Why Should We Negotiate?

Reader Mikef at TMV addressed this so well that I will just quote him:

asked the question the other day: for those who believe that we should “go to Tehran”, what gains do you think could be made?

1. We have a mutual interest in a stable Iraq. Iran and it’s neighbors are reasonably concerned that a complete collapse of the Iraqi government would lead to regional war.

2. The Iranians think that they are next on our hit list (which is the obvious conclusion of comments by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Lieberman etc.) Because of that, its in their national security interest to keep us off balance in Iraq and to undermine us at every turn. Assuring them that we aren’t on the warpath would change that calculus completely.

3. The Iranians share our hatred of al Qaeda and the Taliban. They certainly have intelligence in Afghanistan that we could use. They would support our efforts to quash a resurging Taliban next door.

4. Iran has a strong reformist contingent – members of which would be very friendly to the U.S. and our interests. As long as the conservatives can point to the danger of a war hungry American president, they can rally support from the country (the flip side of our “rally behind the president” fervor after 9/11).

5. Nuclear weapons are expensive to design, expensive to build, dangerous to own and fatal to use. That’s the reason most countries don’t try to make them. Iran is pursuing its nuclear program more in spite of America than for need. If we convinced them that any nuclear attack on Israel would be considered an attack by Iran against the U.S. they’d have serious reasons to invite inspectors in to prove their research was exclusively peaceful. (This was the strategy used by Kennedy to convince the Soviets to pull nukes from Cuba).

6. Despite what some of you seem to think, Iran is not suicidal. They respond to issues of their national security and interest. They aren’t striving to martyr themselves in a suicidal attack on Israel or the U.S. We need to convince them that their security won’t be threatened as long as they behave themselves. Refusing to speak to them sends the opposite message.

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2 responses to “Why Should We Negotiate?

  1. “Despite what some of you seem to think, Iran is not suicidal. They respond to issues of their national security and interest. They aren’t striving to martyr themselves in a suicidal attack on Israel or the U.S.”

    Sorry, but that IS NOT what the Iranian government says. In fact, the Iranian government operates its own state news website where you can read for yourself what the official government believes about the future of the Middle East.

    http://english.irib.ir/IRAN/Leader/Illumination.htm

    The Iranian regime that leads the Iranian people is NOT interested in reform and regional peace. It IS interested in global apocalyptic jihad and firmly believes that is what is coming. Go ahead. Read for yourself what the Iranian government calls “illumination” and you’ll see how they are engaging in politics to create the precursor conditions for an apocalyptic war in the Middle East just as their prophecies describe.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Sean. Just like our so-called leader, Iran’s is a madman who needs to be–and will be–replaced long before Iran has nukes if in fact they are really attempting to acquire them. And certainly we have more than our share of religious zealots who see this as a holy war. Their rhetoric is just as inflammatory as Mahdi’s.

    “Christian Zionists believe that Christians will be raptured into Heaven prior to Armageddon; and they believe in a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth. In order to accomplish the rapture, they believe that present-day Israel must be supported unconditionally. They believe that Israel may make territorial claims from the Nile to the Euphrates rivers — even at the expense of the U.S. — because then Armageddon, the final, earth-ending battle between good and evil, will occur. Christian Zionist Benny Hinn said on NBC’s Dateline in March 2005 that ‘This is not a war between Jews and Arabs. It is a war between God and the Devil.’ ”

    May all the fuming zealots on all sides stroke out on their vile bile. They can no more bury us than Khrushchev. We have always had pathetic enemies who dreamed of world domination, and within our country, dangerous fanatics who would have us take up the sword just as we have, with disastrous results, in Vietnam and Iraq. Bright people need not fall into a life of fear because of them. We’re better than the 12th century idiot Mahdi, and he does not represent the Iranian government. He’s closer to the democratically elected Iraqi government we are dying to protect.

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