January 23, 2007

You Made Your Bed, And Now ...

The rhetorical question to the Bush administration, 'how juvenile can a bunch of old, mostly white guys possibly be?', isn't meant as encouragement. It isn't a question we ask because we really want them to demonstrate. And so it should come as no surprise that the rest of the world is tired of being thus misinterpreted as well, and has had enough of the world's most powerful country acting like a gang of street-racing punks:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A second U.S. aircraft carrier strike group now steaming toward the Middle East is Washington’s way of warning Iran to back down in its attempts to dominate the region, a top U.S. diplomat said here Tuesday.

Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, ruled out direct negotiations with Iran and said a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran was “not possible” until Iran halts uranium enrichment. ... Burns said in an address to the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, an influential think-tank. ...

Shorter Nicholas Burns: We're not gonna talk to you ... Neener, neener, neeeener!

And so it shouldn't be surprising that Burns got this response:

... “What we are not interested in is another war in the region,” Mohammed al-Naqbi, who heads the Gulf Negotiations Center, told Burns. “Iraq is your problem, not the problem of the Arabs. You destroyed a country that had institutions. You handed that country to Iran. Now you are crying to Europe and the Arabs to help you out of this mess.” ...

Shorter Mohammed al-Naqbi: You knew better than all of us going into this situation, surely you can take care of it all by your fabulously capable selves.

And yeah, if you missed that part, someone from the Bush administration has just confirmed a good bit of the speculation that the buildup in the Gulf right now has to do with Iran, not Iraq. So if anyone hems or haws on the matter, you tell them to go talk to Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs.

Posted by natasha at January 23, 2007 04:25 PM | Iraq | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

I think Bushs prob is much more fundamental. Hes endangered 150000 us soldiers will be nuked. Weapons of mass destruction and he will have attacked the wrong country.

Posted by: ccokz at January 23, 2007 04:33 PM

b4 most carriers were rocking the sea of japan due to nk. i doubt bush has any lust or motivation to show muscle over there.

Posted by: ccokz at January 23, 2007 04:35 PM

You act as though Iran wasn't doing anything to escalate tensions, either. I'm not certain that they're trying to build nuclear weapons, but I do know that they're stirring the pot in Iraq. And not just because of the stories in the news.

And while I know it sounds really childish to us, a lot of the Mid-East still acts like teenagers - they only respect strength and pounce on weakness. Asking to negotiate makes Iran think we're weak, and encourages them to be even more aggressive. Childish, yes. Doesn't make it any less true.

Posted by: K at January 24, 2007 10:25 AM

Actually, I believe I've noted in very recent posts and on a continuing basis that Ahmadinejad has been needlessly belligerent, an attitude that has cost him dearly with both the public and the conservative religious establishment. Every segment of even Iranian society is now complaining about his damage to their interests and international standing.

However, and this is key, I'm not Iranian. I'm an American citizen and the primary duty I have is as a watchdog of the government I participate in. Having voted and engaged in US politics means that my primary moral authority for criticism lies in discussing the government I'm a part of, one of those 'we, the people,' people. And my government, having declared itself world police force and sole global hyperpower, has a great deal more responsibility to act with deliberation, discretion and maturity than any other nation on the planet. This is both because of the vast scope of the damage we could do and because of the authority we have laid claim to.

Yes, I hold the United States to a higher standard than I do the squabbling nations of the Middle East. And maybe you should consider doing the same, because otherwise you're suggesting that we're singularly incapable of rising above the inclinations to pettiness that lie in the hearts of all peoples, everywhere.

Posted by: natasha at January 24, 2007 12:34 PM

Oh yes, I almost forgot ... The Iranian government itself, including the previous Khatami government, the clerical establishment, and the current Ahmadinejad government have all made overtures for negotiations with the United States.

It would seem very peculiar to me for them to suggest as a course of action something that they believe to be inherently symptomatic of weakness. The idea that resolving problems through diplomacy is a show of weakness is one of the most pernicious and damaging ideas in American political debate. Also, one of the most ludicrous on its face.

Is it commonly your experience that individuals regard belligerent bullies as more worthy of respect than people who resolve daily conflicts through negotiation?

Posted by: natasha at January 24, 2007 12:39 PM