Shah of Iran

Henry Kissinger, Most Controversial Diplomat Since World War II, Is Dead At 100!

Henry Kissinger, the most controversial diplomat since World War II, is dead at age 100!

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the end of the Vietnam War, he is seen by many as having been an international outlaw and criminal for his involvement in spreading the Vietnam War into Cambodia; his support and promotion of a right wing government in Chile, destroying that democracy for a generation; and his lack of concern about human rights and loss of freedom in so many places around the world besides Chile, including Argentina.

As National Security Adviser and then Secretary of State to President Richard Nixon, and later to President Gerald Ford, he engaged in many unethical, if not illegal, actions.

A believer in Realpolitik in international relations, he was seen as lacking ethics and morality to the extreme, and was noted for his egotism and lack of concern about his reputation.

He is noted for helping to open up relations with the People’s Republic of China, and his dealings with the Soviet Union, and the Middle East cauldron. He also is criticized for backing Pakistan in the Bangladesh-India War for Independence of what had been East Pakistan, undermining relations with the largest populated nation, India, beyond China, and also encouraging the corrupt Shah of Iran during the energy crisis!

Seen as a brilliant and yet to many an evil man, he clashed with many other diplomatic and political figures, and stood out as diametrically opposite to many, including President Jimmy Carter, who survived him and one hopes will reach age 100 in ten months!

Presidents And Dictatorships: Double Standard Of Critics Of Obama Change Of Cuban Policy

Presidents of the United States deal with reality, not what they might wish was so.

America has had diplomatic relations with all sorts of terrible people who govern the world’s nations over time.

Latin American dictatorships, including those of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba; Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic; the Duvalier dynasty, father and son, in Haiti; Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua; and military dictatorships in all of the South American nations at different times, have been accepted by American Presidents.

Our Presidents have dealt with Asian dictatorships, including China beginning with Richard Nixon; and with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea for decades, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the former Soviet Republics, now independent, but almost all of them dictatorships.

We have dealt with the Arab nations of the Middle East and with Iran under the Shah, despite their harsh dictatorships.

We have had dealings with African dictatorships of all stripes, including South Africa under Apartheid; and the brutal governments of much of the continent.

Somehow, Cuba has been seen differently, when the governments of many of the world’s nations has been far worse in their oppression than Fidel and Raul Castro.

This is not saying that Fidel and Raul Castro cannot, rightfully, be condemned for their human rights violations, but if human rights was the guide, we would not have any diplomatic relations or trade with 80 percent of the world!

When Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and the two Presidents Bush have embraced, and even endorsed, dictators, it was always seen as no big deal, but when Barack Obama opens up to Cuba after 54 years, it is perceived as a crime of massive proportions, while we willingly accepted the previous harsh dictatorship in Cuba of Batista and his henchmen!

Hypocrisy anyone?

72nd Anniversary Of Pearl Harbor: We Can Never Forget, But We Are!

72 years ago, we saw the sudden Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, causing the loss of 2,400 servicemen and eight battleships, and forcing us into a war we were trying to avoid, World War II.

The number of veterans who survived the attack, and the number of World War II veterans in total, has rapidly declined, and at some point, there will be no Americans, military or civilian, who will have direct memories of the attack.

This is very sad, as this is a moment in American history which should never be forgotten, but this author, a professor, already has seen glazed eyes and nonrecognition when one mentions the term “Pearl Harbor”.

We should never forget the sacrifices of those men who died on that day, and we should also continue to recognize the need to be always alert to any danger to America’s national security, and be prepared to defend ourselves.

This brings Iran to mind, as in many ways, the negotiations with that nation bring back memories of the deceit of the Japanese, and it is hard to trust Iran with their own record of deceit and aggressiveness toward their neighbors and the Western world since 1979.

This is not to defend US and other nations’ relationships with Iran from 1953-1979 under the Shah of Iran, but simply to remind us that we must always be on our guard, and this Pearl Harbor anniversary reminds us of that reality.

Richard Nixon (China) And Barack Obama (Iran): Why Not Try Diplomacy Before War?

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon, a Republican President, took a bold step and went to visit and negotiate with the government of the People’s Republic Of China, better known in America as Communist China or Red China.

