Monday, May 15, 2006

Operation Regime Change (or here we go again...)

Same players, same game plan, clearly laid out right in front of our faces. I only wonder what they will use as a trigger to turn the (currently) skeptical population into a flag-waving, bloodthirsty, "nuke Iran" mob. Attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq by Iranian "terrorists?" A bomb in an Israeli market with "undeniable" links to Ahmadinejad? Photographic "proof" of missile silos outside of Tehran? Or something even worse?

An excerpt:

...The history of the conflict and the private strategic thinking of both sides reveal that the dispute is really about the administration's drive for greater dominance in the Middle East and Iran's demand for recognition as a regional power.

It is now known that the Iranian leadership, which was convinced that Bush was planning to move against Iran after toppling Saddam Hussein in Iraq, proposed in April 2003 to negotiate with the United States on the very issues which the administration had claimed were the basis for its hostile posture toward Tehran: its nuclear program, its support for Hezbullah and other anti-Israeli armed groups and its hostility to Israel's existence.

Tehran offered concrete, substantive concessions on those issues. But on the advice of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Bush refused to respond to the negotiating proposal. Nuclear weapons were not, therefore, the primary U.S. concern about Iran. In the hierarchy of the administration's interests, the denial of legitimacy to the Islamic Republic trumped a deal that could provide assurances against an Iranian nuclear weapon.

For insight into the real aims of the administration in pushing the issue of Iranian access to nuclear technology to a crisis point, one can turn to Tom Donnelly of the neoconservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute. Donnelly was the deputy executive director of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century from 1999 to 2002, and was the main author of ”Rebuilding America's Defenses.”

That paper was written for Cheney and Rumsfeld during the transition following Bush's election and had the participation of four prominent figures who took positions in the administration: Stephen A. Cambone, Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton.

Donnelly's analysis of the issue of Iran and nuclear weapons, published last October in the book ”Getting Ready for a Nuclear-Ready Iran”, makes it clear that the real objection to Iran becoming a nuclear power is that it would impede the larger U.S. ambitions in the Middle East—what Donnelly calls the administration's ”project of transforming the Middle East”.

Contrary to the official U.S. line depicting Iran as a radical state threatening to plunge the region into war, Donnelly refers to Iran as ”more the status quo power” in the region in relation to the United States. Iran, he explains, “stands directly athwart this project of regional transformation.” Up to now, he observes, the Iranian regime has been “incapable of stemming the seeping U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf and in the broader region.” And the invasion of Iraq “completed the near-encirclement of Iran by U.S. military forces.”

Donnelly writes that a “nuclear Iran” is a problem not so much because Tehran would employ those weapons or pass them on to terrorist groups, but mainly because of ”the constraining effect it threatens to impose upon U.S. strategy for the greater Middle East.”

The “greatest danger,” according to Donnelly, is that the “realists” would “pursue a 'balance of power' approach with a nuclear Iran, undercutting the Bush 'liberation strategy.’” Although Donnelly doesn't say so explicitly, it would undercut that strategy primarily by ruling out a U.S. attack on Iran as part of a strategy of ”regime change.”

Instead, in Donnelly scenario, a nuclear capability would incline those outside the neoconservative priesthood to negotiate a “détente” with Iran, which would bring the plan for the extension of U.S. political-military dominance in the Middle East to a halt.

What is really at stake in the confrontation with Iran from the Bush administration's perspective, according to this authority on neoconservative strategy, is the opportunity to reorder the power hierarchy in the Middle East even further in favor of the United States—by pursuing the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. Iran's recent letter to BushCo was just that - an entree for diplomatic exchange and a loud cry for recognition for all the world to see. Too bad our kingdom just chose to dismiss it. Now I understand the reason why.

1:45 PM  

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