Sunday, January 13, 2008

Does Iran really threaten global security?

There certainly plenty of concerns about virtually every country in the Middle East, but do the concerns about Iran really rise to the level of a threat to global security? From all that I have read and heard, I would have to say that the answer is: No.

An Associated Press article entitled "Bush: Iran threatens global security - President says Arab allies must confront danger 'before it's too late'" tells us that:

President Bush said Sunday that Iran is threatening the security of the world, and that the United States and Arab allies must join together to confront the danger "before it's too late."

Bush said Iran funds terrorist extremists, undermines peace in Lebanon, sends arms to the Taliban, seeks to intimidate its neighbors with alarming rhetoric, defies the United Nations and destabilizes the entire region by refusing to be open about its nuclear program.

"Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terror," Bush said in a speech he delivered about mid-way through his eight-day Mideast trip...

I am sure that the Neoconservatives and the rest of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby are quite concerned about Iran, but that simply does not raise Iran to the level of being a threat to global security. In fact, I would say that Iran is not even the largest threat to regional security. It is in fact the U.S. and its heavy-handed intervention into regional affairs and its one-sided support for Israel that is the largest security threat in the Middle East. Take the U.S. out of the Middle East and stop treating Israel as if it were a colony or 51st state of the U.S., and much of the tensions in the Middle East would quickly dissipate.

To be sure, there are plenty of tensions in the region that do not involve the U.S., but the U.S. would be more successful as an agent for conciliation and negotiation and accommodation rather than taking sides and trying to bend regional affairs to the will and whim of American and Pro-Israel Lobby politics.

To be crystal clear, I personally feel more threatened by President Bush and the policies of the Neoconservatives and the rest of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby than even a nuclear-armed Iran. It is a shame that any American would have to feel this way, but that simply highlights the horror of our policies.

The U.S. should endeavor to lead by example. Our policies do not need to be black and white choices between threats and begging. We have more than enough tools available to us to permit us to focus on offering "attractive" propositions. And, sometimes, simple patience is what is called for. Maybe then people around the world would see the merit of our political, economic, and social systems.

To be clear, Iran does not need to be "confronted" in a threatening manner; that is simply a strategic approach that has been selected by misguided policymakers. Yes, we need to find creative ways to deal with all aspects of the Middle East, but I am confident that threatening "confrontation" is not a very useful or productive approach for the U.S. to take.

-- Jack Krupansky


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