Category Archives: Iran

So, Who Are The Violent Folk In Israel?

Anyone who has studied the history of the Middle East since the creation of the state of Israel is quite aware that during the past sixty odd years, Arab nations have repeatedly muffed opportunity after opportunity to resolve their conflict with Israel on reasonable terms. Of course, there also have been groups in Israel which have no desire for peace with Palestinians unless their opponents completely accept their ideas. There is no doubt Palestinians have resorted to violence in order to end their conflict with Israel. I regret to inform those supporting the state of Israel, that violence has also been a weapon of that government. Homes of Palestinians have been blown up, campaigns in Gaza resulted in the death of thousands of Palestinians along with the death of dozens of Israelis. Neither side can bask in the glory of always being on the side of peace.

Two Palestinians brutally murdered four rabbis in a synagogue. Of course, twenty years ago a Jew entered a mosque and machined gunned to death over twenty Muslims engaged in the act or prayer. That person today is regarded as a “hero” by some Israelis. When it comes to “violence” each side has a case to be made that their opponents are violent people. The Israel Shin Bet secret service claims there is a plot to murder Avigdor Lieberman. I do not doubt the existence of such a plot. He is a controversial individual and has angered Palestinians by his violent words of anger toward them.

The time has come to cease arguing as to which side is, “violent,” and get down to the issue of how to end VIOLENCE! This would require patience, and lots of compromise on the part of both sides.

The Iranian Solution

The essence of a successful foreign policy compels a nation to do what is in its national interests, not what is necessarily popular with political leaders. At this moment, American foreign policy in the Middle East requires focusing on destruction of terrorist groups which threaten the very basis of Iraq. We all hate dictators such as President Assad of Syria, he is a vicious cruel individual who is responsible for the deaths of over a hundred thousand people. Democrats and Republicans in Congress detest the “evil” Iranian leaders who have threatened the existence of Israel. Ahmmadinejad is no longer in charge of Iran, and the current President Hassan Rouhani is a practical man who wants to end sanctions against his nation. He has never uttered threats about Israel, but he does want his nation to continue with a nuclear program.

According to Rouhani, “the stakes are high. A failure to agree to a nuclear deal” could wind up being another American foreign policy failure. Iran has to be assured that it can have a nuclear program. After all, the only nation with nuclear weapons in the Middle East is Israel. We have no problem with Israel nuclear weapons, but, most Arab nations do have a concern. It is time to support Iranian nuclear development as long as it does not entail nuclear weapons. How about Israel announcing it will destroy SOME of its nuclear bombs?

Iran Is Not The Problem, It Is Part Of The Solution

US Secretary of State John Kerry is arguing that Iran should not be invited to discussions concerning issues in the Middle East. The presence of this nation “would not be appropriate” because according to his reasoning, “Iran has been deeply involved with its forces on the ground in Syria.” How about?

1. The United States had forces on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.

2. European Union forces were on the ground in Afghanistan.

3. United Kingdom troops were on the ground in Iraq.

Iran’s presence is important if issues in the Middle East are to be resolved. Iran has close connections with Syria, with Hamas, and the situation in Lebanon. How about bringing together any and all nations in the Middle East who are concerned with creating stability?

Iran’s Role In Middle East

The American government has just decided that action must be taken against ISIS and other terror groups in the Middle East. US Secretary of State John Kerry made clear that Iran’s presence was not desired in any conference dealing with policy in the Middle East. He argued their presence “would not be appropriate” on grounds that “Iran has been deeply involved with its forces on the ground in Syria.” Kerry is absolutely correct, Iran HAS been involved in fostering the civil war in Syria by aiding dictator Bashar al-Assad. Of course, one could argue this involvement is all the more reason why Iran should be at conferences dealing with the region. Reality: Iran hates the Sunni led ISIS and wants it destroyed. Iran wants the Shiite led Iraq to be a successful entity. In other words, the foreign policy goals of Iran are the same as those of the United States of America. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, a concept that is a realistic approach to foreign policy.

Iran has troops which can be directed to Iraq and quickly crush ISIS. A combination of American air power and Iranian forces on the ground would result in destruction of ISIS within a few months. It is time to bring Iran into discussions that center on how can the Middle East become a region that is at peace and economically successful? Oh, and invite Israel to participate in such discussions!

