by Orion Karl Daley
Balanced Party candidate for 2008 Presidential election
I believe Obama's view on Iran is not conducive to strategic peace, and does not serve the strategic interest of our nation, economy, and energy policy.
What Obama has overlooked is that those who are not our friends do not need to be our enemies. They can be our allies without being our friends. Strategically, Iran also does not have to be a dynamic in Iraq. If we ourselves 'abstain from a policy of imminent domain through manifest destiny', then Iran is obliged to do the same.
Obama's position on Iran demonstrates the same 'Bay of Tonkin nonsense', as the Bush administration. This is not Foreign Policy that serves the United States, but the absence of it. We do not need to look for a fight, but instead, should be looking for strategic peace.
Our history with Iran has not been on the up and up considering that we took out a democratically elected leader to replace him with our puppet, the Shaw of Iran. It is their country, so I say 'let them have it'. Consider, that they have more of a democracy now than our trusted ally, Saudi Arabia.
If we , the US and the United Nations regard Iran with some deference, in others on mutual terms, and not just on our own, then we have enabled them a path to being a model Islamic Nation. This can help that can stabilize that part of the world.
Lets look at what opportunities there are instead in having a peace with Iran. If they were allowed to be a model Islamic Nation in the eyes of the world, they could even be an alternative to Saudi Oil. This could lower the price of crude in the market as having more providers. Lets look at two examples on how to achieve this.
Nuclear Power and National Pride
Iran has been reaching out and it's due to feeling isolated. An example was in the in the capture of the 15 British sailors and marines by Iran's Revolutionary Guard which could have been resolved easily if Iran had returned them promptly. There was a question on the territory boundary, we all make mistakes, Britain was apologizing for their side, so why not just fix this one? I dismiss that Iran was really testing military waters. I believe that this did not need to be our excuse for another Bay of Tonkin. We do not need to create other reasons for one either.
We know that Iran's obstinacy could destabilize Iraq. The US military is threaded, the Brits have not spoken about theirs, and Iran always wants to demonstrate their readiness. But Iran is aware of an unlimited ordinance that could come their way from the Persian Gulf. It also does not matter that the Democrats demonstrated disapproval of the 'surge' and that US policy does not reflect 'united we stand' about Iraq. Iran could expect that the Executive and Legislative branch to come together if it were to press the issue. Regardless if Iran could figure that it has support from Russia and China, its obstinacy could provide our excuse for a Bay of Tonkin.
Let me point out that when President Reagan took office, he talked to Iran about hostages when our Tehran Embassy was compromised. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran implies that taking the Brits as hostages was a matter of principle in response to arrogance. What is important is that Ahmadinejad wanted to talk. The UN should use all means possible in all cases to achieve active dialogue. Otherwise, the UN has no purpose. We the US, should also always use any means at our disposal to build bridges in our Foreign Policy.
In Reagan's time and again now , it's a matter of talking about it. It is only natural that Iran wants to be recognized by the rest of the world, but its image has a stigma which requires a strong case for its recognition. Further, Iran also could have felt deemphasized in representative importance by the UN with its last mandate, and this is not much to take home in terms of national pride.
In leadership, talk is a very important. This does not mean ultimatums. When given the opportunity in September 2006, this did not happen at the UN. When not being face to face, Presidents Bush and Ahmadinejad just condemned each other. Ahmadinejad can't lose face any further so he found another issue to bring to the table. i.e. - the Brits, and now Iraq.
But for Ahmadinejad to lower his wall of pride, then the UN should as well. It is a matter of horse trading, where the first actual deal is Iran's Nuclear Power plant. Assuming the legitimacy of any position about this, we have to recognize that still, it will continue to exist, and Iran is acting out. To manage a relationship with Iran, let me point out is different than trying to control it.
A responsible UN leadership can manage this relationship. My reasoning is that we have the opportunity to talk, there is a lot of horse trading that can go on the table, and the British, US and others as members of the UN should take advantage of it.
Iran only has one oil refinery. Since Iran holds the position that they are seeking clean nuclear power, UN member assistance should be offered in building a safe clean nuclear power plant for Iran. My reasoning is that Iran can learn of Russia's mistakes with Chernobyl, and then there are lessons to be learned by 3 Mile Island and US advances in safe nuclear energy; and then as partners, there is less of a concern also about inspectors.
Given the opportunity, Iran has the potential of making many multi-national business alliances, and could even be used as one of the first examples of safe, reliable and clean nuclear energy. This overshadows any need for nuclear weapons.
I see that there is no reason why Iran can't be invaded with world kindness. This makes all UN members active participants in Iran's clean energy program, and therefore in its future prosperity. Making business partners could also help stabilize the region.
Iran as a Competitive Contributor in the Oil Market
Further, instead of threatening Iran, let's consider helping them with their oil. Obama is no different than even Newt Gingrich, who at Cooper Union, in NYC on February 28th, 2007 pointed out that Iran has only one oil refinery. He further pointed out that if to bomb it, then the Iranians would not have gasoline. Hence, victory?
This could appear as a good example of might makes right 'Tactical Move', but it is viewed here as a 'Strategic Blunder' and here is why !If someone bombed us , would we not shoot back?
Any dope can pull a trigger that can serve the 'hear and now' but life goes full circle. We have already put one puppet government in Iran that got ousted in the 70's; so it would happen again.
Much of our Foreign Policy, or lack there of should be really looked at. Years ago we carpet bombed Hanoi daily while having a puppet government in South Vietnam. Today Americans can go to vacation in Hanoi; and the communist never invaded our western shores as was hyped back then. Japan is a great ally, but yet we nuked them a few times. In Japan's case we could say that we had to in order to shorten a real war which we did not ask for, and to save military lives. Vietnam's case was an optional war with our puppet government representing the so called American interests of imminent domain through manifest destiny. But eventually we had to look for a way to have peace with honor and get our people home.
For Iran then, how about a Full Circle solution instead? Consider that in the outskirts of a neighboring country, say just north of Iran we were to invest in building one to two more refineries. Then we could go to Iran and make the offer of refining their oil so they do not have such a cost in producing their own gasoline. Meantime the deal is that we get a discount on their oil.
Consider the ripple affect that this would have on the region, OPEC pricing, and in addition to the relationships that Iran has with China and Russia; and in addition to the many Iranian Jews that had to exit Iran once to save their lives.
Regardless of Iran's military building up thanks to Russia's help, it does not really compare to a nation becoming recognized as a strategic player in world leadership. Guided through UN leadership, Iran can be allowed to have their national esteem and a level playing field fordoing business with the world. Military contributions from others become far less in importance compared to having national prestige for an Islamic nation.
In the 21st Century, we can find economic solutions for strategic peace in the world. This distinguishes us, the American people as a Civil Society, and in history, as not just another tyrant.