THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA

If you follow the Bush administration’s line of thinking (at least the line they have used in their talking points) we have been having trouble with Iran for decades. In fact, it was highly publicized that the recent talks with Iran were the first since a 20 year diplomatic freeze between the two states. According to James Dobbins, who was the Bush administration’s first envoy for Afghanistan after September 11th, that is hardly the case. His insights in a July 22nd Washington Post column shed light on how we have and can continue to engage Iran as a partner for stabilizing the Middle East and fighting al-Qaeda.

“Many believe that in the wake of Sept. 11, the United States formed an international coalition and toppled the Taliban. It would be more accurate to say that the U.S. joined a coalition that had been battling the Taliban for nearly a decade. This coalition – made up of Iran, India, Russia and the Northern Alliance, and aided by massive American airpower – drove the Taliban from power.”

This was not an anxious alliance, Dobbins goes on to emphasize the openness of the talks in 2001 during the U.N. conference in Bonn, Germany. “The Iranian representatives were particularly helpful…then-Secretary of State Colin Powell authorized me to meet anywhere, anytime, on any matter with any Iranian official, as long as our discussions related to Afghanistan.”

Contrast this attitude toward Iran with that of the Bush administration in 2007 when talks on Iraq went into their second, most recent, session. “U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said he also challenged Iran over its suspected support for other radical groups in the Middle East such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran rejected all of the accusations, he said…. Crocker said there had been several “heated exchanges” in the seven hours of talks, and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari described them as ‘very challenging.’” (Associated Press)

So what happened to our coalition against terrorists? “Only weeks after Hamid Karzai was sworn in as interim leader in Afghanistan, President Bush listed Iran among the ‘axis of evil’ – surprising payback for Tehran’s help in Bonn.” I can’t speculate on the reasoning for this change – I can only condemn it.

If we truly seek a democratic and stable Middle East region we cannot continue on this path. Iraq is a central place to bring our diplomatic relations back into reality. “None of Iraq’s neighbors was eager for the invasion four years ago ….All are now worried that the civil war in Iraq will serve as a breeding ground for terror and violence that will be increasingly exported to their own countries.” (Brookings)

Iran has the most capability to be a decisive force given its intimate ties to virtually every Shia and Kurdish politician, its geography and its economic connections.” Iran’s influence in Iraq is more than apparent. Their cooperation in the stabilization and re-building of Iraq is essential to creating a workable plan.

The Bush administration would have us believe that staying in Iraq is the only option. Samuel Berger and Bruce Riedel would vehemently disagree. These Brookings scholars believe that Iraq’s neighbors cannot engage with the U.S. diplomatically before we end our occupation. Most notably, Iran fears Iraq becoming a base for the U.S to launch an attack against their country. Why would they cooperate if the feel threatened?

Creating a peaceful region without a permanent U.S. presence should be the number one priority of all involved. The first step toward this end is a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and cooperation with Iran akin to that of 2001.

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4 Responses to THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA

  1. The Bush administration is not a government at all. We all know that. It is a crime family—an oligarchy of racketeers. They have no moral authority, no legitimacy, no right to govern. They’re criminals.

    Who doesn’t know this?

    And, yet, our congressmen and senators refuse to do their jobs. They’ve “taken impeachment off the table”. They have agreed that Bush is above the law. Fine. Then we’ll have to persuade them that they’re wrong or find another way. But Bush has to go. How else can we re-establish democracy in America? How else can we reinstate the legitimate power of congress?

    Every day we read about some new attack on our freedom. Every day our constitution is further trashed. This week Bush banned public demonstrations against the war. Last month he issued an executive order that makes himself dictator if another terrorist attack takes place inside the US. The month before that the Congress passed a law that makes it easier for Bush to declare martial law and militarize the country.

    We’re not asleep. We know what’s going on. We know they won’t stop until someone stops them. Why would they? They love power.

    Look at Iraq. The millions of protestors in the streets had absolutely no effect. The congress had no effect. World opinion had no effect. The United Nations had no effect.

    So what happened?

    They were stopped in Iraq by men with guns. End of story.

    Will it be different at home? I hope so, but who knows?

    Leftists, liberals and Libertarians are great at pointing out the details of Bush’s attack on the Bill of Rights—but to what end? For more recriminations and hand-wringing?

    We don’t need that. We know the problem and we know the solution—Bush must go.

