Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Some Perspective On Iran

Here is some well-thought out and pretty thorough information on the situation from Iran. This is a must read.

Edward Luttwak (senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.) has written a lengthy analysis that is worthy of strong consideration, in any decision(s) regarding any endeavor that we might (or might not) undertake, regarding Iran. It is entitled, Three Reasons Not to Bomb Iran—Yet.

While I agree with the entire premise that Saddam had to go, I have been somewhat critical in how the Administration has handled his removal. I have felt there were some decisions that made no sense, at least in my mind. Miscalculating and underestimating cannot be taken lightly. So, before things get too riled up, too quickly, I strongly advocate a much more realistic plan. Everything has to be taken into consideration.

The only thing that has been done before we reached this point, was talk. Then, no talk. Then talk, again. Then...... Well you get the idea.

Something has to be done. We hear it. They say it. It is then repeated. But nothing is moving forward. Everyone seems to be talking a good game here, but words are cheap, deeds are not.

Many are unwilling to risk the damage that can and most certainly will be done to the world oil markets. Cases in point: Russia and China. They get much of their oil from Iran and they have been dragging their heels, because they would feel the worst sting. Europe has talked (like Europe likes to do) but has yet to produce anything of any noteworthy value. They don't want to pay more for oil either. And quite frankly, I do not savor the idea. But to let a rogue radical state like Iran to get a bomb? Come on now.

Sanctions have been mentioned, but to date , no one has had the guts to implement any. The U.S. has no bargaining chip, so it must be Europe that takes the lead in this one. They must use the often bragged about diplomacy skills and come up with something concrete, here.

But in all of our thinkings, talkings, and doings, one thing stands clear. Something has to be done soon or all of this will become just another big waste of time, while the world will become a more dangerous place. But before it is done, the committment must be to do it smartly.

How will we explain this to our kids and grandkids? How will will tell them that we just let it happen, because we didn't want to pay a lower price earlier, but rather a steeper price later?


Hat tip once again to RCP.

12 comments:

ms. miami said...

lasunsett- i have to say that the u.s. is also full of talk...we claim to set this rule that other countries cannot develop nuclear weapons without our approval, yet do next to nothing when north korea or pakistan develop theirs. i can see why iran would have trouble taking us seriously.

also, the biggest prerequisite i would think before undertaking military action would be to have sufficient military forces...

LASunsett said...

Ms. Miami,

i have to say that the u.s. is also full of talk...we claim to set this rule that other countries cannot develop nuclear weapons without our approval, yet do next to nothing when north korea or pakistan develop theirs. i can see why iran would have trouble taking us seriously.

By "talk", I mean using diplomacy to persuade them not to build a bomb, rather than sabre rattling. We have no bargaining chips, since we do no business with them already.

But Iran is a far cry from N. Korea and Pakistan. I know that NK may make a little noise but they are nowhere near the threat that Iran is. Pakistan worries me, because if they ever succumb to an Islamic revolution, they will have access to nuclear weapons.

also, the biggest prerequisite i would think before undertaking military action would be to have sufficient military forces...

I agree, but will go further in saying that this objective must be different and the planning must be better thought out. No two cases are ever alike.

ms. miami said...

lasunsett- i understand what you are saying, but have issues with ranking threats, then only pursuing those with oil/natural gas resources. it makes it clear to the world that we have little integrity and are simply opportunistic- basing our policies on money and not principles.

by the way, superfrenchie is doing a lovely post on this topic today.

LASunsett said...

Ms Miami,

Name one developed nation that needs oil for its economy that does not look out for its own self-interest, in that regard.

ms. miami said...

la,

sure, realpolitik exists in varying degrees everywhere. i'd offer the scandinavian countries as a counterpoint. sure, norway has its own oil, but they all generally put their money where their mouth is regarding global economic development & humanitarian issues.

i think my point was really about us having two sets of rules, yet pretending that we don't. we clearly have one set of "principles" for oil-rich countries that doesn't apply for other countries.

it's unfortunate that north korea has both a nuclear program and immense humanitarian crisis, yet despite our supposed policies, it's barely on our radar.

just because money/resource-based policies are common around the world, doesn't mean that it's good. someone has to step up and aspire to more.

LASunsett said...

Ms Miami,

i think my point was really about us having two sets of rules, yet pretending that we don't. we clearly have one set of "principles" for oil-rich countries that doesn't apply for other countries.

