Monday, August 20, 2007

Branch of Iranian Military To Be Designated a Terroritst Organization

It was only in May of this year, that the U.S. and Iran agreed to high-level face-to-face relations after more than 20 years of diplomatic cold-shouldering. Although the U.S. agreed to the meeting solely on the condition that they only talk about Iraq, it was a momentous occasion, and the recommencement of perhaps a new (or any) dialog.

So then why, only 3 months later, would you decide to designate a branch of Iran's armed forces as a "terrorist organization?" Now don't get me wrong. I can be convinced that Iran is up to no good in Iraq, and their complete disdain for the International Atomic Energy Agency and all international norms surrounding nuclear proliferation is dangerous and frustrating. However, I do not think that designating a part of its military a "terrorist organization" is a good idea.

It will be the first time in history that the military of a foreign sovereign has been so designated. It's an off-handed way of accusing the whole country of sponsoring terrorism, which the U.S. has already done. It is also a just plain disrespectful way for one sovereign nation to deal with one another.

I think it will also end up being, like so many of the policies and decisions made by this administration, completely counterproductive. Unfriendly Muslim countries and organizations now have more fodder for their arguments that the United States is really at war with Islam generally and that the U.S. is acting unilaterally. This claim is also just asking to be responded to with cries of hypocrisy, given that it is our armed forces who find themselves in foreign lands.

I also think it will cause us to lose the favor of any remaining Iranian friends. While many in Iran are more reform minded and do not agree with the current bent of their leaders (I feel your angst, trust me), it is quite another thing to bad mouth an institution that is seen as being the forces loyal to Khomeini (and thus responsible for the Revolution in 79) and known for their bravery in the Iran-Iraq War. I'm not a big fan of our government right now, but I wouldn't take too kindly to another country designated the Marines as a "terrorist organization."

No comments: