Why Hillary's Iran Vote Is Dangerous
As someone said, the recent vote on Iran is like calling the US army a terrorist organization because it follows the orders of the President of the United States. So, through this vote, you are essentially calling the Iranian president a terrorist, kind of like you call Bin Laden a terrorist.
The Iranian president is not a nice guy, I don't like him. If he had been elected by the Iranian people, I would have been okay with him, but in that country a council of mullahs decides who may or may not run for president. They too have a caucus there, but it is not a caucus of the ordinary people.
But I would call the Iranian president a semi-elected theocrat rather than a terrorist. Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, but he was a dictator, he was not a terrorist. Bin Laden is a terroist. You necessarily have to draw those distinctions if you want to make any headway in the Middle East.
Right before I came to the US as an international student, I bought a whole bunch of Hindi music tapes. I would play them in my room, different tapes on different days when I had time. Some were classical Indian music, some were gazals, some were songs from Hindi films, many different Hindi films from many different time periods, different decades.
Luke lived next door. He once asked me, "Can I ask you something?"
Be my guest, I said.
"Why do you play the same song again and again?" he said.
The dude could not tell the difference between one song and another, and I must have had more than 100 songs.
Hillary is acting like Luke. If Dick Cheney is Darth Vader like Hillary said recently, I guess Hillary is Lucas, or Luke.
Bin Laden, Saddam and Ahmedinejad are three different songs, rather three different genres. Classical, heavy metal and choir music.
A rule of thumb is you don't talk to terrorists. It is a physical fight to the finish. You don't negotiate, you don't talk.
This Iran vote means President Hillary will not want to talk to Iran. That is not Bush Lite, that is Bush on steroids. In February, Hillary said she was open to talking to Iran. Then a few months later she called Obama "naive and irresponsible" for wanting to talk to Iran. A few weeks back she again said she was open to talking to Iran. Now she has voted in a way that will make it impossible for her to talk to Iran: you don't talk to terrorists. She couldn't talk even if she wanted to.
Will the real Hillary please stand up?
Is Iran innocent? No, it is not innocent. No country that is not a democracy is innocent. Saudi Arabia is not innocent. Egypt is not. Burma, Zimbabwe.
Has Iran meddled in Iraq's civil war? Yes. Has every other country in the region? Saudi Arabia? Syria? Yes. They have all been discreetly taking sides. The non war option would be to hold a regional summit of all those powers, televised, open, transparent. That would be a great way to diffuse the tension. It is called direct diplomacy. Bush and Hillary wouldn't know.
Do I want regime change in Iran? Yes. Saudi Arabia? Yes. Egypt? Yes.
Should the US keep its military options with Iran? Yes. Why only Iran, the US should keep its military options open with every country, with China, with Russia. That is why there is a military.
But, war is always, always the weapon of last resort. That was true in 2002, that is true today.
But when you snuff out possibility of dialogue, you are saying war is going to be your first option. That is a highly dangerous proposition.
When the US invaded Iraq, it took one eye off the Al Qaeda. If the US were to invade Iran, it will have taken both eyes off the Al Qaeda. That organization is stronger today than it was before 9/11, and, according to Hillary's recent article in the Foreign Affairs, the Al Qaeda will not hesitate for a second if it thinks it can strike America. It will strike. How much sense would it make to take the eyes off that organization completely?
The weirdest part is this. The US is so bogged down in Iraq, it does not really have the option to invade Iran. Unless you bring back the draft in a major way. Iran is a much bigger, more complicated country than Iraq was under Saddam. You could not just conduct air raids. Either way, you will start a regional war that involves Israel.
That is World War III.
And for what? Because you don't have the wisdom, knowledge, attitude and skills to exhaust all the non military options first?
Spreading democracy is a science. It can work like clockwork. It can work for Iran. You do it the grassroots way, the progressive way, organizing the diaspora way, a war with communications technology way, the nonviolent way. Now that war, I am for.
I am for a war of communications technology with Iran, with Saudi Arabia, with Egypt, Syria.
Only democratic Arab countries can co-exist with a democratic Israel. Democracy is key. And the only sure way to spread democracy is the grassroots way, the nonviolent way.
So I ask, is the US doing all it can to help the democracy activists in Burma? I don't think so. It is doing maybe 1% of what it could do. How about 10 million dollars in direct funding to the democracy activists there?
Nepal proved in April 2006 when people come out into the streets in the millions for days, weeks, the dictator has to get out of the picture. That is not anomaly, that is science.
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