Poor Iran

July 13, 2008

The Washington Post reports on the conflicting signals sent by Iran, whose “various Iranian officials made positive comments about a new diplomatic outreach by the United States and its allies[,]” even while the country recently carried out missile tests and threatened more in the future. According to the Post, “demonstrating strength before negotiations also is a long-tested diplomatic formula, suggesting the missile launches and harsh rhetoric could be a sign that Iran is suddenly open to bargaining.”

Unless, of course, such demonstrations of strength are carried out by the United States, which are routinely depicted as nothing more than dangerous, simplistic Cowboy Diplomacy. According to this narrative, US demonstration of strength, rather being than a “long-tested diplomatic formula,” is the cause of belligerent behavior by other countries. In fact – surprise, surprise – it turns out that this narrative holds true in this very case, as the Post report:

Thomas Fingar, head of the National Intelligence Council, said Wednesday at the Center for National Policy that Iran “has reason to feel insecure” because it “lives in a tough neighborhood.” He added that “recognizing that Iran has real security needs is a useful starting point. . . . We are part of the reason why Iran feels insecure, rightly or wrongly.”

Something tells me it won’t be America’s fault if Obama is elected.


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