Obama has, since his election, and prior to taking office pivoted to his right towards the center in terms of appointments.
And then his first phone call went to a Holocaust denier/minimizer mafioso corrupt leader to establish the impression that he will bring ME peace to the forefront. We all think that this is an effort underway since Carter, but history tells us that Arab leaders in 1947 compared Zionists to Nazis, and Arabs have been attacking the religious refugees there since the riots of 1919 in an ORGANIZED fashion.
Yesterday we read the story of the world's major Holocaust denier and genocidal leader, dictating the terms under which he would accept some sort of opening from the United States.
Today, THIS.Iran said on Wednesday it would welcome President Barack Obama's offer of a change in U.S. policy provided it involved a withdrawal of U.S. troops from abroad and an apology for past "crimes" against Tehran.
Now it IS the '1200 dead in Jenin', Guardian so we'll see about the fact level here, but if Obama wants to have a relationship there in order to use diplomacy to reduce tensions as a function of stopping Iran from getting nukes, with no less than Dennis Ross as the lead man, all I can say is that this is a scrotum clenching, breath stopping, act of such dangerously naive stupidity that it becomes hard to believe.
The first president I ever voted for was J Carter and I remember the emphasis on human rights without the slightest intention or ability to ACT in such a manner (US F-15's on patrol in the middle east with an announced ammunition load of ZERO), and then the results all in one year.
The takeover of the embassy (an act of war BTW), following us urging the SHAH to kill his own people in secret before Khomeini's arrival (he refused), the invasion of Afghanistan (totally unexpected by our president)..."Carter's attempt to soften America's profile in the world had left the United States in the most perilous position it had known since the Korean war. Soaring oil prices, especially after the fall of the shah, had made a shambles of the global economic order. New Soviet proxies held power in nearly a dozen states in East Asia, Africa, the Middle East (including Afghanistan and South Yemen), and Latin America. More than 85,000 Soviet troops occupied Afghanistan; 35,000 Cuban troops were in Africa. Russian and Cuban military advisers operated in countries like Ethiopia, South Yemen, Mozambique, and Angola with impunity. Soviet SS-20 missiles had been installed specifically to threaten Western Europe and intimidate the NATO alliance.
Even worse, the Soviet Union had become a major military power in the Western hemisphere. At Cienfuegos in Cuba, Soviet warships, submarines, and Backfire bombers enjoyed access to air strips and naval facilities, much as they did at Cam Rahn Bay in Vietnam. A Soviet combat brigade was training Cuban soldiers in the art of anti-tank warfare--admittedly, not very helpful for fighting in the jungles of Central America, but very useful for future operations in places like Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, or the Arabian peninsula. Russian reconnaissance flights off the east coast of North America were becoming frequent, and so was electronic surveillance of American telephone and cable traffic. Meanwhile, the Cubans and Sandinistas were continuing to supply insurgencies in Guatemala and El Salvador. In 1979, the tiny island country of Grenada had become a full-fledged Cuban ally and a staging ground for expanding Communist influence in the Caribbean." -Commentary
Only after all this, did Carter actually decide perhaps an increase in defense spending was a wiser investment than soft power to kumbaya this world we live in. In this world preparing for war is more likely to bring peace, actual war more likely to deliver freedoms, and acts of war a 2x4 to mules otherwise inattentive. Sorry but that is my observation. Only after all are conviceed you are deadly serious in the use of force if diplomacy fails, is diplomacy of any utility.
At this point does anyone take seriously the concept that Obama is someone who would use force?
Dennis Ross, as anyone who read the MISSING PEACE, can tell you, is no fool, so it's hard to believe that he would accept a job as ambassador to someplace without an embassy demanding worlwide withdrawal, and groveling apologies to get one. And WHO WOULD SERVE in a place where the idea of an embassy is servile to every other consideration?
But one thing is certain, if this administration is embarking on any mission OTHER than using these gambits to PROVE to america and the world that talking to these people is anything other than a useless prelude to something else, we are in for a period of incredible humiliation, world unrest, and reverses so hard that we will take some time to recover. The damage done will be, in some places, irreversible.
Here are the guiding principles of working with the Iran we have today.
The tension we have is due to religous hatred on their part, which the leadership cadre believe is mandated by god.
Because of this, nothing will stop them, short of force from obtaining nuclear weapons
Every leader's stated policy is a world without zionism, and without Israel
Every leader has expressed their hatred of the USA as Satan and not (just) because of Mossadegh and the Shah.
The most that can be achieved is their understanding that certain actions on their side will result in their extinction in 25 minutes.
Our POLICY about Iran should be that OVERTHROW of their govt BY THEIR PEOPLE is our goal.
Okay ambasador Ross, go to it.
However, if Obama is really trying to use soft power and all that portends with the Hojatieh to attain his goals, and truly believes in this path with such people, there is NO HOPE for Obama.