June 15, 2009

In Iran, it’s d

The situation in Iran is beginning to look a lot like a redux of Ukraine?s Orange Revolution from a few years back: A big bad dictator (Putin/Ahmadinejad) rigs the election and prevents the rise of a ?democratic reformer? (Viktor Yushchenko/Mir-Hossein Mousavi). Supporters of the candidates-done-wrong take to the streets, prompting American pundits and politicians from both parties (enter Joe Biden and Mitt Romney) to express their sympathy. Though we might not get a George Soros-orchestrated and funded ?revolution? in Tehran, there?s no doubt that Washington will continue to make the internal affairs of Iran its business.

There is a difference, of course. While the neocons joined the crowd in treating the ascension of Yushchenko as some great geostrategic victory for ?The West,? with the latest election in Iran, they?ve actually been leaning toward taking the side of evil old Ahmadinejad. Daniel Pipes said he?d vote for the man if he could, as Mahmoud cuts a much scarier, more Hitler-esque figure than most anyone else, which is best suited for Pipes?s war-mongering purposes. Max Boot has seconded Pipes at Commentary??the Worse the Better?! 

But the neocons? colleagues, especially the lefty ones, are much subtler?and will, most likely, be much more effective. As Saifedean Ammous writes, Dennis Ross, Obama?s special adviser on Iran, wants to play nice with the Iranians, then feign outrage over the fact that they don?t do what we want, and then bomb the hell out of them. Rarely, does one see such Machiavellian plan put out in the open like this. 

The newly released book by Dennis Ross, reads like a how-to manual for launching a war on Iran, marketing the war successfully, and making sure the Iranians cop all the blame for it.  Ross will have none of Bush?s incompetent warmongering on flimsy pretenses of democracy and WMD?s; when Ross launches his illegal war on Iran, it will be stage-managed to within an inch of its life.

?Tougher policies ? either militarily or meaningful containment?will be easier to sell internationally and domestically if we have diplomatically tried to resolve our differences with Iran in a serious and credible fashion,? writes Ross.

Note that there is no way to read this sentence but to see that the goal is to attack Iran.  America trying to diplomatically resolve its differences with Iran is not a goal in itself; it is merely a means to more easily sell war and sanctions.

And, then, of course, we get the special Dennis Ross brand of peacemaking-as-warmongering?Ross?s signature dish: derailing negotiations while making it appear to be the other party?s fault.
?Such an approach may build pressures within Iran not to forgo the opportunity that has been presented, while also ensuring that the onus is put on Iran for creating a crisis and also for making conflict more likely.?

The goal, of course, is not just to bring about a military conflict, but also to make sure that it appears that it was the Iranians who brought about this conflict.

Ross seems to be gearing up for a reprise of the ?generous offer? ruse he and his allies used to great effect after the breakdown of the Camp David Summit in July of 2000. One can almost already hear Ross self-righteously crowing, ?You know, the Iranians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity?? 


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