We had had no negotiations or dealings with mainland China since 1949, had made a career of demonizing the leadership of that nation, and had made clear that we would defend the island of Taiwan (Nationalist China) at all costs. We had also fought Chinese troops in the Korean War, and had known of Chinese support of the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War, and were still bombing near the Chinese border.

But with all that, Richard Nixon went to China, negotiated trade and travel and cultural exchanges, and opened up our country and China to the promotion of less fear and more diplomacy and understanding in the interests of international harmony and avoidance of war.

Many conservatives bitterly condemned Nixon for going to China, and reversing his own anti Communist stand of twenty five years standing. But Nixon went anyway, and this occurred in an election year. It was statesmanlike and showed Nixon to be a pragmatic man in foreign policy.

Today, in 2012, forty years later, we are on the brink of possible military conflict with Iran, with which we have not had real dealings since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the fall of the Shah of Iran from power. Iran has become a very belligerent state, heavy on rhetoric and threats, similar to what China was for 25 years. In the case of Iran, it is now 33 years since the two nations, in the midst of tensions and stress, have sat down and tried to negotiate differences.

It may seem as if there is very little hope for a breakthrough with a harsh enemy who wishes us ill, but remember that was the same mentality toward China, and even more so, toward the Soviet Union, during the Cold War years, but still Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and even Reagan all agreed to joint meetings, often in each other’s country, and made progress toward coexistence, and to avoid a direct confrontation that would benefit neither side.

So when the Republican candidates for President, conservative talk show hosts, and many others call for war on Iran, and think the idea of negotiations with Iran are fruitless, remember what Richard Nixon, the ultimate anti Communist did forty years ago this week. He went to the enemy and NEGOTIATED, and prevented any conflict with China, a dramatic and significant moment in world history!

It is time for Barack Obama to show courage and statesmanship, and since the Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he is ready for diplomatic talks, it is wise to take him up on it, and see if it can go anywhere. If it does not, and war results, at least we will be able to hold our heads high and say we TRIED! Is Ahmadinejad really any worse than Mao Tse Tung, Nikita Khrushchev Leonid Brezhnev, or Mikhail Gorbachev?

It is not cowardly to agree to talk and negotiate; it is cowardly to refuse to talk and negotiate, with the possibility of avoiding war that neither the United States citizens or Iranian citizens really want. And it would be better for Israel too, if war could be avoided which would likely have a very heavy toll on their citizens, in a country so small in population, it cannot afford to lose even one hundred people in an unnecessary war that MIGHT be avoidable!

30th Anniversary Of The End Of The Iran Hostage Crisis: Its Long Range Effect!

On this day thirty years ago, Inauguration Day of President Ronald Reagan, the Iran hostage crisis, which destroyed any hope of President Jimmy Carter to win re-election, came to an end.

The nation was kept literally captive for 444 days from November 4, 1979 onward, as we all worried about the safety and survival of the 52 Americans held hostage at US Embassy in Teheran.

We were gripped by this crisis, and it became the constant news story for all of 1980, an obsession we could not overcome.

It created fame for Ted Koppel of ABC News, who originally covered the crisis day by day at 1135PM weekday evenings, and then expanded the news coverage at that odd hour to create Nightline, which he anchored for 26 years!

Iran became the biggest foreign policy headache of the United States, and in many ways, remains that 32 years later!

We basically were unable to resolve the issue satisfactorily as a great power, and yet Iran has continued to tie us in knots, and we still cannot figure out how to deal with the threat of this Islamic terrorist nation which has complicated our lives more than any other nation in the past three decades!

With the Soviet Union, as evil as they were, reason and measured response could work, and the Soviets had their limits.

Unfortunately, with the combination of Islamic extremism and resentment at US support in the past for the Shah of Iran, there is a concern that the Iranians today have no limits and might be ready to sacrifice themselves rather than cave in or concede in any way to the United States or other Western nations.

And by this nation getting deeply involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, ironically, Iran has become emboldened and stronger than ever before, and they clearly have no intention of compromise or concession, while the old Soviet Union was willing over time to make agreements and concession.

So in this second decade of the 21st century, Iran remains the center of strategic planning, intelligence estimates, and sleepless nights for many in the American diplomatic and military community! 🙁