News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for November 27-29, 2010:
- The Wall Street Journal: Harvard professor and Project for the New American Century signatory Stephen Peter Rosen writes that while the United States promotes the elimination of nuclear weapons, Iran and North Korea have made the acquisition of nuclear weapons their high priority. Following the meme of equating North Korea and Iran as similar foreign policy challenges, Rosen argues the United States should not simply accept Iran or North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons but, instead, “If North Korea and Iran want nuclear weapons, and China does nothing to stop them, we can reintroduce tactical nuclear weapons onto American aircraft carriers and attack submarines in the Pacific.” Acknowledging the importance of working with allied nations, Rosen characterizes his call for increased U.S. military readiness as “an old-school response that doesn’t seek war, but that also doesn’t aspire to utopian goals.”
- Commentary: Jennifer Rubin is one of dozens of hawks to jump on the WikiLeaks document dump of U.S. diplomatic cables to draw exactly the conclusions she was looking for. Despite confirmation of linkage — that the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict hurts U.S. interests in the Mid East — at the highest levels of the Pentagon, Rubin is determined to take the Saudi King’s word that the concept is “nonsense.” “In short, there is zero evidence that the Palestinian non-peace talks were essential to obtaining the assistance of the Arab states on Iran,” she writes. She calls Palestinian-Israeli peace talks a “grand waste of time and a dangerous distraction” and says, “Obama frittered away two years that could have been spent cementing an Israeli-Arab alliance against Tehran.” Her logic relies on the straw-man argument that the peace process is “essential to obtaining the help of the Arab states in confronting Iran’s nuclear threat” — the words “helpful” or “productive” used in conjunction with “peace process” would better describe this linkage.
I hate to side with Rosen, but I see nothing objectionable in his words as reported here (haven’t read the original piece).
On Jennifer Rubin: while I don’t agree with her opinion re Arab-Palestinian peace talks, it does seem from the Wikileaks material that America’s Arab friends are very worried about the Iranian nuclear program. I think we need to look at this more closely before coming to a conclusion. I’m not sure I understand the last sentence of your second paragraph. I read it thrice but remain unsure just what you are saying.
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