Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tomgram: Robert Dreyfuss, Is Iran Policy Still Up for Grabs?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

After all, that massive U.S. air attack on Iran that anti-imperial critics long expected to arrive, that Seymour Hersh wrote about, that so many feared, never happened and, with Barack Obama's election, should certainly have been put to rest in a deep grave for all eternity. But don't underestimate the neocons, or their ability to reconfigure themselves for a Democratic administration. Robert Dreyfuss, author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, who also produces The Dreyfuss Report for the Nation magazine's website, offers up some tantalizing clues to their possible future resurrection -- and some altogether eerie connections between neocon Washington and the future Obama team.

To give Dreyfuss his creds, only the other day the Wall Street Journal actually began an editorial on the new Obama national security "team" by attacking an analysis Dreyfuss had done of it the previous week. ("The names floated for Barack Obama's national security team 'are drawn exclusively from conservative, centrist and pro-military circles without even a single -- yes, not one! -- chosen to represent the antiwar wing of the Democratic party.' In his plaintive post this week on the Nation magazine's Web site, Robert Dreyfuss indulges in the political left's wonderful talent for overstatement. But who are we to interfere with his despair?") Given their right-wing proclivities, the Journal's editorial writers then offer the equivalent of high praise for Obama's choices: "So far," they conclude, "on security, not bad." That should make just about anyone who voted for Obama to change American global policy in significant ways pause a moment for reflection.


Still Preparing to Attack Iran
The Neoconservatives in the Obama Era

By Robert Dreyfuss

What, exactly, does Barack Obama's mild-mannered choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, former Senator Tom Daschle, have to do with neocons who want to bomb Iran?

A familiar coalition of hawks, hardliners, and neoconservatives expects Barack Obama's proposed talks with Iran to fail -- and they're already proposing an escalating set of measures instead. Some are meant to occur alongside any future talks. These include steps to enhance coordination with Israel, tougher sanctions against Iran, and a region-wide military buildup of U.S. strike forces, including the prepositioning of military supplies within striking distance of that country.

Once the future negotiations break down, as they are convinced will happen, they propose that Washington quickly escalate to war-like measures, including a U.S. Navy-enforced embargo on Iranian fuel imports and a blockade of that country's oil exports. Finally, of course, comes the strategic military attack against the Islamic Republic of Iran that so many of them have wanted for so long.

It's tempting to dismiss the hawks now as twice-removed from power: first, figures like John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith were purged from top posts in the Bush administration after 2004; then the election of Barack Obama and the announcement Monday of his centrist, realist-minded team of establishment foreign policy gurus seemed to nail the doors to power shut for the neocons, who have bitterly criticized the president-elect's plans to talk with Iran, withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq, and abandon the reckless Global War on Terrorism rhetoric of the Bush era... /


Post a Comment

<< Home