January 24-28

The Persian Puzzle: An Interview with Kenneth Pollack

Mr. Pollack is obviously knowledgeable about Iran and the current state of affairs in the Middle East. The interview was in fact interesting, if granular.

A more helpful discussion might revolve around the larger context as well as the specifics of Iran’s alledged nuclear program, the larger context being the Bush Doctrine of preventive war — i.e., the right to attack any country the neocons consider a threat with or without UN or EU agreement or assistance. And the lack of a functioning framework created by Bush et al., who opted out of SALT2, deployed a destabilizing (if nonfunctioning) missile shield in Alaska, publicized the development of small tactical nuclear arms and bunker busters and have done their best to alienate most of the Islamic community has clearly caused a resurgence of the global arms race.

Also absent from the discussion is the fact of Israel’s nuclear capabability and the effect that has on the desire for nuclear arms in the region. And at least Iran is a signatory to the NPT. Why not Israel?

So, it is not really clear to this observer what capabilities Iran has or indeed seeks beyond what the IAEA and NPT allows, or if in fact this is the Iraq WMD story, part two. But it’s certainly logical if Iran is pursuing the bomb as that might be their only path to perceived protection or perhaps a deal for western economic assistance a la North Korea.

And finally, what to make of a fatuous, belligerent superpower and an obstinate violent client that basically say: “I’ve got mine but you better not try and get yours” while actively violating all International Rules of Law? This leaves all those trusting NPT ‘have-not’ members feeling a bit had.

The framework broken by America’s absence of diplomatic skill and clear logical vision has led us directly to this dangerous situation. And unfortunately there seem to be few (if any) smart, cool heads in the room. I share Mr. Pollack’s sense of bewilderment.

Michael K. Norris
Yorba Linda, CA

Thank you for talking with an accepted expert in the field. Perhaps now is the time to follow that interview up with something from the CURRENT experts that this administration uses for guidance. Also, if it were ME interviewing him, I might have pressed a bit harder . . .

Ask about the exiled group that claims intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program?

Ask who is offering guidance in this area to the Bush administration?

Ask what was Colin Powell’s role in Bush’s first term?

Press on his understanding for the the probababilty for military strikes or “death squads” by Bush and comopany.

C’mon, this is Mother Jones!

Donald Farrell