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The missteps of the United States

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad wasted very little effort to slap down the offer of United States Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s proffer of direct talks with the Islamic Republic, saying it all boiled down to propaganda (Rubin, 2006). Rice’s offer, that U. S. officials were ready to both offer the Iranian regime new incentives to come to the table, was a strategic fumble (Rubin, 2006). The “carrot and stick” policy was being wangled in front of Iran by the United States.

The premise is that, if Iran makes the right choice, there will await them a package of benefits, but if it goes the other way, then the “stick” will be applied. The stick is a vague European and Russian commitment to consider sanctions. As to what these are or the time frame for the sanctions, there is a big loop hole (Rubin, 2006). Rice set a precedent, signaling to other nations that the path to concession and recognition is proliferation, not compliance (Rubin, 2006). How does this bring Iraq in the picture?

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari agreed with Iran on the issue of nuclear weapons by declaring that every nation has a right to develop it (DailyKos, 2006). The U. S. thought that, with regards to Iraq, sheer military firepower would be enough to overcome centuries of sectarian hatred. The opposite is true (DailyKos, 2006). The net result of Washington’s escalating confrontation with Muslim countries and peoples under various guises will only lead to widen the gap that already exists between the United States and Muslims, paving the way for a “clash of civilizations” that never need have happened (Hiro, 2004).

References

Daily Kos. (2006). Iran: the real winner in the Iraq conflict. June 19, 2006. Retrieved March 18, 2008, from Kos Media LLC website. http://www. dailykos. com/storyonly/2006/6/19/194414/134 Hiro, D. (2004). No carrots, all stick, blinkered Bush set to blunder again Iraq—and Iran. Retrieved March 18, 2008, from Common Dreams website. http://www. commondreams. org/views04/1108-20. htm

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