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Violent "solutions" create new problems


By Jim Mullins
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 12, 2005

As anti-Americanism has become a vital issue, various committees, delegations and retired diplomatic, military and intelligence officials have charged that our lack of an evenhanded approach to foreign relations and the worldwide perception of unfair policies are the main contributors to the problem.

A prime example: our policy denying Iran the right to build nuclear plants to produce electricity allowable under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it has signed, and with supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The charge that Iran may have deceived the IAEA in the past makes little sense in the context that President Bush has just signed an agreement to supply India with nuclear reactors -- although India hasn't signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, hasn't submitted to IAEA inspection and has secretly produced nuclear weapons. And even less sense in our coddling of Pakistan's military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf, whose country was the worst violator in the worldwide spread of nuclear-weapons technology.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has charged Dr. A.Q. Khan and his Pakistani nuclear supermarket with selling nuclear-weapons technology to over 20 countries. When the United States was funding the mujahedeen against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, with Pakistan's support, we looked the other way while it developed nuclear weaponry.

The United States is now favoring India and antagonizing Pakistan in order to punish Iran. Not to worry, the administration -- sensing an economic opportunity -- lifted its South Asian arms embargo and sold Pakistan a fleet of missile-firing F-16's and India an antimissile system to defend against them. Good for business, bad for peace.

Iran is faced with many energy problems. Its oil infrastructure was largely destroyed during Iraq's invasion and war in the 1980s, and oil production has never reached its former capacity. Sanctions have denied it the capital to rebuild. It has no refineries and must trade oil revenues for gasoline and its domestic oil consumption by 68 million people uses up much of the rest.

However, it has large reserves of natural gas and a ready market to its east, with burgeoning demand from India and China. A pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India, costing only $4 billion and supplying both with badly needed energy, would help to reduce the animosity between the two and seemed to be a win-win situation.

A free market solution that would enhance peace among Iran, Pakistan and India has been thrust aside to punish Iran by giving India the nuclear reactors, blocking the pipeline and increasing the chances of war between India and Pakistan.

During the months before 9-11, the Bush administration took its eye off Osama bin Laden's threats and attempted unsuccessfully to get the Taliban to allow a pipeline from Central Asia's Caspian Sea through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. The alternative through Iran was shorter, far less costly and with less forbidding terrain. It made sense, but required negotiation with Iran -- our eternal enemy, although the CIA's overthrow of its democratically elected government and the shah's corrupt and repressive reign led to the excesses of Iran's revolution.

In the meantime, Bush administration actions do nothing to dispel the thought that it intends to fulfill the neocon dream of Middle East domination. Israel has been armed with F-15 long-range fighter bombers, thousands of bunker-buster bombs and the software to direct them, and Dick Cheney has hinted that Israel may use them to attack Iran.

According to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the American military has plans to activate Salvadoran-type "death squads," with Iran their first target. Included in this group would be the Mujahedin-e Khalq, listed on the U.S. Navy Web site as terrorists accused of killing U.S. military and civilians in Iran and participating in the 1979 U.S. embassy takeover.

Regional states affected by belligerent U.S. threats are pushing back. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan -- has fired its first salvo, with Uzbekistan evicting the U.S. from its military bases. Syrian President Bashar Assad has announced an agreement of cooperation with Iran designed to encompass Iraq as the third party.

It is time for the United States to re-evaluate its position, become a good neighbor and work with the rest of the world to solve both short-term and future energy problems that will not go away. We are losing our ability to solve problems through peaceful cooperation rather than military solutions -- which have destroyed every empire in history.

Jim Mullins is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., and a resident of Delray Beach.

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It is time for the United States to re-evaluate its position, become a good neighbor and work with the rest of the world to solve both short-term and future energy problems that will not go away. We are losing our ability to solve problems through peaceful cooperation rather than military solutions -- which have destroyed every empire in history.

Hello. Is anybody home down there? Is anyone listening to all those "committees, delegations and retired diplomatic, military and intelligence officials"?

I sure hope so 'cuz, the way things are going now, even some of the closest of "good neighbours" are getting more than a little concerned for future relations.

Halliburton is helpful as usual, for a profit of course. Embargo be damned. They got slapped with a subpoena by a federal grand jury in Texas on allegations Halliburton violated the law prohibiting American business from doing business with Iran. It's ok though because their "foriegn subsidiaries" are allowed to do business with Iran.
So, while all of the things in this article are going on, Halliburton is doing business with Iran. If you can figure that one out tell me because I can't.

I am not politically savvy. I have never run for an elected office. The closest thing to "political" I have ever done is to help organize our neighborhood to try to stop a toll road from running through our neighborhood. When I watched the "reasons for war" on TV, I didn't believe it--but I thought, maybe it's just me. When I heard about "having tried every option for peace", I didn't believe it. When I heard, "we are bringing democracy to Iraq", I didn't believe it. When I heard, "the insurgents are at their end," I didn't believe it. When I hear, "to support and honor the troops, we must keep fighting", I don't believe it.

But the one nagging thought I had---OK, I don't believe it. But what where are those who are politically smarter than me? Do they all believe this? Have I missed something?

After following the Downing Street memo, I know I didn't miss anything at all. I simply did not have enough political background to trust my inital judgment that these have and continue to be all lies.

Now Mr. Bush is saying "all options are on the table" to Iran. Is this his "BRING IT ON" to Iran? Please-------someone who is more politically smart than me----tell him to stand down.

We have 2 ongoing, unfinished and horrendous wars at a terrible price--Afghanistan and Iraq with no plan for securing a just and lasting peace. Surely someone who is smarter than me will stand up to this administration before a 3rd war starts. A 3rd war for the control of oil.

Where are all of you who are politically smarter than me?

Carole

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