Tuesday, May 18, 2010

William O. Beeman--Oh Those Diabolically Tricky Iranians!

Oh, those Diabolically Tricky Iranians!
Driven to Distraction, the U.S. Engages in Schoolyard Behavior on Iran

William O. Beeman

It is bizarre watching the Washington talking heads falling all over

themselves trying to condemn Iran for actually taking up the American

offer to move their Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) to a third country. Oh those tricky Iranians! They actually accepted the American offer just as it was presented, and (gasp) they had the audacity to accept it while it was still on the table. Oh how diabolical! And then they went ahead and kept on enriching uranium so the American offer looked a lot less attractive to the West then it did in October.

And they did it for all the wrong reasons. They didn't cringe under American pressure like they were supposed to! They had a friendly talk with Turkey and Brazil and in total disrespect for the big American stick, agreed through the underhanded sneakiness of actual negotiations.

How purely evil. They should have stood still until we could beat them to a bloody pulp instead of this unsportsmanlike dodging and weaving. This left the White House sputtering, wheezing and gasping about how untrustworthy they were, and no one believed their intentions anyway.

My friends, sometimes we make bad bargains, and if the U.S. thinks that this is a bad bargain now, why did American officials offer it in the first place? Now Washington is stuck with egg on its face, its silly sanctions policy in shambles and risking offending Brazil and Turkey, upon whom it depends to carry out the sanctions policy. Russia now has the perfect excuse to escape the thumscrews Washington was putting on it, and China--well, forget it!

When are we going to stop playing schoolyard games with Iran and get down to real diplomacy? This is truly embarrassing behavior. Tit-for-tat, insults hurled, snippy rhetoric, take-backs. Honestly, seven year olds know how to play nicer than this.

What makes the entire exercise utterly silly is that Iran poses zero nuclear danger to anyone. The hyper-ventilation of commentators spouting hypothetical fantasy scenarios of Iran suddenly dropping the NPT and rolling out a bomb the next day from their secret undetected caves is worthy of ten Tom Clancy's. We have so much to gain by cooperating with Iran, including increased influence over their human-rights record. Why are we spinning our wheels in this useless and childish manner?

Bill BeemanUniversity of Minnesota