November 16, 2004

Condi on Iran, Circa 2000

Finally, there is the Iranian regime. Iran's motivation is not to disrupt simply the development of an international system based on markets and democracy, but to replace it with an alternative: fundamentalist Islam. Fortunately, the Iranians do not have the kind of reach and power that the Soviet Union enjoyed in trying to promote its socialist alternative. But Iran's tactics have posed real problems for U.S. security. It has tried to destabilize moderate Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, though its relations with the Saudis have improved recently. Iran has also supported terrorism against America and Western interests and attempted to develop and transfer sensitive military technologies.

Iran presents special difficulties in the Middle East, a region of core interest to the United States and to our key ally Israel. Iranian weaponry increasingly threatens Israel directly. As important as Israel's efforts to reach peace with its Arab neighbors are to the future of the Middle East, they are not the whole story of stability in the region. Israel has a real security problem, so defense cooperation with the United States -- particularly in the area of ballistic missile defense -- is critical. That in turn will help Israel protect itself both through agreements and through enhanced military power.

Still, it is important to note that there are trends in Iran that bear watching. Mohammad Khatami's election as president has given some hope of a new course for a country that once hosted a great and thriving civilization -- though there are questions about how much authority he exercises. Moreover, Khatami's more moderate domestic views may not translate into more acceptable behavior abroad. All in all, changes in U.S. policy toward Iran would require changes in Iranian behavior.

-- Condi Rice, writing in Foreign Affairs, back in 2000.

Translation: Euro-troika gets 3-6 months to see how the, er, "deal" goes--if it flops--more policy muddle with potential sanctions regime in '06.

More Condi:

Foreign policy in a Republican administration will most certainly be internationalist; the leading contenders in the party's presidential race have strong credentials in that regard. But it will also proceed from the firm ground of the national interest, not from the interests of an illusory international community. America can exercise power without arrogance and pursue its interests without hectoring and bluster. When it does so in concert with those who share its core values, the world becomes more prosperous, democratic, and peaceful. That has been America's special role in the past, and it should be again as we enter the next century.

No arrogance, hectoring or bluster! Is Rummy listening?

Posted by Gregory at November 16, 2004 04:54 AM

No arrogance, hectoring or bluster! Is Rummy listening?

And perhaps also without incompetence (Powell asking for the unnecessary and ultimately disastrous 2nd resolution) and backstabbing (Powell's repeated smirking and winking at NYT and other journalists to telegraph his covert opposition to Bush's policies).

Powell was a failure. The most feckless Sec State we've seen in many years. The staunch opponent of the opponents of fascist slaughter from the balkans to the middle east. Good riddance.

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