As President Obama tries diplomacy on Syria and Iran, an urgent question is whether Official Washington’s hardliners will tolerate the kinds of concessions that will be necessary. For instance, a deal on Iran’s nuclear program will have to be balanced, says Trita Parsi.
In the face of sustained injustice, there is an understandable desire to detect hopeful signs of change, small victories that boost the spirits of those fighting to make things better. But those shimmers of hope can often prove to be mirages in the harsh geopolitical desert of the Middle East, warns Lawrence Davidson.
The Israeli government and the neocons have long felt they can dictate U.S. policy in the Mideast, including demands for military strikes against “enemies.” But President Obama’s push for diplomacy on Syria and Iran may be challenging that longstanding reality, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Israel, Saudi Arabia and other enemies of Iran hope to poison improved U.S.-Iranian relations by blocking sanctions relief for Iran, even at the cost of losing new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, an emerging dilemma assessed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With new Iranian leadership eager for détente, a negotiated settlement over its nuclear program is within reach. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears determined to torpedo an agreement and press ahead toward war, a prospect that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar addresses.
Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani renounced again any Iranian interest in building a nuclear weapon and proposed serious negotiations with the West. But the question remains: Will the Obama administration spurn Rouhani’s offer of an olive branch? ask Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
Official Washington’s still-influential neocons are still hoping they can sabotage progress toward a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement – and thus keep open the option of war – but the reasonable tone of Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani is making the neocons’ job trickier, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Iran continues to signal a readiness to negotiate seriously over its nuclear program – in exchange for relief on sanctions – but Israeli leaders and American neocons still are pushing the Obama administration toward a heightened confrontation and war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
Across Official Washington – from liberal to neocon, from pol to pundit – the conventional wisdom on Syria’s crisis is that threats of military force work. But that simplistic notion misses the disasters that can follow if the threat is ignored or how bullying might strengthen hardliners, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says.