Largely missing from the recent political debate [about Iran], until now, has been a full-throated defense of diplomatic engagement with Iran towards negotiated agreements that would resolve or mitigate international concerns about its disputed nuclear program, thereby pushing back the prospect of military confrontation.I love the image of "a full-throated defense of diplomatic engagement": Yeah, I wear striped pants. You gotta problem wit dat?
But that could change. Representatives Keith Ellison [D-MN] and Walter Jones [R-NC] are currently circulating a Congressional letter to President Obama urging the president to redouble U.S. efforts towards a diplomatic agreement.
But what really amazes me about Naiman's piece is that although he concedes the widely-reported and uncontroversial fact that the US government does not believe Iran is trying to build a bomb, he nevertheless persists in speaking of some phantasmal "concerns" the US has which might somehow be "addressed" by something short of exhuming the Shah and propping his putrid corpse back up on the Peacock Throne. Surely it is clear, is it not, that the "concern" the US has with Iran is that it escaped from clienthood 35 years ago; and the only way this "concern" could be "addressed" is by restoring it to clienthood.
A key part of the story is that we've had a one-sided political debate about Iran....If we could get 40 Members of the House to sign this letter, including 5 to 10 Republicans, that would be a good start. Insider D.C. press, at least, would report it; Ellison and Jones would have their profiles raised as voices for diplomatic engagement; and to some degree and at long last, the debate in the media would have two sides.Well, no, it wouldn't. Two sides would mean that one side was saying: This bomb scare is bogus, a pretext for imperial aggression. Iran is a sovereign state. It confronts an aggressive and half-crazed nuclear-armed adversary clearly bent on dominating the region by any means necessary. Leave Iran alone.
But here the two sides seem to be all about different means of achieving the same end, namely a compromise -- preferably a fatal one -- of Iran's sovereignty. Here's what the two Congressional soup-hounds say in their "full-throated" letter -- I leave visualization of the epithet up to the reader:
Now that the international community has enacted the strongest sanctions against Iran to date, we must redouble our diplomatic efforts to achieve the transparency measures that will ensure Iran’s nuclear program remains a civilian one."Transparency" is good, isn't it? Who could argue against transparency? But sovereign governments do not operate transparently. They keep their inner counsels secret. They don't open their weapons stockpiles to nosey-parkers from other countries, they don't advertise their troop dispositions, they don't provide blueprints for their weapons or even publish details about their power grids. We're to insist on "transparency" from Iran but not from Israel or India or Pakistan, not to mention France and England and so on.
Of course what gives the game away most clearly is the pairing of "sanctions" with diplomatic engagement. This makes the "diplomatic engagement" look a lot like those YouTube videos of cops beating an unarmed man, prostrate on the ground, while yelling over and over, "Stop resisting!"