Dr. Trita Parsi, author of A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran, was interviewed by Jon Stewart of the Daily Show this week detailing how the Bush Preemptive War Doctrine and then the Obama Administrations missed diplomatic opportunities w/Iran resulting in the untenable situation the nation finds itself in.
Before watching the Jon Stewart interview, read the following review of Dr. Parsi’s book by a MJ Rosenberg, Washington, DC – –
This book is so good that even though I purchased it for my kindle, I will buy the hardcover too so I can thoroughly mark it up for future reference.
Dr.Parsi, an Iranian-American who clearly feels nothing but contempt for the current regime, describes how the United States has mishandled Iran for decades. Opportunities for engagement (i.e., changing Iran’s behavior) were missed over and over again largely due to intellectual rigidity on the part of successive administrations and the influence of lobbyists with a vested interest in continuation of the conflict.
Hopes for a breakthrough came with the election of President Obama whose natural instinct is toward diplomacy, not confrontation, but he was boxed in by lobbyists and by a Congress that takes its marching orders from them.
Obama has been president for 3 years, during which time the US has directly communicated with Iranian officials for a grand total of 45 minutes.
And now, following Obama’s approval of a sanctions bill that will accomplish nothing other than to harm our allies and the Iranian people while, quite likely, strengthening the regime, we may be on the road to war.
This is insane. Although we should do what we can to prevent development of an Iranian bomb, the best means to achieve that goal is through dialogue not dumb (i.e., the opposite of “smart”) sanctions and mindless rhetoric designed to impress domestic U.S. interest groups (i.e, the “pro-Israel” lobby and end-of-days Christian zealots.
It should also be said that Iran is likely to develop nuclear weapons, no matter what we do. That being the case, lessening and not exacerbating tensions would seem to be wise.
Parsi’s book explains how we got to this awful pass and how, despite overwhelming opposition on the part of Americans to another Middle East war, we could find ourselves in one very soon.
Parsi’s book reminds me off David Halberstam’s classic, “The Best and the Brightest,” about the government officials and media figures who lied us into Vietnam. Sadly, Halberstam’s book was written after the war. Parsi’s is written before the war starts. In short, this book can help prevent an unnecessary and catastrophic war that could lead to many dead, an Iranian rush to develop nuclear bombs, attacks on our troops in the Middle East, thousands of Hizbullah missiles devastating Israel, and the end of any chance for economic recovery (oil prices would skyrocket).
In short, this is must reading by one of America’s leading analysts of US-Iranian relations.
Part 2 of Jon Stewart’s interview w/Trita Parsi, author Single Roll of the Dice –