Subject: IRAN: Military Option Isolates America
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 10:37:20 EDT
From: Ray Close
Question of the hour:
Will (or can) President Bush choose to attack Iran?
In the past few days, the rest of the world seems to be getting
increasingly nervous that the US is indeed seriously contemplating the
military option against Iran. It seems to me more than coincidental that
such explicit cautionary messages (see below) would surface virtually
simultaneously in so many important world capitals.
This indicates to me that Bush's unremitting belligerence toward Iran
has finally persuaded the other major powers that he has already
effectively deprived the United States (and therefore his prospective
coalition partners, as well) of any alternative choices to resolve the
confrontation with Teheran by means short of violence, and so they are
making concerted efforts to discourage military action by publicly
disassociating themselves from any consideration of that option.
The problem has obviously been compounded by the fact that Mr. Bush's
totally uncompromising words and body language (with brilliant
accompaniment by virtuoso diplomat John Bolton) had, even before the
current barrage of aggressive presidential speeches, already effectively
crippled the prospects for multilateral action to impose and enforce
strong sanctions against Iran --- (if indeed that was ever a realistic
I strongly suspect that in confidential bilateral discussions with
Washington the governments mentioned below are also suggesting that it
would be very helpful if the U.S. publicly took the so-called "regime
change" option off the table, as well, on the grounds that the Iranian
leadership will never consider adopting a more accommodating attitude as
long as the U.S. president openly invokes revolution in their country.
>From the world press:
"The military option isn't an option,'' German Prime Minister
Merkel said in a speech to the Parliament yesterday.
Russia seems to want to get a not-to-use-force resolution from the
UNSC. The Russian foreign minister said that any economic sanctions
imposed by the international community on Iran for its nuclear programs
would preclude the use of military force, Russian news agencies reported
The Chinese Foreign Minister yesterday said, "China advocates this
issue to be resolved through negotiation and dialogue in a peaceful way
and this position remains unchanged."
In an obvious reaction to the President's speech, "We cannot accept
a 'war of civilizations' between a 'western bloc' and a 'Muslim bloc,'"
French Foreign Minister Douste-Blazy said in an interview yesterday.
That followed the announcement the day before yesterday that France did
not support a military option.
"Italy does not want Iran to have nuclear weapons but the solution
must be found on a political level and through negotiations," the
Italian Foreign Minister said.