A Woman’s Life In Tehran

Over thirty years have passed since Islamic militants seized power in Iran and deposed of secular leaders who mistakenly thought ending the rule of a Shah would result in creation of a democratic society. For thirty years, educated Iranians have struggled to maintain their individuality while inhabiting a society in which old men with beards decided what young men with or without did or did not do. In a recent article published in the New Statesman, the life of a upper middle class girl was described. She attends a university which gains her access to people of divergent ideas, and it is rather easy to obtain videos depicting sex as well as the same movies that are shown in Western nations. “Tahmineh” told a reporter that, although raised in a conservative family which forces her to wear an all-encompasing black chador, she still drinks alcohol, and attends parties with her university friends. “I first hand anal sex when I was 21. Of course, I want to have proper sex, but until I know for sure that my boy friend wants to get married, I can’t engage in proper sex.” She makes clear that many of her friends are “allowed to hang out with boys, but are still expected to be virgins so they all have anal sex instead.”

Those with wealth, those who have access to a university have access to the latest Western fashions and ideas. She attends parties at which alcohol is served, people kiss, people discuss ideas that are contrary to those of Iranian leaders. Tahmnineh, in many aspects enjoys the life of a modern Western female, except for the emphasis upon anal sex. She also is aware than in Tehran which has 12,000,000 people there are at least 300,000 “special girls.” In plain English, this means there are 300,000 prostitutes allowed to work and earn a living by the conservative government. The reporter discovered there are thousands of girls from supposedly conservative families who now work in Tehran, earn money and live apart from their families.

The question whose answer is still unknown is what happens to Iranian youth who will continue to have access to Western ideas? At which point will they rebel? Or will they?

The Israeli – Hamas Dilemma

During the momentary lull in Gaza fighting it is time to examine what is happening in Israel and among Palestinians. During the 1967 war, Israel gained control of the West Bank. At that point in time, Jordan ruled the West Bank because the concept of an independent Palestinian state had yet to be born. Israeli leaders in 1967 were prepared to allow an independent Palestinian state to be created in 1967 in return for recognition and peace, but no Arab nation took up the offer. This began the current stalemate in the region. It was simply a matter of time and politics before conservatives in Israel took up the cry of settling on the West Bank in order to restore the ancient land of Israel. There simply was no Arab nation willing to negotiate with Israel until President Sadat of Egypt initiated a peace agreement. Unfortunately, only Jordan was willing to go along with recognition of the state of Israel.

During the past forty years, the “settlers movement” within Israel continued to gain strength and power. By the year 2000 it was a force in Israeli politics. Benjamin Netanyahu seized the opportunity to incorporate this group along with conservative factions in Israel in order to become Prime Minister of the country. He soon recognized that creating the “Iran Threat” would produce votes. Shout that Israel is threatened by Iran in order to engender fear, and the result is more votes. Examine the Netanyahu political approach and the war in Gaza makes sense:

1. He opposed efforts by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to forge an alliance with Hamas. Of course, if Abbas signed a treaty with Israel, this would FORCE HAMAS to go along with it or face massive disapproval by Palestinians.
2. Instead, Netanyahu continues to gain support from Settlers on the West Bank who now number over 500,000. Instead of forcing Hamas to become engaged in a political process, Netanyahu simply encourages their extremists to engage in violence.
3. REALITY: If President Abbas announces the end of his government, this means Israel would have to assume responsibility for government of the West Bank. This is the ISRAEL NIGHTMARE. Within thirty years there would be more Muslims in Israel than Jews. What then?

In one sense, the current horror in Gaza serves the political aims of Hamas and Netanyahu. Both Hamas and Netanyahu require a crisis in order to gain political power. Eventually, fighting will cease. President Abbas, the moderate, has been virtually destroyed by the Gaza war since now revenge and violence are the mantra of most Palestinians. The refusal of Prime Minister Netanyahu to compromise with Abbas has brought to power violent extremists within the Palestinian community.

Iran’s Seven Year Itch For Peace

There is some good news coming from Iran, or at least any sensible person would interpret new Iranian proposals as constituting good news. Then again, when US Secretary of State John Kerry has to conduct foreign policy negotiation with one eye focused on Congress, is it at all possible that he can succeed in anything related to the Middle East, Asia, Europe or Africa? Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif offered a deal. Iran would freeze its current nuclear program for seven years on condition that after that moment, it would be free to conduct the same nuclear programs as found in other nations. At this point, Kerry and his allies in negotiation have been demanding a ten year freeze. In simple, clear English, both sides ARE close to an agreement. So, let us propose a compromise:

1. Iran freezes its nuclear program for eight years!

2. Israel agrees to reduce by a factor of 20% the number of atomic bombs in its facilities.

3. Israel and Iranian leaders agree to establish a joint commission which meets on a regular basis to discuss issues between the nations.

