Sunday, October 22, 2006

Why Our Options Are Limited...

and why none of them are pleasant.

October has been a deadly month for the US soldiers in Iraq, and there doesn't seem to be any respite in sight. Only now, with the mounting death toll, the dropping political polls, and the looming of the mid-term elections, is the Emperor conceding that there might have to be some alterations in tactics (but not alterations in goal or strategies). Changing course is going to be difficult, and not just because of the regime's stubborn refusal to admit that everything done in connection with this war was wrong, from its inception to its prosecution. This regime has no sense of a viable and realistic overarching foreign policy. It sees the Iraq war in isolation, not having any real impact on anything else, including the very region it is tearing apart. As a result, there are some options which might be workable, but which are unacceptable to BushCo and/or unavailable to us.

Here's one example among many of what I mean. This editorial appeared in the October 12 edition of Mexico's La Jornada.

The nuclear test presumably carried out October 9 by North Korea has generated strong reactions around the world. From Beijing to Moscow, from London to Paris, from Washington to Seoul, the condemnation has been unanimous. Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that the North Korean bomb "is a mighty blow to nuclear nonproliferation." United Statesian chief executive George W. Bush categorically asserted that the atomic action of Pyongyang "constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The United States condemns this act of provocation."

In their indignation, the Russian and American presidents forget that their countries are key cheerleaders of the nuclear race. Although the dictatorial penchant of Kim Jong-il's dictatorial regime cannot be denied, the firepower of the Russians and United Statesians is far more frightening: the two nations have some 15,300 nuclear warheads between them, and they have carried out a little over 700,000 underground and aboveground detonations since 1945.

...The North Korean test is nothing compared to what the members of the so-called Nuclear Club have done, and yet no one has urged sanctions against Russia and the United States, or China (400 nuclear warheads), France (348), or Great Britain (185). Those five countries have carried out a total of 2,200 nuclear tests. Neither has punishment been demanded for the tolerated nuclear powers: India (40), Pakistan (50) and presumably Israel (200), which have relied on the complicity of the nuclear powers.

According to the thinking of the international community, only civilized, democratic countries should have access to military nuclear technology. But in the strictest sense, this criteria excludes almost every members of the official nuclear club. Over the past 50 years, United Statesians, Russians, Chinese, British and the French have shown signs of barbarity against other nations, and their neighbors or former colonies and have carried out nuclear tests indiscriminately.

...How is it possible, on the other hand, to have decided that giving North Korea and Iran access to nuclear energy is much more dangerous than giving it to Pakistan, India or Israel, all of which have spent the last half century warring with their neighbors, and whose governments are some distance from being completely democratic?


Here's the connection (which probably isn't very clear at this point): Iran could be very helpful in calming things down enough in Iraq for the US to begin withdrawing troops. Iran (and Syria) could also assist militarily to keep a modicum of stability in Iraq until an Iraqi government could be formed that would actually be viable when it comes to securing against the civil war which is consuming the country.

Unfortunately, we've labeled Iran a member of the Axis of Evil, and we've spent a great deal of time demonizing and threatening Iran (and North Korea). Add to the mix the fact that our regime doesn't negotiate with "our enemies" and you can see that we have essentially shut the door on one possible option in ending the madness.

The rest of the world sees this clearly and, quite frankly, sees no real reason at this point to bail us out. Until we give the rest of the world solid and sincere evidence that we actually want a rational resolution of the situation, they won't step up to any kind of multi-national peace effort.

Frankly, I'm not very optimistic at this point.

3 Comments:

Anonymous charley said...

if we stay it will be bad, if we go it will be bad.

i don't know how you do all this diplomacy stuff, and clearly, neither does bushco.

i voted for the first time in 30 years of eligibility because it was so obviously coming to this.

i'm not optimistic either.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Glenda said...

Me either. There are no good choices, but there should be accountability for those who put us in a no-win situation that squandered thousands of lives.

cabearie, I just happened to find this site and am very impressed with the quality of your writing here. Would you be willing to let our progressive community website cross-post this article? We are a relatively new site, but growing daily and dedicated to issues that are peace-related.

I am at thepeacetrain.org. Please check us out!

Thanks, Glenda

11:40 AM  
Blogger cabearie said...

Would you be willing to let our progressive community website cross-post this article? We are a relatively new site, but growing daily and dedicated to issues that are peace-related.

Glenda, I would be happy to. I did visit your site and found it excellant. I would urge folks to visit it as well by clicking on your name in your comment above.

3:40 PM  

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