Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tete' A Tete'

Way back in the day Great Satan skirt flirted with the concept of engaging and talking with the unelected, illegit regime in Tehran. The delectable Madame Sec of State Dr Rice pointed out that engineering such an event was not magic - in fact it could be easy.

"The Iranians know full well what they need to do."

This is significant.

Dr Josh Muravchik (Oh! He got game!) drew a very nice picture for the wave of designer dialogue that kinda sorta crashes the party.

Newsflash! 44 may very soon be talking with Iran! Whee!

So what?

"So did the Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan and Carter administrations.
These talks will produce nothing, however, just as those earlier efforts did (and as the talks conducted by the European Union-3 this decade and the EU's diplomatic outreach to Tehran in the 1990s, called "Critical Dialogue," which was sweetened with material incentives to Iran, did).

The idea that two countries that are at odds can lay to rest
their dispute by talking and resolving their misunderstandings is a myth.

Can anyone think of a single case in which this has happened. Can anyone name one?

Yes, enemies do sometimes reconcile, as did Egypt and Israel,
the United States and the People's Republic of China, and the United States and the Soviet Union.
But in none of these cases did the
crucial breakthrough come as a result of conversations between the parties.

Rather, in each case, dictatorial rulers first decided to
undertake a drastic shift in policy. After that, negotiations served to work out the details."

Dr M goes down the list of actual jawflapping that produced profit -
"President Anwar Sadat decided to end Egypt's conflict with Israel.
Then he proved he meant it by traveling to Jerusalem. Then a treaty was hammered out at Camp David.

Similarly, Mao Zedong and Chou En-Lai decided that the USSR was
China's most threatening enemy and so they decided to draw closer to the US. Secret negotiations with National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, capped off by a painstakingly choreographed visit to China by President Richard Nixon, formalized the new policy. "

And even more that were non profitable -

"As for the ending of the Cold War, the various summits and
negotiations were secondary. What was decisive was Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's decision that the USSR should no longer see itself as the enemy of the "capitalist" world.

Throughout the Cold War there were voices in the West arguing that
if only we would talk more with Soviet rulers we could settle our differences. In practice, every US president - Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush - met with Soviet heads of government.

Not one of those meetings yielded beneficial results, and a few,
notably Kennedy's, which emboldened the Communists to erect the Berlin Wall, and Nixon's, which ceded nuclear supremacy to the Kremlin, were downright harmful."

The Cold War was symmetrical in that each side tried to best the
other. But it was not symmetrical in origins. Revolutionary ideology drove the Soviet Union to seek global supremacy.

"When the US grasped this in 1947-1948, it fought back. Thus, the enmity did not result from "misunderstanding" but just the opposite.

Virtually the moment Gorbachev decided to end the USSR's struggle
against the West, the "war" ended.

There had never been any desire for hostility on the Western side."

Pretty much sums up events au courant ala Persia. Great Satan really has no desire with a cold or hot war. Preacher Command on the other hand wants to export her mohammedist "revolution around the globe" and dominate Persian Gulf with a nuke armed arsenal for a bonus. Natch, Great Satan disses these despotic designs to defend herself and her allies.

Iran's official chant is "Death to America" - it's everywhere - official graffiti - even opening and closing Friday 'Prayers' with that most uncool and uncatchy rant. Nobody in Great Satan says "Death to Iran."

"If Iran relinquished its ambitions for regional dominance and
global revolution, and sought only to develop its economy, enhance the lives of its people and live in peace, the conflict with the US would be over immediately.

Negotiations at that point would be easy and largely technical: how
many consulates to open here and there, the modalities of renewed commerce, and so on. When Iran's leaders are ready for such a change in course, there are a thousand ways they can let Washington know, ranging from secret diplomatic channels to speeches splashed across newspaper headlines. (Sadat revealed his new direction in a speech to Parliament and a television interview.)

If there were something Iran wanted from the US for which it was
willing to trade away its imperial and revolutionary ambitions, it would have made that known long ago. Until Iran abandons those goals, no diplomatic acrobatics will narrow the gap between the two countries any more than did the negotiations between Washington and Tokyo in the 1930s that ended on the day of Pearl Harbor.

Then, the US opposed Japan's ambitions to create a "Greater East
Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere," in other words a regional empire much like the one Tehran dreams of today.

Eventually the United States and Iran will be reconciled. This will
happen not as a result of diplomacy but in one of three ways: a change of heart by Iranian rulers, replacement of the Iranian regime, or in the way that the US and Japan finally became friends."

Nothing magic about it.


Findalis said...

Iran and the US will be reconciled but only after Iran stops being an Islamic Republic.

You can talk to Iran, it means nothing to them. You can bomb Iran, it means nothing to them. You have to go into Iran and totally change the whole government, outlawing the Mullahs and restoring the Shah.

If that is done, Iran will again be a civilized nation.

Karen Townsend said...

Nothing magic, indeed. But, there you go being all sane and everything, Courtney! Our diplomats never truly stopped 'talking' to Iran. It's just not the President doing it, or Sec of State. Deputies have been there all along, back and forth.

And, no, nothing will change until the government leaders are deposed. Theocracies aren't the solution.