A Sane View of The Diplomacy vs. War Options with Iran: Watch Trita Parsi on Last Night’s Daily Show
Perhaps, one of the wisest, most common sense observations that I have heard to date regarding the current situation with Iran can be heard in the following clip from the extended interview of my good friend, Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), last night on Jon Stewart’s show. Here is the quote:
You don’t get democracy to be born out of a war, I think that we should have learned that by now…and where there is a war, it enables governments to further do away with civil liberties of their populations…The pro-democracy movement [in Iran] is yelling and screaming “Don’t go to war”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the media is picking that up.
Here is Part 2 of the interview (which the quote comes from)
In Part 1 of the interview, which was the actual footage shown on air, Trita presents some insightful counter-arguments to the current push for military action against Iran. Trita’s new book, The Single Roll of the Dice, documents the history of U.S. diplomacy with Iran from 2003 to present and how internal domestic interests and unlucky timing prevented any progress.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – Trita Parsi Extended Interview – Pt. 1|
- Parsi: Assassination to scuttle talks (globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com)
One can’t open a newspaper (if anyone still does that anymore) without seeing a lot of F.U.D. about Iran. What is F.U.D? Fear, uncertainty and doubt. “Existential threat”, “zone of immunity”, and “unacceptable” are terms that can be read in almost every article. Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth in these descriptions. On the other hand, there seems to be only a single prescription at this point in time. That, of course, is John McCain’s old tune: “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb-bomb Iran” (Granted the Rx is crafted a bit more elegantly than that).
But are there options?
Haven’t we tried diplomacy and it didn’t work?
You might find an unexpected answer in Trita Parsi’s new book, A Single Roll of the Dice. Trita is one of the foremost experts on the relationship between Israel and Iran (his first book, A Treacherous Alliance has been called one of the “few detailed studies examining Israeli and Iranian attitudes and postures towards each other outside the context of U.S.-Iranian relations” by none other than the Rand Corporation in a recent comprehensive white paper: Israel and Iran – A Dangerous Rivalry) Trita reviews the month-by-month history of events involving the Iran nuclear program and vigorously argues that for many reasons, including missteps by all parties concerned, diplomacy was constantly being shifted off course. He especially highlights the little know fact that a diplomatic deal was ACTUALLY MADE in MAY, 2010 with Iran by the Turks and Brazilians – but was essentially rejected because the sanctions’ “train” had already moved out of the station.
Haven’t we tried Sanctions and they haven’t worked?
First, sanctions do appear to be having an effect. The value of the Iranian currency has dropped almost 50%. Other economic shifts are being felt. Second, the latest round of sanctions has only been in place since approximately January 1st – hardly enough time to assess their impact. Third, even harsher sanctions are scheduled to kick in over the next several months.
There isn’t time in this post to discuss possible consequences of the third option: military action, but suffice it to say that we need to be very upfront and sanguine about potential consequences of either a unilateral Israeli attack or a combined operation with the U.S. There is no doubt that Iran represents a potentially very serious threat to the entire world – but so did Saddam Hussein. To ignore the lessons of that strategic debacle is simply gross negligence
- Despite war drums, experts insist Iran N-deal possible (nation.com.pk)
- Director of National Intelligence Clapper Has Doubts About Iranian Bomb, But Sen. Graham Is “Very Convinced” (disquietreservations.blogspot.com)