the box below.
Don't have a social network account? Register and Login direct with our site and post your comment.
Before you post, read our Comment Policy - Legal Notice

Comments Closed

Comments are closed

 

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Join Our Daily Newsletter
  View Newsletter ARCHIVE

WHAT'S HOT

  1. National Facility Services Company Seeks To Hire Veterans
  2. Satellite Communications Manufacturer is Hiring!
  3. Loony Left and Rabid Right – Common Ground
  4. The War between Gaza and the Zionists
  5. Paul Findley: The Tyranny of Collective Punishment
  6. Raimondo: Israel, Genocide, and the ‘Logic’ of Zionism
  7. Tens of thousands march on the White House for Palestine
  8. Ken Loach slams BBC coverage of Israel’s war on Palestine at broadcaster’s Bristol HQ
  9. Western plutocracy goes bear hunting
  10. Israeli Officer Missing; 70 More Palestinians Die
  11. Global Subsea Maintenance Group Hiring Now!
  12. Obama’s Foreign Policy and the Future of the Middle East — Chas Freeman and Paul Pillar
  13. US General Dempsey Another Victim of the American Gulag
  14. Gaza Genocide and Arab Fratricide
  15. Anthony Lawson: The Blood of Palestine is on the Hands of the Bribe-Takers
  16. Harper blames victims for Israeli terrorism
  17. Blaming Russia as ‘Flat Fact’
  18. Washington’s Second Front in Information War against Russia
  19. “Why do you continue to kill people?”
  20. Netanyahu’s Bloody Calculations
  1. rhys: To Tom Dooley, above. You would “love to discover how much of this is the truth?” A fair question,...
  2. rexw: Mr. Raimondo, in mentioning the Times of Israel article, conveniently now removed from public view, added this...
  3. Don Nash: Mr. Findley is spot on. Bravely so. Congress’ egregious endorsement of Israeli genocide on...
  4. Gary Nicholls: Agreed 100%. It is the Zionists and their lackeys who are the root cause of much of the worlds...
  5. DaveE: Unfortunately, history has shown that organized crime DOES pay. Our government will not be cleansed of its...

Apply for VA Home Loan Now!

Military Veterans Radio

Archives