First there was the Hiker Prisoner swap, then the Israeli Soldier swap with Hamas, now the troop removal, then it'll be a nuclear swap, soon embassies will reopen, ...and then just before election Obama will travel to Iran! Another October Surprise. Why are you not exicted?
After years of effort, the U.S. administration seems to have figured out a plan to "normalize" relations with Iran - much to some allies dissatisfaction, but it is obviously part of a larger strategic play in central asia. With Hillary right now visiting every major regional capital and telling leadership in those countries there that U.S. intends to normalize and this does not mean that their relationship with whichever nation she's at is now a lower priority ....but that they see a diplomatic resolution to their problems with Iran...and that the Saudis, Pakistanis, Tajiks, Azeris etc ...should not see this as a shift in strategy etc. etc.
And so to reassure the hawks in Tehran that U.S. has no "current" military intentions there is a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, and a reduction in the force in Afghanistan. And the paranoia some had in the administration in Iran is supposed to diminish...leading to the conclusion of a grand bargain.
Accordingly, to reinforce trust, there have been these lopsided deals with Iran and its regional surrogates like Hamas - with 2 hikers returned for 80 Iranian spies (arround the world released); and then 1 Israeli Soldier for 1000 Palestinians; and then now the troop removal announcement; and even the terror plot announcement in Washington was designed to (a) reassure the Saudi's that the U.S. has their back, but also (b) put some hawks in Tehran on the defensive; and so this way they want to pave the way for "normalization" which was the plan all along. Embassies, Ambassadors, etc. etc. These deals are all designed to show good faith on the part of the U.S. (and its allies) and make some in the Iranian regime less paranoid and politically impotent...while America's agents inside the regime (Rafsanjani and company) quietly, carefully work a path towards normalization...and diffuse counter arguments.
You might wonder why they are talking about more sanctions in the midst of all this ...well the key is, they are trying to get leverage. They are trying to push those skeptics inside Iran into agreeing to the bargain. The whole idea is to use different tools to get the bargain made. Soft, hard, carrot and stick...to get a deal wrapped up.
I exchanged letter with Zbigniew Brzenski (Carter's former National Security Advisor; and currently in one of Washington's think tanks, but also at times Professor at Columbia University ...and the Master mind of the Iraq invasion of Iran) - five years ago (before Obama was elected). And in his reponse to me, he flat out said that the plan was to "normalize" as soon as possible. Well, here we have it.
I am supposing that their grand plans for the region are so vital, and so strategic on a global scale (i.e. posture towards Russia and China) that once again America is willing to over look human rights abuses, overlook repression, overlook everything.
I believe America is at its best when it stays true to its founding principles of supporting "every man's ... right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Iranians it seems will never be afforded these rights as long as America is arround. The Obama administration is making a deal with the devil - and if you sleep with dogs you'll get up with fleas. The Mullahs in Iran will tarnish America's brand - not reinforce it.
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