Does the US seek an Arab-Iranian "equilibrium?"

Jroc

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Rational behind Obama's outreach to Iran?:eusa_eh:

Obama may be seeking a regional balance of power to enable a US "pivot to Asia"




American policy in the Middle East has plainly been evolving, but in what direction has been less clear. Analysts have therefore been dutifully reading between the lines of what the risk-averse Obama administration has been doing and saying to try to tease out the new American strategic vision for the region.

Both the administration and the country at large seem ready to reduce the American footprint in the Middle East in favor of other priorities. However, the extent of that drawdown and, more importantly, what is intended to replace it, have been entirely unclear.

These questions became pressing following the American disengagement with Syrian rebels and embrace of the chemical weapons elimination program. When the US led the international community into an interim agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, they became even more so. Yet these moves only hinted at where American strategy might be headed, and raised more questions than they answered.

President Barack Obama, in his own words, has begun to explain what his administration sees as new American strategic policy goals and postures. And they will not please everyone.

In a sweeping overview of the current state of the Obama presidency, David Remnick has provided one of the first pieces of clear explication of where US grand strategy in the region may be headed, or at least where the administration wants to go.

Remnick quotes Obama as saying, bluntly, "If we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion... you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare."

This vision isn't going to mollify the suspicions of those concerned about Arab Gulf security.

In December, I speculated that a "plausible, but still from an Arab point of view alarming, scenario is that the US is seeking to create a balance of power between what amount to Sunni and Shiite regional alliances. Such an equilibrium, this logic holds, would allow the US to start to draw down its own posture in the region and concentrate on the long-ballyhooed 'pivot to Asia.
https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/531519-does-the-us-seek-an-arab-iranian-equilibrium
[MENTION=46168]Statistikhengst[/MENTION]
 
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The U.S. shifting alliances under Obama..


The US reversal of alliances: Comparative perspectives


It is rare that a great power in world politics, after decades of hostility with another country, turns around and suddenly seeks to embrace that country as a friend, if not an ally. Yet this is what the recent United States demarche towards Iran represents, unilaterally overturning years of carefully crafted economic sanctions laboriously conceived and implemented, and breaching numerous UN Security Council resolutions voted following Iran's

repeated violations over the years, in bad faith, of its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The term of art for such a turn of events in diplomatic and military history is renversement des alliances (reversal or overturning of alliances), and it is so rare that one can find only a few examples in the last three centuries. This essay seeks to comprehend the present, still-evolving situation, by reason of such historical analogies. Analogies can never prove anything, but they can point in directions fruitful for understanding.

Nevertheless, an emergent US-Iran-Russia entente over the region, analogous to the Triple Entente is actually foreseeable. It is already in evidence over Syria and Iran, where Washington's practice of "leading from behind" has had the result of handing over the real reins to Moscow, which no longer merely vetoes American actions but takes the initiative with which Washington now follows from behind. And Russia's diplomatic patronage of Iran is now decades old.
Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs
 
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Iran and Israel cross swords at Davos

Davos (Switzerland) (AFP) - Iran on Thursday stepped up attempts to normalise its relations with the West with a Davos charm offensive that was immediately attacked by Israel as a confidence trick.

On a visit to the Swiss resort aimed at enticing international investors back to Iran, President Hassan Rouhani told the World Economic Forum his government was sincere in its desire for a new relationship based on mutual trust and a rebuilding of economic ties that have been shattered by international sanctions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also speaking at the prestigious gathering, warned the West not to take the media-friendly Iranian's offer at face value, insisting there was no concrete evidence of any fundamental change in the nature of the Islamic regime.

"Hassan Rouhani can say something but it doesn't make it real," Netanyahu said. "It's false."

He said the Iranian president's claim that Tehran wanted to promote stability and security in the Middle East had "no connection with what is going on on the ground," notably in Syria, where he said Iranian Revolutionary Guards and its Hezbollah allies were fighting and killing alongside government forces
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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eth1W5pq26E#t=82]What are Iran's True Intentions: Andrew Bostom - YouTube[/ame]
 

irosie91

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no doubt---some of those clips fill some of our fellow posters with NOSTALGIA--
oh----for the good old days
 
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Obama is bringing Iran into fold and he thinks it's a good thing.:cuckoo: Iran, a terrorist supporting state, enemy of our allies, a nuclear threshold shite muslim theocracy with major influences in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon. They also fund terror around the world. This is Obama's foreign policy
 

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Iranian official on nuke deal: 'We did not agree to dismantle anything'
CNN International *- 1 day ago
Iran's foreign minister says the U.S. government mischaracterizes concessions by his side in the new nuclear deal.
 

