Thursday, May 27, 2010

NYT's Friedman Rejects Iran Nuke Deal

By Robert Parry
May 27, 2010

Washington’s new “group think” on Iran – that the only possible approach is a heightened confrontation followed by “regime change” – is being shaped by the same opinion leaders who charted the way into the bloody disaster in Iraq and paid no career price.

Read on.


Bill from Saginaw said...

Actually, this "extraordinary incident" of the letter from President Obama to Lula clarifies more than the "two important points" Robert Parry mentions. In the Missing the Forest for the Trees Department, I respectfully suggest there's a third, very important point to be made.

Yes, the neocons and Israeli hard liners want regime change in Tehran rather than an enforceable international deal that would downscale tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

And yes, neocons and neocon pundits like Thomas Friedman do have the clout to publicly undermine and discredit an agreement painstakingly negotiated by Brazil, Turkey, and Iran. Mr. Friedman's op-ed even snarks that the motivation of Erdogan and Lula was to "tweak" the United States on the world stage - an affront to American foreign policy leadership and American exceptionalism by a couple of third world realpolitik upstarts that simply cannot go unpunished, regardless of the proposed deal's merits.

But the third important point, it seems to me, is this: there is a pattern here. The man who got elected and sworn in as President has lost control over the substance of his own, publicly articulated foreign policy goals. Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and other heavy duty insiders within the current centrist, bipartisan Democratic administration feel free to hang Barry out to dry.

It happened on the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. That deadline has long since passed. DC beltway scuttlebutt has it Rahm Emanuel opposed setting a closure deadline and bringing the detainees to American soil. Joe Lieberman, some blue dog Dems in the House and Senate, and the usual pack of jackals on the GOP side of the aisle did the rest.

It happened on the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Honduras, when a military coup spearheaded by DIA assets and alumni of the infamous School for the Americas seized power. This happened at a time when Barack Obama was reaching out very publicly to his domestic Hispanic constituency and to Latin American leaders who hungered for some change they could believe in. This all happened on Robert Gates' watch, the first career spy to serve as Secretary of Defense.

It happened in a more grandiose fashion on the big "review" of reversing Bush era policies in Afghanistan, leading up to Obama's awful West Point escalation speech. Public expressions by the new president himself of US witdrawal being an option on the table suddenly disappeared off the table when the circle of hawkish top advisors gathered around.

Here, the President of the United States wrote a personal letter to the President of Brazil urging Brazil and Turkey to do exactly what they ended up accomplishing. Big players inside the White House inner circle didn't like the end result, so the Commander-in-Chief's initiative was sabotaged.

To my way of thinking, that's the third, important point to be made. On a critical, life or death issue like escalating or de-escalating pressures focusing on regime change in Iran, talking with adversaries versus militarily confronting an adversary nation, the guy the American people elected is simply not in charge.

Bill from Saginaw

Anonymous said...

First, that American neocons and Israeli hardliners aren’t really interested in getting Iran to agree to a nuclear accord, but rather want to use the nuclear standoff as an excuse to press for “regime change.”

And second, that neocon opinion-shapers, like Friedman, remain very influential in the U.S. news media and have the clout to obliterate a peace initiative – even one favored by the President of the United States.


Absolutely but shamefully true.

This country doesn't seem to have any "Pundits" who are not Jews pontificating on America's response to Iran or the Middle East.

On TV it will be the 2 Jewish Zionists Wolfe Blitzer & Larry King interviewing other neocon Jews on Americans response.

And the "group" will use the "we" & "our" words as if speaking on behalf of America when really they represent neocon pro Israel agendas.

Dumbed down Americans after years of this propaganda have come to believe the insane idea that the interests of the U.S. & Israel are the same.

It is tantamount comical that 2.5 % of the American Population which is Jewish is so over represented in the US Administration , the Congress & the State Department & soon the US Supreme Court.

Minnesota a State with 1 % Jewish Population had to choose between 2 Jews to elect their Senator.

Jews with any consciousness should recuse themselves from any & all dealings on US Foreign Policy especially to do with Muslim countries.

Friedman reporting from Iraq once told how the Iraqis referred to the American soldiers as "the Jews".

Perhaps Iraqis are more politically aware than the "dumbed down" Americans.

Jews understandably have a loyalty to Israel & this dual loyalty is what has led us into 2 wars & a possible 3rd war in Iran.

21st Century Reverse Pyramid Scam said...

Tommy from Philly says

Mr. Peas Prize do not look in the mirror you're not going to like what reflects back. You're story lines are more than fatigued, very worn and full of blubber.
Go back to robbing old lady's pocketbooks.....

"Mediocrity Is Unattainable In 21st Century America"

B/R said...

I have to somewhat agree with Bill from Saginaw that Hillary & Co. have co-opted Obama, rather than the "other way around" strategic and healing/conciliatory move it was, presumably, meant to be. A pity that the President's efforts to support negotiation and accommodation are falling on deaf ears in the beltway, or should we say below the belt way? Tom Friedman's column was about as ugly as some of his get.

M Henri Day said...

Robert Parry's conclusions concerning Mr Friedman's motives for his gratuitous attack on Messrs Lula da Silva and Erdogan are certainly warranted, as is Mr Parry's criticism of the prevailing mythology concerning last year's election in Iran, but his description of Mr Ahmadinejad as «a little-educated populist from the Tehran’s “street [sic !],”» is, alas, taken from the same propagandist bag of tricks as the description of the election above. In fact, in 1997 Mr Ahmadinejad earned a PhD in transportation engineering and planning from Iran University of Science and Technology, one of the country's leading educational institutions. Academically speaking, this achievement must rank at least as high as a certain Barack Obama's law degree from Harvard. Somehow, I doubt that Mr Parry would choose to describe Mr Obama as «little-educated» (neither, I suspect, would he choose to describe the latter as a «populist», but that's another matter). A pity to mar so valuable an article by such carelessness in describing a protagonist....


Florence Chan said...

Friedman is very influential due to his success in posing as a progressive environmentalist.

I wish people could pause and ask whether it's possible for someone who always advocates bombing to be a true environmentalist.