Sunday, January 21, 2007

Every Concession Bush Seeks from Iran Now Was Contained in a 2003 Iranian Offer that Dick Cheney Rejected

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The BBC had a piece a few days ago about the U.S. rejection of Iran's 2003 offer to give the U.S. an unprecedented array of concessions:

Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilise Iraq following the US-led invasion.

Offers, including making its nuclear programme more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility.

But Vice-President Dick Cheney's office rejected the plan, the official said.

The offers came in a letter, seen by Newsnight, which was unsigned but which the US state department apparently believed to have been approved by the highest authorities.

In return for its concessions, Tehran asked Washington to end its hostility, to end sanctions, and to disband the Iranian rebel group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and repatriate its members.

Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had allowed the rebel group to base itself in Iraq, putting it under US power after the invasion.

One of the then Secretary of State Colin Powell's top aides told the BBC the state department was keen on the plan - but was over-ruled.

"We thought it was a very propitious moment to do that," Lawrence Wilkerson told Newsnight.

"But as soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the Vice-President's office, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil'... reasserted itself."

Observers say the Iranian offer as outlined nearly four years ago corresponds pretty closely to what Washington is demanding from Tehran now.

Juan Cole scoffs at Dick Cheney's excuse for spurning Iran's offer:

... Cheney shot down any notion of "talking to evil." As if Mohammad Khatami is evil and Richard Bruce Cheney is not. (Cheney's lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and connection to 9/11 have gotten hundreds of thousands of people killed).

Cole also points out that Iran's offer was made when Mohammad Khatami was president; and that the White House's refusal to consider the offer was a major factor in Mahmoud Ahmajinedad's rise to power:

Because Khatami kept promising that his reforms would make Iranians better off, and because the US rejected all his overtures and left him with no achievements to show for them, the Iranian electorate turned against the reform movement and put Mahmud Ahmadinejad into power, a loud-mouthed braggart of a sort that Cheney's Likudniks could then build up into a bogey man to frighten Americans with. Cheney created Iran as a menace.

Paul Woodward at The War in Context calls this lost opportunity "the neoconservative blunder of the century."

Juan Cole thinks that Cheney should be impeached:

Cheney is the most fascistic high official in US government in history. He recently implied that al-Qaeda is glad that the Democrats won the mid-term elections, as his way of trying to create the impression that anyone who disagrees with him is a terrorist-loving traitor. But it is Cheney who is the traitor, with his office having betrayed Valerie to the Iranians (and everyone else in the world).

Fascism depends on the creation of straw man enemies said to be dire threats to the Homeland. Iran is a poor weak third world country and poses no threat to the US. It hasn't aggressively invaded another country for over a century. But Cheney needs Iran to substitute for the old Soviet Union, otherwise how could he get you to agree to let him listen in on your telephone calls without a warrant, or let him torture people?

Cheney is the much bigger threat to the integrity of the US constitution than any foreign force. He should be impeached. If lying about a tawdry affair that did not even get to third base is grounds for impeachment, then lying us into a war, slapping Iran's overtures away and setting the stage for another war, and outing a CIA operative certainly are.

1 comment:

Chief said...

Wow, do I agree w/ Prof Cole ! ! !