Statistikhengst

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Rational behind Obama's outreach to Iran?:eusa_eh:

Obama may be seeking a regional balance of power to enable a US "pivot to Asia"




American policy in the Middle East has plainly been evolving, but in what direction has been less clear. Analysts have therefore been dutifully reading between the lines of what the risk-averse Obama administration has been doing and saying to try to tease out the new American strategic vision for the region.

Both the administration and the country at large seem ready to reduce the American footprint in the Middle East in favor of other priorities. However, the extent of that drawdown and, more importantly, what is intended to replace it, have been entirely unclear.

These questions became pressing following the American disengagement with Syrian rebels and embrace of the chemical weapons elimination program. When the US led the international community into an interim agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, they became even more so. Yet these moves only hinted at where American strategy might be headed, and raised more questions than they answered.

President Barack Obama, in his own words, has begun to explain what his administration sees as new American strategic policy goals and postures. And they will not please everyone.

In a sweeping overview of the current state of the Obama presidency, David Remnick has provided one of the first pieces of clear explication of where US grand strategy in the region may be headed, or at least where the administration wants to go.

Remnick quotes Obama as saying, bluntly, "If we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion... you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare."

This vision isn't going to mollify the suspicions of those concerned about Arab Gulf security.

In December, I speculated that a "plausible, but still from an Arab point of view alarming, scenario is that the US is seeking to create a balance of power between what amount to Sunni and Shiite regional alliances. Such an equilibrium, this logic holds, would allow the US to start to draw down its own posture in the region and concentrate on the long-ballyhooed 'pivot to Asia.
https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/531519-does-the-us-seek-an-arab-iranian-equilibrium
[MENTION=46168]Statistikhengst[/MENTION]
I am going to research this very deeply first, and then comment. Am really up on the Mideast, am not very up on China - I need to read some first.

We should all remember that our Government has made some grevious mistakes in foreign policy since WWII - grevious. And one mistake has led to the next shalamazel.

Propping up the Shah of Iran in the 1950s has ultimately led to the shitstorm we have today in Iran.

Arming the Mujahadeen in order to help Afghanistan fight the Russkis in the 80s led to El Quaida and 911.

But we also have really smart people up there who may have averted far worse things from happening. In other words, they still have much more information at their fingertips than we do.

I will be writing again...
 
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Iran could 'reorder' the Middle East:

The country is still only allowed to sell 1 million barrels per day of crude oil, but if the deal proves successful, a long-term pact could be struck, with all sanctions — including those on oil sales — being lifted

Malloch-Brown said a warming of relations between the West and Iran could change the face of the Middle East.

"At the extreme end, it might even reorder the Middle East. Traditionally, Iran was a great friend of the U.S. This has been a 20- or 30-year hiatus where it has been very different. But we may see that order of things coming back," he said.

He was less sanguine however about prospects for other Middle Eastern nations, describing Iran's progress as both the "most promising" and the "most improbable".
Iran could 'reorder' the Middle East: Malloch-Brown
 
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Jroc

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Rational behind Obama's outreach to Iran?:eusa_eh:

Obama may be seeking a regional balance of power to enable a US "pivot to Asia"




American policy in the Middle East has plainly been evolving, but in what direction has been less clear. Analysts have therefore been dutifully reading between the lines of what the risk-averse Obama administration has been doing and saying to try to tease out the new American strategic vision for the region.

Both the administration and the country at large seem ready to reduce the American footprint in the Middle East in favor of other priorities. However, the extent of that drawdown and, more importantly, what is intended to replace it, have been entirely unclear.

These questions became pressing following the American disengagement with Syrian rebels and embrace of the chemical weapons elimination program. When the US led the international community into an interim agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, they became even more so. Yet these moves only hinted at where American strategy might be headed, and raised more questions than they answered.

