Wednesday, March 29, 2006

April 2006 Show

Plan to attack Iran--Fool Me Twice!
Thursday April 13th, 2006
6-7 PM (PST)

Click here for on-line archive of this interview!

Recently several articles in the US and UK have pointed out the administration’s planning of attacks on Iran. Seymore Hershe’s New Yorker report is the latest with details on why and how these attacks are being developed. Joseph Cirincione a month ago revealed the same story in an article for the Journal of Foreign Policy, titled “Fool Me Twice”.

In the first part VOME program hosts Joe Cirincione for a live interview about this issue and the Iranian nuclear program and its potential threat (if any). Second part of the show covers the paper recently published about Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy in an interview with Jeff Blankfort.

Joseph Cirincione is the Director for Non-Proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, (Second Edition, 2005) and co-author of Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security (March 2005). He teaches at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service and is one of America’s best known weapons experts, appearing frequently in print and on FOX News, CNN, ABC, NBC, PBS, NPR and occasionally on Comedy Central.

Cirincione worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives on the professional staff of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Joseph Cirincione appeared in the 2005 award-winning documentary, "Why We Fight," by Eugene Jarecki. He is the author of numerous articles on proliferation and weapons issues, a co-author of WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implication (January 2004), the editor of Repairing the Regime (Routledge, 2000) and producer of the award-winning DVD, The Proliferation Threat.

Fool Me Twice

Second Part: Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy
Two Political Science scholars, professors John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago's Department of Political Science and Stephen M.Walt of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government recently published a research paper about “The Israel Lobby and U.S Foreign Policy”.

The 83-page Mearsheimer-Walt paper is a downloadable PDF file at the following links:

Original research paper as was initially released.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Against the Next War?

I am not affiliated with any of the following organizations but I support their cause to stop the nexr war before it starts:

Thursday, March 09, 2006

March 2006 Show;

Iraq 3 years after the occupation;
March 9th, 2006 - 6PM
To listen to this show on-line, Click Here!

Within two weeks the 3rd anniversary of the Iraqi invasion will arrive, a look at personal accounts of the people who are affected by the war will be presented.

Part I: An interview with Farnaz Fassihi chief Middle East correspondant for the Wall Street Journal. (Goudarz Eghtedari)
Part II: Absent Voices: Iraqi Americans on War and Peace (Miae Kim)

Farnaz Fassihi was stationed in Iraq for 3.5 years from before the start of the invaision until recently when she was relocated to become the WSJ's Middle East chief correspondant. I have talked to her today from her home in Beirut.

A self Biography of Farnaz Fassihi from Association of Newspaper Editor's web site, click here!
Farnaz Fassihi's article after she left Baghdad. Click Here!
And for Farnaz's infamous e-mail of 2004 that created some controversy in the media click here!

Part II:

Absent Voices: Iraqi Americans on War and Peace
with Dr. Enas Mohamed, who has returned to Iraq frequently since the war began, and others. Produced by KBOO's Miae Kim

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Commentary:

An Honest Conflict Resolution!!
Goudarz Eghtedari

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to send a report on the Iranian nuclear program to the UN Security Council on March 6th. After almost 4 years of meetings and extensive monitoring, UK, France, and Germany (EU-3) have called off the negotiations due to an impasse on these talks.

Last week German former foreign minister Joschka Fischer and Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Carter, appeared together to discuss foreign policy problems at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and called on the US administration to get directly involved in the nuclear negotiations with Iran. However, when Adam Ereli, deputy spokesman for U.S. Department of State, was asked about the Fischer-Brzezinski’s comments, he responded that the US is happy with the outcome of the EU-3 negotiations and does not think there is a need for direct talks with Iran. Considering that negotiations between the EU and Iran were halted a month ago without a positive result, one would ask what exactly the US administration is calling successful. And what is in the outcome that our State Department is happy about?

The fact of the matter is that one can not enter an honest conflict resolution process hoping for stalemate negotiations. Parties who are directly benefiting or feeling harmed by the situation should be involved for the remedies to be meaningful. In this case however, the US’s objective must have not been to resolve the problem, but to take Iran to the UN-SC similar to the case of Iraq. Perhaps that is why Mr. Ereli calls it a success; otherwise this is clearly a failed process, as Mr. Fischer and the rest of the diplomatic community believe. Joschka Fischer was directly involved in the negotiations until Germany’s new chancellor came to office and has the most insights. Hassan Rowhani, the chief Iranian negotiator at the time has recently disclosed in a published report that “… cooperating with the Europeans would not change anything because Europe was not independent from the US which was committed on taking us to the Security Council.” (Raahbord, journal of Iranian Center for Strategic Studies, Fall Issue 2005)

Two points that have been conveniently ignored by the Western media were that right before the formal breakdown of the negotiations last January, Iran agreed to a ban for up to two years on industrial uranium enrichment process, while negotiations continue, and in return asked for a guarantee that the country will not be attacked militarily. Unfortunately the European negotiators could not offer such security guarantees while Americans were not at the table. President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld on the other hand have continuously reminded the world that a military option is still on the table. As Mr. Brzezinski noted in his appearance in Portland last year, you can not stop a country from the pursuit of nuclear capability if you constantly threaten them with military attack and regime change.

One last minute announcement from the Russian and Iranian Nuclear Energy Agency chairmen this week brought some hope that there might still be a way to resolve the issues in hand. Reports from Tehran and Moscow indicate that Iran has accepted in principle the Russian proposal (endorsed by President Bush) to establish a joint venture that would enrich Iranian uranium to reactor level outside of the country to defuse the suspicions that Iran might divert some nuclear fuel into a weapons program.

Considering Russia's record with providing natural gas to Ukraine, the Iranian party understandably has asked for other partners, such as China, in the deal. Iran again has linked this agreement to guarantees of its territorial sovereignty. It is time for President Bush to refrain from his unilateral strategy in dealing with world affairs and become an involved partner in solving this problem.

As President Bush mentioned in his state of the union speech and is followed up with India and Pakistan, it is every country’s right to have peaceful nuclear energy--he is in fact proposing it as an alternative energy source in the US. So why not call on the Iranian proposal to get involved in their energy project, give them modern and safe nuclear reactors and monitor their activities on the ground under IAEA safeguards. After all we should remember that the master plan for Iran’s nuclear program was designed and endorsed by President Ford’s administration, and the Iranian regime is just following the steps that the US Department of Energy and Stanford University outlined back in 1976. The US should actively participate in the discussion and use its economic and strategic advantages to concurrently pursue other important issues such as Human Rights, the Middle East peace process, and the fight against drugs and terrorism. If we have learned anything from the Iraqi adventure, it is that we should stop the bloodshed before it starts.