Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fareed Zakaria On Iran ( Newsweek)

Sample Posting

"Last year, the Princeton scholar, Bernard Lewis, a close adviser to Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal predicting that on Aug. 22, 2006, President Ahmadinejad was going to end the world."

Editorial Comment

It has been clear for some time that Iran does not pose a threat to the US but it may to Israel. The fact that the US is prepared to go to World War III to appease Israeli paranoia, is an indication of how much of a stranglehold Israel has over the US.

Iraq never posed a threat to the US but may have to Israel and this paranoia has put the US in the mess that they are today, in Iraq. The fact that these policies are not in the interest of either Israel or America is lost on people who are fixed in a world view that they have created.
No contrarian view is accepted and people are labeled Anti Semitic left and right. This is no conspiracy theory, both the US and Israel acknowledge the bias. The US acknowledges that it cannot follow an even handed policy towards Israel. It cannot be an honest broker in resolving the Israeli dispute with the Palestinians.

While there is no justification for attacking Iran preemptively and while it is clear that it will put the US in a bigger mess than it already is in Iraq and Afghanistan, the wild rhetoric against Iran keeps getting wilder. Republicans and Democrats alike are united in this thinking. It does not really matter any more whether good sense will prevail. We know that it will not.
The Urdu saying that applies here is that, "Chewnti ki jub moth aati hae to oos kae per nikal aatae haen." ( when an ant has a death wish, it sprouts wings.)

Unwittingly Israel is on the verge of helping to create a new world order. Ironically it is one that will give no credit to Israel for this. The Bush-Cheyne extremist view was born in th elast Century. It has no relevance in this century. The chaos and destruction that we are seeing will get worse and world wide power will flow into the hands of extremists and away from moderates. We are already seeing this and the US has lost control of the situation. In the proposed attack on Iran the US is about to reach a point of no return, if it has not already done so.


Subject: Fwd. Fareed Zakaria (newsweek) on Iran [Newsweek] To: Kirfani@aol.com

<<...Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland's and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?

When the relatively moderate Mohammed Khatami was elected president in Iran, American conservatives pointed out that he was just a figurehead. Real power, they said (correctly), especially control of the military and police, was wielded by the unelected "Supreme Leader," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Now that Ahmadinejad is president, they claim his finger is on the button. (Oh wait, Iran doesn't have a nuclear button yet and won't for at least three to eight years, according to the CIA, by which point Ahmadinejad may not be president anymore. But these are just facts.)
In a speech last week, Rudy Giuliani said that while the Soviet Union and China could be deterred during the cold war, Iran can't be. The Soviet and Chinese regimes had a "residual rationality," he explained. Hmm. Stalin and Mao—who casually ordered the deaths of millions of their own people, fomented insurgencies and revolutions, and starved whole regions that opposed them—were rational folk. But not Ahmadinejad, who has done what that compares? One of the bizarre twists of the current Iran hysteria is that conservatives have become surprisingly charitable about two of history's greatest mass murderers.
If I had to choose whom to describe as a madman, North Korea's Kim Jong Il or Ahmadinejad, I do not think there is really any contest. A decade ago Kim Jong Il allowed a famine to kill 2 million of his own people, forcing the others to survive by eating grass, while he imported gallons of expensive French wine. He has sold nuclear technology to other rogue states and threatened his neighbors with test-firings of rockets and missiles. Yet the United States will be participating in international relief efforts to Pyongyang worth billions of dollars.
We're on a path to irreversible confrontation with a country we know almost nothing about. The United States government has had no diplomats in Iran for almost 30 years. American officials have barely met with any senior Iranian politicians or officials. We have no contact with the country's vibrant civil society. Iran is a black hole to us—just as Iraq had become in 2003.
The one time we seriously negotiated with Tehran was in the closing days of the war in Afghanistan, in order to create a new political order in the country. Bush's representative to the Bonn conference, James Dobbins, says that "the Iranians were very professional, straightforward, reliable and helpful. They were also critical to our success. They persuaded the Northern Alliance to make the final concessions that we asked for."
Dobbins says the Iranians made overtures to have better relations with the United States through him and others in 2001 and later, but got no reply. Even after the Axis of Evil speech, he recalls, they offered to cooperate in Afghanistan. Dobbins took the proposal to a principals meeting in Washington only to have it met with dead silence. The then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he says, "looked down and rustled his papers." No reply was ever sent back to the Iranians. Why bother? They're mad.
Last year, the Princeton scholar, Bernard Lewis, a close adviser to Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal predicting that on Aug. 22, 2006, President Ahmadinejad was going to end the world. The date, he explained, "is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the Prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque,' usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back. This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world" (my emphasis). This would all be funny if it weren't so dangerous.

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