4. America returns to Iran money that was frozen after the Shah was overthrown in 1979.

Believe it or not, peace IS possible in the Middle East!

Bad Guys Now Good Guys

I do not know whether to report the following as “good news” or “bad news” but it certainly is interesting news. General Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, you know, one of the bad guys according to the United States of America, came out with a battle plan to halt the Islamic State of Syria forces who currently are in Iraq. Latest reports reveal the ISIS is murdering Iraqi soldiers who surrender, and their compatriots in Syria just crucified a few men. Oh, it was not Jesus, not was it any person of the Jewish religion. Well, back to the story about Iranian generals, the men who head Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, top on our list of bad groups. General Jazayeri informed the Iraq government that he was prepared to develop a plan, based on the Syrian model, that will end the reign of ISIS terror. I trust the reader is clear–the guy we consider to be a “bad guy” is ready to assist the USA in defeating the bad guys currently in northern Iraq.

According to the Iranian general, he is ready to employ “our successful experiments in popular all-armed defense, the same strategy used against terror on the defensive–mobilizing masses in all ethnic groups.” Of course, the “terror groups” he was fighting were the terror groups we were supporting in Syria. It is now clear. The terror groups we oppose are now the terror groups we support and the end result will be triumph of the groups that we oppose. Please do not get confused. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. This is now AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. Clear?

America’s Middle Eastern Policy

A president of the United States is once again confronted with what to do in what we term, the Middle East. Actually, the expression, “Middle East” was invented at the turn of the 20th century by American Admiral Alfred Mahan. He was discussing the conduct of American military policy, and cited the importance of that area in our trade relations. A major problem confronting President Obama is: what exactly should be the foreign policy of the United States in the Middle East? Let me offer some suggestions:

1. It is critically important for Israel to build positive relations with Arab nations. Both Israel and Arab leaders share a joint concern about terrorist groups in the region. First step on the part of America is insisting that the Israel government cease its settlement building, and work with President Abbas to create an independent Palestinian state. That action would open doors for Israel to establish diplomatic relations with most Muslim nations in the region.
2. Iraq requires a coalition government including both Sunni and Shiite leaders. Either Prime Minister Maliki agrees to this basic concept or he is on his own. Fighting guerrilla groups depends upon winning the support of local people.
3. The situation in Syria has deteriorated to such an extent that moderate forces no longer have any power. Whatever such groups are still existing need moderate military support.
4. An agreement must be reached with Iran that includes their right to pursue nuclear development for peaceful purposes.
5. Nations such as Tunisia should be provided economic assistance since leaders in that nation have come together to work for peace and stability.
6. Egypt is now beyond our influence. It is simply too late to support moderate groups seeking to develop a democratic society. Just wait and listen.

World Turned Upside Down

I gather there are still people who believe that some sort of sanity is present on planet Earth. Let me cite some facts which should dissuade them of such thinking.

1. George Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan. Then Iranian President Khatami assisted US forces and was rewarded by being branded asa terrorist by the American president.
2. President Khatami offered a compromise with President Bush that included ending pursuit of nuclear weapons. He never received a reply.
3. Saddam Hussein was wiped out and Shiites took over Iraq.
4. Shiites proceeded to persecute and imprison Sunni leaders.
5. Americans organized Sunni Awakening Councils to fight al-Qaeda.
6. Prime Minister Maliki then proceeded to disband these groups and put in prison its leaders.
7. Sunni Iraqis have drifted into the arms of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, (ISIS).
8. ISIS forces took over the city of Mosul and were warmly greeted by Sunni residents.
9. President Obama continually offered to assist Maliki but he refused to grant American soldiers the right to be tried in a military court.
10. ISIS forces are marching on Baghdad.
11. Iran has dispatched 2,000 troops to aid the Iraq government.
12. President Obama has dispatched the George HW Bush aircraft carrier to aid the Iraq government.

In other words, American and Iranian forces will be working together. When asked about this possibility, Iran President Hassaan Rouhani replied: “If we see that the United States takes action against terrorist groups in Iraq, then one can think about it.”

I wonder if Republicans in the US Senate will block US cooperation with Iran that is designed to aid Iraq??