Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The sensation derived from the failure of Iraq War narrowed the breadth of selection. As Putnam (1988, 437-8) explained, the win-set size should be broad enough to have a room for negotiation. However, the U.S. has narrowed its win-set size to negotiate with Iran. What can be the best option for the U.S.? I suggest following: the U.S. invasion of Iran, nuclear armament of Iran, sanctions by the International Institutions and by the U.S., and remove the willingness and capability on nuclear weapons.
1) The U.S. Invasion of Iran: If the U.S. invades Iran, it can successfully deter the nuclear program? Bomb-Iran-Now is a military option suggested by the neoconservatives. However, the U.S. would blamed again whether it success or not, because people are jealous of the war in this region. Presidnt Bush’s invasion concluded with failure in Afghanistan and in Iraq - brought about another conflict (let say, civil war), cost much money and lost the U.S. soldiers. This option sound not so good to solve real problem. And, the relative weaknesses of neoconservatives after the last year's mid-term election might make it difficult to persuade the Democrats.
2) Nuclear Armament of Iran: Let Iran to repeat the history of Israel? As Israel did during the 1950s-60s, the U.S. just let them to develop nuclear bombs? In fact, Iran can easily acquire the related technological assistance from Russia. North Korea and Syria also are good partners. Forced resignation of Iranian top nuclear official means that the Iranian government would directly control its nuclear program. Iran rejected the international inspections itself, or disturbed inspectors. So, it is evident that Ahmadinejad intend to produce nuclear arms, even though he kept saying that it's only for "peaceful purpose." If Iran’s nuclear program turned out to be successful, we do not have answers to deter them from using it through various means such as terrorist groups. This option also not a good thing: it looks too pro-Iranian view.
3) Sanctions by the International Institutions and by the U.S.
The cooperation with the international institutions, such as IAEA and Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), are required for the legitimacy of inspections. Iran has a vast territory, which is the eighteenth largest country in the world, so locating the nuclear evidence will not be an easy task. The purpose of close inspection, however, is to pressure Iran. However, the use of international institutions is not a strong means to change Iran's attitude. We should understand this question: Why Iran does not answer the critical questions on nuclear program by the IAEA for five years? They just accepted the mild U.N sanctions accordingly not answering the truth to the IAEA. Why? Because, the sanctions by the institutions are not so powerful.
Hower, there was an announcement by the U.S. State Department that regards any trade with Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will be considered like terrorist-supporting activity. This is a strong sanction that can prevent Iranian nuclear ambitions. Nobody know what the outcomes will be, however, I anticipat this might have a big influence - as the U.S. did on North Korean missile test. The sanctions should strongly threatening Iran to change its courses.
4) Remove the Willingness and Capability of Nuclear Bombs: Nuclear program can be resumed at any time if they have willingness (keep ambiguity policy) and capability (nuclear technology and resources). The sanctions might be useful to obtain short-term goal, not long-term goal of removing the willingness from developing the program. Deep-rooted nuclear willingness expected to be prevented under the improved relations with Iran. It looks almost impossible to make the theocratic fascist state Iran change their attitude.
Though Iranian nuclear capability is not a developed level, however, there are many sources which it can depend on. Russia is an awkward friend to dealing with. Because Russia continuously helped Iran for decades in a military sense. Even Putin, an eternal leader of Russia, publicly blamed the U.S. operation in Iraq and possibility of invasion on Iran. The U.S. should take Russia seriously, because it is still a second nuclear power state in the world. The possibility of technology assistance from North Korea is low after the successful negotiations from the Six-Party Talk. Unfortunately, however, we can’t believe such a communist state one hundred percent getting involved in rhetoric. Syria and Pakistan is a possible candidates. Bilateral deal might be helpful as alternative ways to change the current frameworks with the rogue regimes.
Iran can develop its nuclear program secretly like that of Israel. It is obvious to predict the result of the future when Iran has nuclear bombs. To prevent the disastrous situation, the U.S. should prevent the recent Iranian nuclear armament. It is not an easy task, but not impossible. Even though Iranian activities went too far from the maginot line, negotiation is still possible at any time. Attacking Iran and admitting nuclear armament of Iran is the worst options. Sanctions by the U.S. rather than by the international institutions might be strong. But, the institutions can endow us with legitimacy. Multilateral diplomatic solution is the best option to dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions. So, the normalized American – Iranian relationship must be accomplished to solve this issue peacefully and permanently.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Look here is the deal with sanctions: they sound GREAT in the nation that is doing them, drumming up national pride and all, but often sanctions increase national pride/resolve in the sanctioned nation as well. I really believe that Castro’s regime would have fallen long ago if he was not able to blame Cuba’s economic plight on America. What America is doing is giving the pro-America Iranian population a reason to hate America. Seriously there is stupid and then there is stupid.
