Monday, November 07, 2005

Bush's Iran policy falters amid futile sanctions, diplomacy


Bloomberg -- ...The lawmakers' frustration reflects a central dilemma: U.S. policy on Iran contains few good options. With economic pressure largely ineffective and no credible military option because U.S. troops are tied down in an unpopular war in Iraq, the Bush administration has little direct leverage over Iran. Instead, it's relying on European-managed diplomacy to curb Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology and support for terrorism.

Kenneth Pollack, who directed Iran policy in the White House under President Bill Clinton, says the administration "recognized that neither the military option nor regime change is a winner.''

Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute, a Washington- based policy research group, says it's widely known the U.S. "can't invade and occupy the country,'' undermining any threat of military action on the part of administration policy makers.

"They have become so beleaguered and so besieged and so confronted with challenges that they've made a conscious decision that diplomacy will now be the most turned-to tool of power,'' Larry Wilkerson, chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, says of the Bush team's approach to Iran."

The diplomatic route has proven bumpy. The Europeans offered economic incentives and security guarantees if Iran abandoned its nuclear program, only to have Iran reject the offer and resume work on uranium conversion. That's a possible prelude to uranium enrichment, which in turn could lead to production of nuclear weapons.

Some analysts say negotiations will prove futile because Iran has no interest in abandoning its nuclear program. Others say the European offers have not been enticing enough and that Iran needs a U.S. guarantee that it will not attack Iran as part of a nuclear deal.

Pollack says there won't be any diplomatic progress "unless there's some form of engagement'' between the U.S. and Iran. Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, agrees, saying the administration must open direct talks with Iran if it's to achieve "any lasting solution to Iran's nuclear program.''

"The United States is capable of engaging Iran in direct dialogue without sacrificing any of its interests or objectives,'' Hagel said in a speech Oct. 30 at Iowa State University in Ames.
The Bush administration says it's seeking ways to do that. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 19, said the U.S. is making "new efforts'' to communicate with the Iranians...

At this point I don't think it's important anymore whether the Bush administration has a policy on Iran or not, as long as our people and opposition forces do nothing but keep their fingers crossed that one fine day a US president and his administration are going to liberate them, nothing will happen.

In fact, as long as we ourselves don't care about the future of our country and continue to sit on our hands and watch generations of Iranians go wasted one after another under the Islamic regime, it doesn't matter if the US has a policy on Iran or not, or if its president is a Democrat or Republican. To quote William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar "There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ... Cassius was right: 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not our stars, but in ourselves.'" - Kash