Milt Bearden is an old friend. He is a retired CIA executive, a "field man’s field man." He is also several times a best selling author. pl
This article is “must” reading…which is not surprising seeing Col. Lang has put it on his site.
But Americans better begin to accept the fact that our adventure in Iraq and our adventure in Iran began in Tel Aviv.
That is the difference between Iraq/Iran and Vietnam, Korea, and Afghanistan.
The American government has been hijacked by a foreign power.
Example: why can’t we talk to Iran? Hell, The Great Ronnie got into bed with them, didn’t he? Iran was Ronnie’s Monica Lewinsky, only, perhaps because it actually was an impeachable offense, he wasn’t impeached (cp. lying about fellatio with lying about relations with Iran).
Nope, the reason we can’t talk to Iran is that Rupert Murdoch and his handlers in Israel don’t want us to.
That’s the coffee. Time to smell it.
Compelling analysis (as usual) by Mr Bearden but I fear that the answer to his point/question “The Bush administration, or the one that succeeds it, will ultimately have to start talking with Tehran. If that is inevitable, why not get on with it?” is that they do not know how to do this sort of thing well (or at all) and (understandably) lack confidence in their ability in any field that involves diplomacy or negotiation. Plus there is that sad chickenhawk/terminal wimp mind-set that all that stuff is for sissies.
I like his conclusion of talking with Iran, though his geographic particularism and his theme of cultural inertia remind me too much of the elegant falsehood of Keenan’s Long Telegram.
It’s certainly more sensible than deciding the sales pitch for a new Theater of War.
pbrownlee: I really and truly am astounded at your comment.
“do not know how to do this sort of thing well”
Johnny drove drunk because he really doesn’t know how to drive sober.
In a spirit of the greatest humility, I offer the following as a possibility. They are doing what they intend to do.
an analyst interviewed on the bbc suggested that the bushie focus on iran and the ied’s being supplied to sadr et al was understandable in light of projected action against the sadr militia in bagdad
the sadr militia has used these ied’s defensively
is drumming meant to warn iran off from more actively supporting sard militia in projected conflict?
Arbogast, re your comment, But Americans better begin to accept the fact that our adventure in Iraq and our adventure in Iran began in Tel Aviv..
According to Asia Times Online, the dynamic between Washington and Tel Aviv is more complex than you suggest. The following article asserts that Israel had actively been negotiating peace with Syria, which Washington, desiring war, scuttled:
It is in this context [Israel’s declining military posture] that secret Israeli talks with Syria have enormous significance. They began in January 2004 in Turkey with the approval of then premier Ariel Sharon, moving on to Switzerland, where the Swiss Foreign Office played the role of intermediary. By August 2005 they had reached a very advanced form and covered territorial, water, border and political questions. Details remain to be ironed out, but the sides have taken a quantum leap in solving one of the region’s crucial problems.
When the Iraq Study Group filed its recommendations last December, negotiations with Syria were especially stressed – a point one of the co-authors, James Baker, reiterated when he testified to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on January 30. Baker undoubtedly knew about the secret talks and Syria’s explicit statements that it wished to break with radical Islamic movements and was ready to discuss its ties with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. These nominally secret talks were made public on January 8 when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak accused the US in an interview with an Israeli paper of obstructing peace between Israel and Syria.
Ha’aretz’ Akiva Eldar then published a series of extremely detailed accounts, including the draft accord, confirming that Syria “offered a far-reaching and equitable peace treaty” that would provide for Israel’s security and which would divorce Syria from Iran and even create a crucial distance between Damascus and Hezbollah and Hamas.
The Bush administration’s role in scuttling any peace accord was decisive. C David Welch, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, sat in at the final meeting and two former senior Central Intelligence Agency officials were present in all of these meetings and sent regular reports to Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. The press has been full of details on how the US role was decisive, because it has war, not peace, at the top of its agenda.
Most of the Israeli establishment favors it. On January 28, important Israelis met publicly in Jaffa and called the Israeli response “an irresponsible gamble with the state of Israel”, since it made Cheney arbiter of Israeli national interests. They included former IDF chief of staff Amnon Lipkin Shahak, former Shin Bet chief Ya’akov Perry, former directors of the Foreign Ministry David Kimche and Alon Liel (who negotiated the deal and believes it is very serious), and the like. Shlomo Ben-Ami, former foreign minister, has since supported their position and argued that it is “too important” for Israel to endorse yet “another failure in the US strategy”.
But Olmert has explicitly said that the Bush administration opposes a negotiated peace with Syria. Therefore he is opposed to it also. Olmert’s contradiction is that he wants to remain closely allied to the US, whatever its policies, yet he is now one of the most unpopular prime ministers in Israel’s history and in power only because of Sharon’s stroke. Israel is a crucial pillar of US policy in the entire region, but this policy is failing. An alliance with the US is Olmert’s recipe for political defeat when the inevitable election is called. That is his problem.
It appears that what may be at least partially behind our leaders’ appalling ignorance and tendency toward precipitate action is a reflection of how much we have distanced ourselves from the wisdom of our nation’s founders after passing our 200th anniversary. We are now acting like spoiled, impatient adolescents who will not see beyond our own immediate, sometimes whimsical interests, and refuse to understand, let alone recognize, the possible concerns of others. We have essentially dropped the concept of diplomacy from our vocabulary. We seem to have forgotten the crucial, interrelated factors to consider in political military affairs. I think this is partially a reflection of serious shortcomings in our education system – the essence of citizenship in considering up to and including strategic national issues, and the apparent temporary (hopefully) insanity in the body politic following 9-11.
As all this relates to the Middle East in particular, I see a need to rethink how we view and interact with all the states in the region, including Israel, and seriously focus in a big way on alternative means of energy now.
Overall, we need to cool down and learn how to live in this world where we are not necessarily as special as we may think. If we act more dignified we can probably gain more respect and get more done — if not, we will be seen as a big bully who nobody can avoid, but all prefer to distance themselves from.
Sure – “they” are doing what they intend – wrapped up in the standard lazy wimp rhetoric of “hard work”, unshakable will and that surefire “failure is not an option” blather – and “they” are everywhere inundated by nasty old unintended consequences. Life is no longer quite so easy for the Mayberry Machiavellis.
As for the contempt for negotiating anything ever, watch out for the neocon bucketing Chris Hill is going to get for “selling out” on PRNK nukes.
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