I did not agree with everything our recent speaker Jeremy Jones said, but he made a very valid point when he noted the lack of productivity when a nation only negotiates with its friends. Normalizing relations with Iran (i.e. talking with Iran) right now would be painful, and would give Mr. Ahmadinejad a lot to talk about, but talks are the only way the good ‘ol US of A and Iran will be happy bed fellows again. Somehow I think this concept might be far too complex for the Bush Administrations so I will sum up my feelings this way: IRAN SANCTION BAD! IRAN TALK GOOD! ARRG!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Of course I'm not the only one who should stop making a fuss about the value of missile defense shield. As mentioned above, the US's current plans for basing interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic are specifically meant to counter the remote chance of Iran firing a handful of primitive missiles at the state of Europe an in no way signify hostile intent towards Russia. You can relax, Mr.Putin. Anyways, your missiles can be launched from land, sea and air, and you have lots of them to hurl.
Hopefully the US will decide that the missile defense shield is a bad idea before pissing billions of greenbacks away.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Condoleezza Rice’s response to several Republican Representatives concerned about American negotiations with
After commercial satellite photos showing the beginnings of a possible nuclear reactor in
A nascent Syrian nuclear program does not pose an immediate threat, and there is no need to call of negotiations because of it. It is quite obvious that
Both Rice (finally) and Christopher Hill understand that negotiating with
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I may be wrong, but this is the first time I can remember OBL publicly and blatantly chastising his own Al-Qaeda fighters through a released video tape. He usually saves that mechanism for delivering his anti-western propaganda or, as some feel, delivering hidden messages. While I feel it would be premature and extremely detrimental to active troops in Iraq to make a "victory declaration", maybe there are signs that Al-Qaeda has been weakened. After four and a half years of fighting: any objective, positive reports should be welcomed by everyone regardless of political party. However, I feel it important to treat the analysis as a postive sign but not go overboard in making an premature declartions. If anyone should feel different, I implore them to remember our President and the speech he gave under the now infamous banner approximately two months after the Iraq invasion began in March of 2003.
Most interesting are the words of Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan who flatly stated that “Ceasefires are possible between states and regular forces - the problem here is that we're dealing with a terrorist organization". This is telling because 9 years ago Turkey showed us that a ceasefire with a “terrorist organization” was not only possible, but that they would enter into one. They brokered an agreement with the PKK that brought relative peace to the region, until 2004 when the violence resumed.
This option has been taken off the table because Turkey no longer views such an agreement as viable, and it appears they are not only prepared but downright giddy with the thought of military intervention. By show of hands, who sees a diplomatic resolution to this issue? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? …it will not work and the tensions in the region will continue to escalate militantly.
Luckily, it looks like Iraqi forces will be utilized to close the PKK camps in the North, possibly with Turkish assistance. This is excellent news for the U.S. because increased involvement in Kurdistan would be viewed with suspicion in Ankara and, to be honest, the U.S. military has more pressing problems further south (and east, and south east too) . However, I am not inclined to believe that Turkish, Iraqi, or a combination of Turkish and Iraqi forces are capable of effectively engaging the PKK. The Iraqi military has consistently underachieved and the Turkish forces have seen only moderate success against the determined rebels. Oh me of little faith.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Musharraf could gamble on using emergency powers now to stay in office. Although Mr. Musharraf's constitutional legitimacy as president is questionable, Ms. Bhutto can not claim the high ground either. She is pushing for a third-term as prime minster, which is currently illegal. Idealist may point to the agreement between Musharraf and Bhutto as a step towards true democracy, but it looks like business as usual in Pakistan. Pakistan could now have two dictators. One would like to think that maybe two individuals could squash the problem with militants in the tribal areas, but given that both of Ms. Bhutto's terms as prime minister were riddled with corruption and incompetence, the situation looks bleak.
I hope that nuclear arsenal is secure.
