“esquire” on iran

From the new issue of “Esquire“:

…In the years after 9/11, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann worked at the highest levels of the Bush administration as Middle East policy experts for the National Security Council. Mann conducted secret negotiations with Iran. Leverett traveled with Colin Powell and advised Condoleezza Rice. They each played crucial roles in formulating policy for the region leading up to the war in Iraq. But when they left the White House, they left with a growing sense of alarm — not only was the Bush administration headed straight for war with Iran, it had been set on this course for years. That was what people didn’t realize. It was just like Iraq, when the White House was so eager for war it couldn’t wait for the UN inspectors to leave. The steps have been many and steady and all in the same direction. And now things are getting much worse. We are getting closer and closer to the tripline, they say…

This is what Leverett and Mann fear will happen: The diplomatic effort in the United Nations will fail when it becomes clear that Russia’s and China’s geopolitical ambitions will not accommodate the inconvenience of energy sanctions against Iran. Without any meaningful incentive from the U.S. to be friendly, Iran will keep meddling in Iraq and installing nuclear centrifuges. This will trigger a response from the hard-liners in the White House, who feel that it is their moral duty to deal with Iran before the Democrats take over American foreign policy. “If you get all those elements coming together, say in the first half of ’08,” says Leverett, “what is this president going to do? I think there is a serious risk he would decide to order an attack on the Iranian nuclear installations and probably a wider target zone.”

This would result in a dramatic increase in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, attacks by proxy forces like Hezbollah, and an unknown reaction from the wobbly states of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where millions admire Iran’s resistance to the Great Satan. “As disastrous as Iraq has been,” says Mann, “an attack on Iran could engulf America in a war with the entire Muslim world”…

We know it’s going to happen, but what do we do? We read blogs and we complain to one another. When will people start leaving their jobs in middle-America and start driving to DC in droves, demanding that all this stop? That’s what I’d like to know. At what point do people start saying, “enough is enough,” drive into DC, park their car in front of the White House, get out, and sit down, blocking traffic? At what point do we as individuals realize that we have the power to shut the system down?

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  1. Posted October 26, 2007 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I think it’s silly to worry about Pakistan and Afghanistan. Look: http://www.mapsofworld.com/iran/iran-political-map.html

    Pakistan and Afghanistan are BARELY EVEN ON THAT MAP.

  2. Robert
    Posted October 29, 2007 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Nobody seems all that interested. I’ll rideshare to DC with you though, Mark, when you decide to go there and sit in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

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