President Barack Obama, in his own words, has begun to explain what his administration sees as new American strategic policy goals and postures. And they will not please everyone.

In a sweeping overview of the current state of the Obama presidency, David Remnick has provided one of the first pieces of clear explication of where US grand strategy in the region may be headed, or at least where the administration wants to go.

Remnick quotes Obama as saying, bluntly, "If we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion... you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare."

This vision isn't going to mollify the suspicions of those concerned about Arab Gulf security.

In December, I speculated that a "plausible, but still from an Arab point of view alarming, scenario is that the US is seeking to create a balance of power between what amount to Sunni and Shiite regional alliances. Such an equilibrium, this logic holds, would allow the US to start to draw down its own posture in the region and concentrate on the long-ballyhooed 'pivot to Asia.
https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/531519-does-the-us-seek-an-arab-iranian-equilibrium
[MENTION=46168]Statistikhengst[/MENTION]
I am going to research this very deeply first, and then comment. Am really up on the Mideast, am not very up on China - I need to read some first.

We should all remember that our Government has made some grevious mistakes in foreign policy since WWII - grevious. And one mistake has led to the next shalamazel.

Propping up the Shah of Iran in the 1950s has ultimately led to the shitstorm we have today in Iran.

Arming the Mujahadeen in order to help Afghanistan fight the Russkis in the 80s led to El Quaida and 911.

But we also have really smart people up there who may have averted far worse things from happening. In other words, they still have much more information at their fingertips than we do.

I will be writing again...
Very "Smart"

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SetNFqcayeA]Neville Chamberlain returns from Germany with the Munich Agreement - YouTube[/ame]
 

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Rational behind Obama's outreach to Iran?:eusa_eh:

Obama may be seeking a regional balance of power to enable a US "pivot to Asia"




American policy in the Middle East has plainly been evolving, but in what direction has been less clear. Analysts have therefore been dutifully reading between the lines of what the risk-averse Obama administration has been doing and saying to try to tease out the new American strategic vision for the region.

Both the administration and the country at large seem ready to reduce the American footprint in the Middle East in favor of other priorities. However, the extent of that drawdown and, more importantly, what is intended to replace it, have been entirely unclear.

These questions became pressing following the American disengagement with Syrian rebels and embrace of the chemical weapons elimination program. When the US led the international community into an interim agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, they became even more so. Yet these moves only hinted at where American strategy might be headed, and raised more questions than they answered.

President Barack Obama, in his own words, has begun to explain what his administration sees as new American strategic policy goals and postures. And they will not please everyone.

In a sweeping overview of the current state of the Obama presidency, David Remnick has provided one of the first pieces of clear explication of where US grand strategy in the region may be headed, or at least where the administration wants to go.

Remnick quotes Obama as saying, bluntly, "If we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion... you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare."

This vision isn't going to mollify the suspicions of those concerned about Arab Gulf security.

In December, I speculated that a "plausible, but still from an Arab point of view alarming, scenario is that the US is seeking to create a balance of power between what amount to Sunni and Shiite regional alliances. Such an equilibrium, this logic holds, would allow the US to start to draw down its own posture in the region and concentrate on the long-ballyhooed 'pivot to Asia.
https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/531519-does-the-us-seek-an-arab-iranian-equilibrium
[MENTION=46168]Statistikhengst[/MENTION]
 
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Jroc

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I wonder if they'll be discussing the dismantling of Iran's nuke program?


Elders to visit Iran to promote dialogue with West

ehran (AFP) - A group of former global leaders known as the Elders, tasked with encouraging dialogue between Iran and the international community, is due to arrive in Tehran Sunday, their website said.

The group, formed in 2007, is made up of twelve global leaders who try "to promote peace, justice and human rights," according to their website.

The group sees "recent positive developments as a historic and strategic opportunity to end decades of animosity between Iran and the international community," the statement published on Saturday said.

But it added "trust will only be built slowly, through continued goodwill and reciprocal action."

During the visit, the Elders "will exchange ideas with the Iranian leadership about peaceful ways of addressing conflict".

The group will be headed by former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace laureate Kofi Annan, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed on Facebook on Saturday he would host the delegation.
Yahoo!
 

Hossfly

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I wonder if they'll be discussing the dismantling of Iran's nuke program?