    I could be wrong, but I think that revolution is coming—and it’s coming sooner than you think. The American people have been hoodwinked and intimidated for a long time, but we’re reaching a tipping point where public outrage will overpower fear. And that’s what revolution is—organized rage directed at the government. That’s why they want to keep us apart, and spy on us, and follow our every movement. They want absolute power. It’s their dream. It is the dream of evil men everywhere. But it will fail—because everything they’ve tried so far has failed. And because the culture of freedom is stronger than the cynical schemes of demagogues.

    We need to see we’re not alone. We need to understand that 70% of the American people feel just like us. They’re mad. Mad at the war, mad at congress, mad at Bush. And we need to stay mad—mad as hell until things change. And they’ll only change if we work together.

    But first we have to get mad.

    Peter Finch points the way in his prophetic movie “Network”:

    “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

  2. James Linn says:

    I am a Vietnam vet. I did 3 WestPAC cruises on the USS Enterprise. We were “bombing the North Vietnamese back into the Stone Age.” to quote the US President of that moment. We were told that , if we didn’t stop “them” in the streets of Saigon, we would have to fight “them” in the streets of San Francisco. Well, we didn’t stop “them” in the streets of Saigon and the North Vietnamese went on to unify their country. None of predicted disasters occured. I don’t particularly like or approve of the political system in Vietnam, but what I think and feel is not the point. The point is that it is their country and not mine.

    Eventually we will “cut and run” from Iraq as we did in Vietnam. They will sort out their internal politics on their own. The terrible things that the current administration predicts will happen to America will not occur. The sorting out will not be pretty, but it their country and not mine.

    THE REAL DANGER TO MY FREEDOM IS THE DICTATORIAL POWERS THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE U.S. PRESIDENT. Al Qada will not imprison me or my family or my friends. Deny us habus corpus, send us to Guantanamo or coerce confessions from any of us. But the Bush/Cheney administration might.

  3. Dear Fellows,

    My name is giuseppe biondo, I am a 22 years old young man, whose life is shared and oriented together with all supporters involved in the process to the achievement of a united world where freedom abounds and children of the sky are free to rise to greater heights, mankind evolution. I like it.

    This message is directed to all my young brothers and sisters whose dreams travels all over the world and beyond it, as the sun shines here and now, there and now and far above those.

    What can a young man or woman do to change this world?

    Or

    Would it be appropriate for youth to raise the voice in such a way as to be considered responsible of their consideration and performance headed to evolution?

    Or

    Is there a possibility for youth to express great ideas to be recognized, comprehended and actualised by our governments, which are leading people and the present planet resources?

    Or

    Is there any obstacle to join hands all together and share the responsibility of this ultimate vision and attainment of peace on earth?

    Or

    Is there a way of shaping the reality of this planet in such a way as to create a civilization of peace and love?

    An impartial investigation based on the UN General Assembly 55/282 on http://www.peaceoneday.org/page/unresolution has revealed that we all are invited as we read in paragraph 3 of the above-mentioned Resolution:

    3.Invites all member states, organisations of the United Nations system, regional and non-governmental organisations and individual to commemorate, in an appropriate manner, the International Day of Peace, including through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of the global ceasefire.

    Therefore it is good to know and share the exiting proposal expressed on http://wwwpeace365.org and on http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Peace365/ in which the ideal action is to petition the United Nations to extend the Resolution 55/282 for additional 365 days please.

    There is an industry of wasted energy dedicated to war. This energy can be re-distributed through the means of global disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration to be redirected towards dialogue based processes by mutual education and campaign awareness and the establishment of the civil society.

    Unity and Sharing are fundamental to begin.

    Something can be done about it.

    Please visit the aforementioned web sites for further actions; Ideas and comment are very welcome.

    Thank you

    May peace be generated every moment on earth.

    Giuseppe, marek and supporters

  4. Our mission is to petition The United Nations to extend the existing Resolution adopted by General Assembly 55/282, International Day of Peace, for remaining 365 days… and intend to do it with the united single voice and active supporters involved in the process,
    until the Global Peace Forever is established.

    In May 2007 our petition has been registered as Petition No:691/2007 in the Committee on Petitions in the European Parliament,

    Recently we posted our petition to Member States of the United Nations Organization,

    We shall continue dissemination with your help,
    until the Global Peace Forever is established.

    http://www.peace365.org/

    Marek and supporters

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