Thursday, March 12, 2009

Maybe they'll stop their 30 year war on us if we just talk to them!

Amir Taheri, in my opinion, is the most prominent expert on Iran in journalism. Every time I read something from him, I learn something new on Middle East politics, social norms and culture. In Sunday's New York Post, he reviews Khomeini's Ghost: The Iranian Revolution and the Rise of Militant Islam by Con Coughlin.

Taheri, and anyone who's ever read his articles, knows all to well that the new administration is no match for what the mullah's have been planning for the past 30 years. He even goes on to say that they "would benefit from Coughlin's account of Khomeinist involvement in the insurgencies in both Iraq and Afghanistan." In particular, as Coughlin writes, "Tehran took the view that its own strategy of fueling the insurgency [in Iraq] by all means at its disposal was working. The longer the United States and its allies were bogged down in Iraq, the less likely they were to act over Iran's nuclear program." He adds: "By the spring of 2007 senior NATO commanders found compelling evidence that the Revolutionary Guard had set aside their traditional antipathy towards the Taliban and were supplying them with roadside bombs and rockets to attack NATO positions, particularly British forces deployed in southern Afghanistan."

Coughlin's main argument throughout is that these people have absolutely no intention and sitting down and playing nice with us. They do not regard The New Messiah as their messiah. They've been at war with us for 30 years because "Iran has maintained its uncompromising devotion to its unique expression of revolutionary Islam, no matter how much hostility from the outside world. And so long as the heirs to Khomeini's revolution maintained their iron grip on power, the Islamic republic of Iran would continue to uphold the banner of radical Islam and proclaim its defiance of the rest of the world."

As Coughlin shows, and Taheri agrees, "the real question is not whether or not to go to war against Iran but how to end the war that Iran has been waging against the US for three decades."

Now I am loathe to call someone older than me naive, especially the POTUS. But, can anyone else come up with a better adjective on this negotiate-until-all-else-fails-then-negotiate-more policy Dear Leader and his Secretary of State insist on pursuing?

If I can get this point from a book review, why can't the foreign policy experts in the new administration get it?


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