In an eye-opening article for Foreign Policy in Focus entitled Why Doesn’t the Foreign Policy Establishment Take World Peace Seriously?, Didier Jacobs writes of U.S.-Iran relations that the U.S. “foreign policy establishment is susceptible to groupthink.” Very few...
Interjecting the consideration of moral values into foreign policy decisions is, unfortunately, often ridiculed by the political establishment of Republicans and Democrats in the United States. For instance, one supporter of Bill Clinton in 1992, Michael Mandelbaum, expressed how foolish it is to construct policies based on moral values.
It’s cause for celebration whenever subconscious motives breach the perimeter of international relations.
In the movie Memento, the main character suffers from short-term memory loss. He cannot remember anything from day to day, so must write himself notes to explain what happened to him in the recent past. He is desperate to resolve a central mystery in his life. But with his memory a blank, all he can rely on are the cryptic scribbles that he cannot even remember writing.
For many Iran observers, Washington’s latest accusations against Iran — implicating members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States — come off as surreal, if not wholly bizarre.
At this juncture, it may be too early to pass a credible judgment on the substance and validity of the allegations, but there are just too many reasons to dismiss them as another cynical attempt to further isolate Iran. In the greater scheme of things, such accusations might be part of America’s strategy to push its “regime change” agenda in Iran. Although only a trial in an impartial, credible, and civilian court could shed light on the truthfulness of the U.S. claims, we have every reason to take Washington’s allegations with a grain of salt.
After Muammar Gaddafi’s demise, the future of Libya’s relationship with the United States remains uncertain.
Back in 2004, three years into the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the 9/11 Commission report made its debut to the gushing admiration of the Washington press corps. The report was everything that the mainstream media adores: bipartisan, devoid of divisive finger-pointing, full of conventional wisdom.
Many of the same people who led the push for regime-change in Baghdad now have their sights set on Tehran.
We have, once again, played right into Osama bin Laden’s hands. This might seem like an odd assertion, since the al-Qaeda mastermind is finally dead at the hands of U.S. Special Forces, most heads of state have voiced their congratulations, and practically the entire U.S. citizenry is unified in celebration. But Osama bin Laden always understood that the weak use the weapons of the powerful against them, such as U.S. airplanes against U.S. skyscrapers.
Muammar Gaddafi is the undead chicken. Bashar al-Assad of Syria and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain are the unscared monkeys. The United States has shaped its policy toward the evolving situation in the Middle East according to the Chinese proverb of “killing the chicken to scare the monkey.” The Obama administration has intervened in the conflict in Libya with the apparent goal of punishing Gaddafi for cracking down on the emerging protest movement back in February. This intervention was designed to send a message to other autocrats in the region: don’t fire on your unarmed opposition — or else. But the United States and its allies are having problems with the “or else” part of the equation.