Saturday, February 24, 2007

Click on the link and sit back, watch and listen.
How sweet is this?

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Closer Look

Not long after my last post, the media began reporting precisely what I had written therein. Imagine my shock! I know not to wonder whether I'm psychic or not because even I know not to buy that one. But it was interesting. So, let's try it again.

In the not too distant future, months, weeks perhaps, but certainly not years, the leadership in Tehran will appear to 'acquiesce' and agree to a temporary suspension of it's enrichment program. On the surface, the headline will read Tehran chose the path of least resistance and has unceremoniously stepped back from the edge of the abyss. But while this news is repeated with great fanfare in our around the clock media, look closer and you will see Tehran is also celebrating, but for very different reasons. For Tehran's master chessplayers, a negotiated settlement has always been the ultimate objective of the nuclear program, it's hidden purpose -Iran's coming in from the cold. Tehran has known for many years now that only by wratcheting up the pressure level would D.C's national interests compel it to put political considerations aside. In other words, only a subject matter as strategically consequential as the nuclear issue would have the necessary political gravitas to no longer bind US-Iranian relations captive to domestic political considerations. For Tehran, the agreement on the nuclear issue is an implicit acceptance of Tehran's re-integration to the international order and it is of extreme value to the Iranian leadership. Ergo the Cheney faction of the administration's vehement opposition to any sort of negotiated settlement. WhenTehran believes they have arrived at the best deal they can reasonably expect, look closer, and a very content Iran will strike the deal they've patiently waited for.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dangerous Escalation

In the world of daytime television the soap opera dominates. Pick your network, if your boob tube is on during that time chances are the storyline is one drama filled roller-coaster of a ride, mixed with a cocktail of various vices. In the arena of international relations, the closest thing we have to the soap opera is the continuing saga of the US-Iran estrangement. It has all the elements of drama: they started of as friends, good friends; there's a falling out; friendship turns to hostility; a final showdown. The news of escalating tensions from the MidEast appear to render true that there is indeed a showdown of sorts brewing between the two governments. This is very worrisome and should it continue, where and how the parties climb down the ladder, if at all, is not going to be easy.

To this writer, the evidence of escaltion abounds. In particular, events in neighboring Iraq rise to the level of a new decisional threshold being reached by the authorities in Tehran. Consider the weekend's downing of the helicopter and the sophisticated attack on US personal in Karbala in conjunction with the raid on the Irbil compound and the dispatching of the Stennis to the Gulf. If the clerical establishment has adopted the position, and it probaly has, that the best way to deter an attack upon themselves is to make Iraq a quagmire, then is it, at a minimum, within the realm of possibility that the weekends casualties are in direct response to the Irbil raid. Of course I can offer no proof, no secret sources; but surely this analysis is already being discussed by policymakers in DC. Certainly, proxies are the direct source of the attacks but under the direct supervisory authority of the clerical establishment's military wing. If correct, then if one party acts, the other will reciprocate. Violence could quickly spiral out of control. I can only hope that I am completely off the mark and worrying, as usual, way too much, but when you know the MidEast as I do, you know that there is many precedents for thinking the unthinkable.

One last point: analysis is not advocacy. Nothing could be further from what I want to see happen between the US and Iran. Nothing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

More New Photos

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Photos

We have lots of new photos. There are probably too many to

upload at one time, so there'll be a staggered posting of images in the coming days. To the left Sonia and Ariya are on the computer. And that is Ariya and I. She is now approaching the 8 month mark. What a cute baby!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Knowing When To Say When

It is now generally reported in the media that the administration has made it known to Iran of their openness to negotiations with respect to it's nuclear program. Various terms of the preliminary offer include US nuclear assistance and the waiving of certain sanctions. The process is at a very early phase. Iran should take up the offer of negotiations. The administration's insistence that Tehran be willing to suspend it's enrichment program is not a non-starter. It's clear that any such suspension would be voluntary and predicated upon the success of the negotiations. It is reasonable that Tehran accept such a precondition. It has already reached the technological threshold it wanted so it can afford giving a little here.

Iran's objectives are within reach. Although a negotiated settlement is still far from being achieved, it should respond by supporting the diplomatic opening that has arisen. A voluntary suspension is within it's power to grant and it should have the courage of it's convictions to do so. The administration has given a little, now Iran should too.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Dance Continues....

Today's announcement of the news Washington is preparing to come out from behind the curtain and publically join the Western powers in their negotiations with Iran is important, although not certain to produce a favorable outcome for either the stability of the international system or America's preeminent position therein. Ostensibly, the issue is Iran's nuclear program, but although unstated, far more than the nuclear program is at stake. The underlying subject matter is the nature of US-Iranian affairs for the foreseeable future and the emerging 21st century global balance of power.

Let us hope cooler heads prevail and the powers that be share a healthy respect for and understanding of the principle that nations have neither permanant allies or enemies, just permanent interests.