Elders to visit Iran to promote dialogue with West

ehran (AFP) - A group of former global leaders known as the Elders, tasked with encouraging dialogue between Iran and the international community, is due to arrive in Tehran Sunday, their website said.

The group, formed in 2007, is made up of twelve global leaders who try "to promote peace, justice and human rights," according to their website.

The group sees "recent positive developments as a historic and strategic opportunity to end decades of animosity between Iran and the international community," the statement published on Saturday said.

But it added "trust will only be built slowly, through continued goodwill and reciprocal action."

During the visit, the Elders "will exchange ideas with the Iranian leadership about peaceful ways of addressing conflict".

The group will be headed by former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace laureate Kofi Annan, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed on Facebook on Saturday he would host the delegation.
Yahoo!
Anything's worth trying.
 

aris2chat

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I wonder if they'll be discussing the dismantling of Iran's nuke program?


Elders to visit Iran to promote dialogue with West

ehran (AFP) - A group of former global leaders known as the Elders, tasked with encouraging dialogue between Iran and the international community, is due to arrive in Tehran Sunday, their website said.

The group, formed in 2007, is made up of twelve global leaders who try "to promote peace, justice and human rights," according to their website.

The group sees "recent positive developments as a historic and strategic opportunity to end decades of animosity between Iran and the international community," the statement published on Saturday said.

But it added "trust will only be built slowly, through continued goodwill and reciprocal action."

During the visit, the Elders "will exchange ideas with the Iranian leadership about peaceful ways of addressing conflict".

The group will be headed by former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace laureate Kofi Annan, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed on Facebook on Saturday he would host the delegation.
Yahoo!
Anything's worth trying.
Iran said they will not be dismantling anything
 
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Jroc

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Statistikhengst

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Ok, [MENTION=25505]Jroc[/MENTION], I have been researching, and though I am far from done, lots of things to add. It's not gonna completely please Cons or Libs, but.... and btw, thanks for the personal invite to this thread.

We really fucked up in Persia in the 1950s. We propped up a King who was mostly hated by his own people. He was also a brutal King, hardly an icon of what we claim to stand for. But it was probably our best of all bad options. We were just 10 years past the most destructive war in our world's history, combatting the rise of Communism and our CIA was still pretty much in it's infancy. Persia (Iran) borders on the former Soviet Union. I bet that if the Dulles brothers could have peeked into a crystal ball, they would never have done some of the things they did. However, that mistake led to lots of things:

-the 1979 uprising, which occurred when former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, after unsuccessfully trying to get then Pres. Jimmy Carter to allow the ailing King of Iran to be flown to the USA for heart treatment, succeeded on the 6th try. The King was flown in, a revolution happened in Iran and our people there were kept hostage for 444 days. This is all part of the historical record. It is also part of the historical record that the hostages were released BEFORE Reagan was inaugurated.

-In neighboring Afghanistan, the Reagan administration trained the Mujahadeen to fight against the Russkis. Those Mujahadeen would later become the core of El Quaida. I am quite sure that, like the Dulles brothers, had Reagan been able to gaze into a crystal ball and see where this was all going to lead, he would never had instructed that the Mujahadeen be trained by our CIA.

-In the Iraq-Iran war of 1988, which killed more than 1 million people, we armed BOTH sides. We made money off of BOTH sides. Bad, bad, bad...

There is ample reason for Iranians to dislike us, no matter how good our intentions are.

However, this in no way excuses the horrible anti-semitism that is at the core of Iranian politics, nor does it excuse the terrible Iranian laws that literally make the life of a Jew (there are ca 30,000 Jews living within Iran, without passports, they cannot get out) 1/17th the life of a non-jew in Iran.

-Iran wants to make the bomb. Of this, I have no doubt.

So far, so good.

So, what does Obama (D) do:

-more sanctions than any other president in history vis-a-vis Iran. Crippling sanctions. Obama has gone farther than Bush ever went. And that is historically provable. I can't fault him for that.

