The 21st Century Phenomenon




On Thursday 05/15/2008 President Bush in a speach in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, to mark the 60th anniversary of Israel, stirred up the internal USA policy and presidential campaign when he referred to Iran and denounced those who would negotiate with “terrorists and radicals” and compared them to Nazi appeasers before World War II, aiming to the candidate Barak Obama. The plain and simple fact is that USA, under the presidency of George Bush, held few rounds of security talks with Iran in Baghdad. The last round was held on 07/24/2007.

The talks led to unilateral ceasefire declared, on 08/29/2007, by the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr. The relative calm and improvement in Iraq’s security situation in the last half of 2007, and General David Petraeus’s successful security plan was, to a large extent, due to this cease fire.(See – IRANIAN foreign-policy ) 

USA also offered directly and indirectly, economic incentives to Iran should Iran stop the Uranium enriching programme and used a series of mediators from Europe and the Arab world to reach out to the Iranian regime. Only a maximal political effort to solve the Iranian problem, or any other conflict in the world, can justify later the use of power if it comes to this point. It is not the principle of political negotiation with “terrorists and radicals” that should be questioned but the terms of negotiation and if it is useful and helpful in the current stage of the conflict, whether it is the conflict with the radical Islam or radical Iran.

It is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that recently pushed toward indirect negotiation with Hamas through Egyptian mediation in order to lift the economic siege from Gaza Strip (See – FLIK-FLAK )

In response Senator Barack Obama blamed President Bush that the invasion to Iraq strengthened the Islamic militancy all over the world. Barak Obama also argued that the insistence of the Bush administration to include the Hamas in the Palestinian elections of 01/2006 and to impose democracy on a non democratic society brought the Hamas to power and legitimized the Hamas even more in the Palestinian society.

Assuming Barak Obama is right diagnosing one source, of many, of the problems in the Middle East, he said nothing about how he intends to solve the given problem when he will be in power.    

It is fair to say that it is very rare in a conflict where there is no common ground of values, like the values that link Europe and the Democracies to USA and vice versa, or a common base of economic interests, to achieve something merely through negotiation without having the military option in the background. At the same time it is difficult to achieve anything only through military power without keeping the diplomatic channel opened at the same time. After all the war is the continuation of diplomacy but with other means and vice versa (Clausewitz).


* Related topics ; 
04/2008 -NATO  SUMMIT  
12/2007 -BUSH’S LAST  YEAR   


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