But honestly, doesn't that go for other nations, as well? I mean, look at China and Russia coddling Iran. Look at France with Saddam. It's not as if the U.S. is the only one doing this, nor does it mean they are the worst offender, either.

Realpolitik has the word real in it. Becuase that's the reality of the situation. Poli-Sci 101 teaches that all nations look after their own self-interests forst and foremost, whether they are buying or selling.

I understand your point, though. And, that may not be the way you and I live in our personal lives, but it's the reality of the political world. Threats are given more priority than non-threats. Is it hypocritical? Yes.

But there are times that it is imperative that a nation meet the needs of its people. And like or not, this nation needs oil or you will see people suffer greater than you have ever seen or heard.

BTW, I read Frenchie's post. I am not in the mood to get a big fight started on his blog, so I probably will not reply to his post there. If he chooses to bring it over here and apply it to this discussion, I will welcome it.

(He is a good blogfriend that I sometimes vehemently disagree with, so out of respect for him and his blogfriends, sometimes I choose not to engage.)

ms. miami said...

la- sorry, i don't go for the 'everyone else is doing it arugment' as a good excuse.

like i mentioned, the scandinavian countries are a good exception to realpolitik and their people don't seem to be suffering (this point was also mentioned in my poly sci 101 courses).

(by the way, just because it's name includes 'real' doesn't necessarily mean that it is or has to be reality. fox tries that game with 'fair and balanced.' we all have to be critical consumers.)

regarding oil, i think it's important to recognize that we're dependent upon it by choice (or at least due to our government's policies). if they & we were serious about making changes, we could start with urban planning. we've gotten ourselves into this conundrum.

LASunsett said...

sorry, i don't go for the 'everyone else is doing it arugment' as a good excuse.

1. A reason is not an excuse.

2. If you do feel that way, be sure you criticize the others for doing it that way too. You cannot hold America to a higher standard to it's detriment. In other words, to say that we won't do it because it is wrong, in spite of the fact that everyone else does, means that we will end up with the short end of the stick. And it will be you and I that will pay the price.


regarding oil, i think it's important to recognize that we're dependent upon it by choice (or at least due to our government's policies). if they & we were serious about making changes, we could start with urban planning. we've gotten ourselves into this conundrum.

We have been dependent on it for years now, this didn't just happen. It took years to get here and it will take years to get out of it. You can start your urban planning all you want, Americans aren't going to consume a hell of a lot less, anytime soon.

You can't worry about you groceries in ten years, when you have need of them now.

ms. miami said...

la- well, you and i see some things differently.

believe me, i view every country with the same standard. i've lived in two other countries besides the u.s. and realize that we all have our strengths and detractors.

of course, it will take a lot to undo what's been done on decreasing or eliminating our oil dependency. i'm speaking more about the attitude some take as if this dependence just happened to us.

fortunately, changes are happening in miami- mixed-use developments are popping up in former suburban sprawl, right next to our metrorail line-giving people options of residence, shops (including grocery) and transportation within walking distance. unfortunately, given the miami market, the units are too expensive for most of us.

LASunsett said...

well, you and i see some things differently.

And, that's okay. Regardless if we agree or not, your comments and input are always welcome, here. No matter how passionate the debate gets, do not forget that.

it will take a lot to undo what's been done on decreasing or eliminating our oil dependency. i'm speaking more about the attitude some take as if this dependence just happened to us.

It's going to take that and a whole lot more. I could write a whole post on this, alone. Know this, one thing implemented will not have much of an impact. It will have to be a myriad of interventions, with one only one or two being the government's responsibility. It is going to take private corporations and individuals, for the greatest part. But we all have to work together, this backbiting has to stop.

fortunately, changes are happening in miami- mixed-use developments are popping up in former suburban sprawl, right next to our metrorail line-giving people options of residence, shops (including grocery) and transportation within walking distance. unfortunately, given the miami market, the units are too expensive for most of us.

Yeah, I understand. They get you coming and going, sometimes.

ms. miami said...

by the way, my previous posts were written while 'mulitasking.' i usually don't abuse the english language to such an extent.

LASunsett said...

Ms Miami,

I am always multi-tasking, I know how you feel. Do not worry about it. I don't think anything of it, we all do it. Sometimes I am tired as hell, I think I have proofread and edited properly, only to find a typo two days later, when re-reading something.

My time will be scarce online for the next two days, limited to evenings only, I am afraid.