Friday, October 12, 2007
The spineless jellyfish who make up the rank and file of the Democratic party would love for America to think that they are doing all they can to end the war, but they're not. They could do a number of things, such as holding a filibuster. But all that bloviating takes away from valuable face to face contact with the special interest groups that many of them serve, such as...oh, I don't know...the Armenian Lobby.
The Democrats can't can't force the end of the war through "official" direct means or indirect means (i.e cutting off funding for the war). So... the Democrats have decided get behind a resolution calling for the recognition of a genocide of the Armenian people in 1915. Turkey, a key NATO ally and critical logistical staging ground for the Iraq war is obviously pleased. I guess the Democrats think that it is in the interest of the United States to lose the support of a key ally in the region in order to end an unpopular war.
The Democrats must be taking crazy pills. We already have our hands full battling insurgents in Iraq. It would incredibly stupid to give Turks any more reason to invade the only peaceful portion of Iraq and possibly ignite a wider regional conflict.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
A recent Washington Post article quotes
We must remember that
The question remains, why has
I know it’s shocking that there are massive logical fallacies in US Iraq policy, but it’s sad that the concept of dividing
The United States will not allow legal proceedings where state secrets may be revealed, period. Even if the CIA kidnap, strip, beat, diaper (wtf?) and drug an innocent person. No criminal prosecution can occur so long as we call it a "secret". Ladies and Gentlemen of the supposed Supreme Court, this does not make sense. Chewbacca lives on Endor. It is disconcerting to see that between 1953 and 1976 the state secret doctrine was invoked 6 times, and the Bush administration, in less than half that time, has seen fit to invoke it on 39 occassions. You'd be hard pressed to convince me that this world is 80 times more dangerous than the Cold War period.
The rogue elephant is back, and this time hes drunk. It's time to gather up the surviving members of the Church Committee for a reunion tour of our intelligence community.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
· In 2002 disrupted a scheme of Khalid Shaykh Mohammad (9/11 mastermind, aka KSM) to attack West Coast targets with hijacked airplanes
· In 2003 derailed another KSM-plot involving hijacked airplanes, this one directed against Heathrow Airport
· In 2003 began an investigation that culminated in the capture of Hambali, leader of Jemaah Islamiyah and al Qaeda’s representative for South Asia
· In 2003 arrested Iyman Faris, who was involved in a plan to destroy New York’s Brooklyn Bridge
· In 2004 broke up a planned attack against urban targets in the UK
Interrogation is useful. Whether or not the methods used above amounted to “torture” is irrelevant. The point is that they were used for the advancement of policy—in this case, the suppression of terrorism—and were neither aimless nor indiscriminate.
What I am still waiting to hear is an argument why torture/interrogation is bad (assuming, of course, that the underlying policy is just, which most people take counterterrorism to be).
Is it because it’s “uncivilized?” Suffusing people with shrapnel seems also somewhat uncivilized, yet this is legitimate in war. Is it because the international community says it’s unacceptable? Or is torture just plain wrong? Someone tell me.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I know torture has its advocates and they make many nebulous claims to its effectiveness effectiveness in eliciting information. If someone could site a specific, compelling example I would love to hear it. I guess it is tempting to be seduced by the iron-clad logic that someone would never tell their torturer exactly what they wanted to hear in order to terminate the gruesome proceedings as soon as possible. And of course terror suspects have all the incentive in the world to divulge all their information...spending the rest of my days languishing in a concrete cell as an expended intelligence asset sounds great to me.
If someone shoved a snarling attack dog in my face or threatened to attach electrodes to my genitals, I think I'd say just about anything to make it all stop.
We're told that the War on Terror is being fought to protect civilization from those who would destroy it. Are we being civilized?
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Now this deal does not require North Korea to get rid of all of the technology and parts that have already been acquired already which could pose a threat if another state were to get their hands on them. In order to gain full support of the United States, North Korea must also disclose whether or not they have been supplying Syria with nuclear materials. If this condition is met along with full disabling of facilities by the end of 2007, then the US says it will "enhance mutual trust."
This is also seen as a major victory for the Bush adminstration. This administration, which has suffered through the debacle in Iraq, has shown signs of effectiveness. Not only has they worked with North Korea to disarm, they have also done the same with Libya early in the administration. These smaller victories certainly do not overshadow Iraq, but they do show some credibility, for what it's worth.