In Syria, a smaller ally to Iran, and one which borders Eretz Israel, the Obama policy was probably the best of all bad options once again, for indeed, among the rebels were some elements of El Quaida, and yet, on both the military and the PR front, Obama won. He we not supported the rebels, Assad would have massacred many more. I despise Assad and think he should be hung. The hatred that had been under the surface for years in Syria came boiling to the top after the so-called Arab-Spring began. It is much more intense than most US-Americans know, but I know two of the leaders of the Syrian rebellion - leaders who were in exile in Germany for about 13 years, personally. I translated a number of their documents, pleas for help at the UN, from German into English. The small bands or factions that have put themselves together is about the most unlikely group of people that you could imagine.

But the fact is that Syria is quiet right now, and therefore no help to Iran.

And the other fact is that Iran wants to negotiate. It cannot hurt. It can only help. And if it doesn't work, be can still clobber Iran, if needed. Had we taken the same position with Nixon in 1972 as some are taking with Obama now, then he may never have gone to China, and maybe we would have more than just confrontation right now. Most thought of China as the mortal enemy back then, just as most see Iran as a mortal enemy now. If Nixon could talk with Mao and the world did not fall apart, then Obama can talk with the upper ups in Iran and again, the world will not fall apart. And there is also no "Neville Chamberlain" comparison possible here. Iran is in no position to fight a conventional war that it can win.

Israel: more joint training missions between the USA and Eretz Yisrael under the Obama administration than under any other administration, ever. The fact that Obama is willing to spend less time on Israel tells me personally that he trusts Israel to be able to stand more on it's own. I personally think that we Jews should be taking this as a compliment. Not to mention that fact that US aircraft carriers are in the area, should any stupidity happen on the part of Iran or Syria, for instance.

Next front: China.

China, with 1.4 billion, is without a doubt the force to reckon with in the future, and even now. China's GDP, depending on how you measure it, is either on par with or surpasses ours. No, wonder: their population is 4.5 times the size of ours. Only complete idiots would not be able to have their economy edge out ours with that kind of population advantage. If Obama is freed up to spend more time and energy on reigning in China, that is actually, when we are honest with ourselves, a neo-con policy. And maybe not such a bad one.

Most people don't know, but the word "China" itself means "Kingdom in the middle". The chinese have always had a very snobby few of themselves in the world, and maybe for good reason: every time China has been invaded and occupied, the occupiers themselves eventually became, well, Chinese. China has shown no territorial ambitions worth noting. Their view has been "why go to them, they come to us and then they become us". In the 1400s, the Chinese, who created the first navy, with ships far surpassing the ships of Europeans, literally mothballed it's fleet and stopped sailing for 400+ years for this very reason.

But today, China is polluting the world more than any other power, because it is currently building 40 mega-cities on the level of New York City, it is busy pirating all sorts of stuff, and it fields the largest army in the world.

It is only logical that a responsible President take more time and look to see what is going on in China. Which is exactly what President Obama is doing. I bet good money that, had Gov. Romney won the election 2012, his policy toward China would not be all that different.

I cannot fault Obama for any of these policies - many stem from having to pick the worst of all bad possible solutions. I especially cannot fault him for giving Iran a chance, for that alone keeps Saudi Arabia (hardly an ally, only on paper) and Iraq in check, keeps Syria caged up until it learns to be a Democracy, and it gives Israel breathing room. And notice that Turkey, which officially makes some loud noises about Israel, but is actually one of Israel's best trading partners and also a place where Israelis can go on vacation without fear for their safety, is not complaining about any of this.

Obama is in no way trying to realign the ME with Iran as a nuclear player. He is not going to let that happen. No American president is going to let that happen.

You asked for my two cents, I now started to give them. :)

[MENTION=25505]Jroc[/MENTION] [MENTION=29697]freedombecki[/MENTION] - among others.
 

freedombecki

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Geeze whiz, Stats. You're nicer than me, really!

My panacea would have been to flatten the sobs.

I think I'll stick to sewing. :lol:
 

Sunni Man

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The U.S. would do much better if it aligned with Iran and ditch Israel as an ally.

Iran is an up and coming player in the Middle East.

Whereas, Israel's days are numbered and will someday cease to exist as a viable state. ... :cool:
 

Kondor3

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Obama will continue to 'draw-down' in the Middle East and 'pivot' to Asia until January 20, 2017, at which time a new President will be sworn-in, and much of the damage currently being done to US alliances and focus will be repaired.
 

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