By Scott Ritter
ICH, November 14, 2008
“Truthdig”, November 13, 2008
The American people have spoken, and the next president of the United States will be Barack Obama. Running on a platform of change, the president-elect will be severely tested early in his administration by a host of challenges, be they economic, military, environmental or diplomatic in nature. How Obama handles these issues will define his tenure as America’s chief executive, and there will not—nor should there be—a honeymoon period. The challenges of these times do not permit such a luxury, something the president-elect had to know and comprehend when he chose to run for office. John McCain and Hillary Clinton, Obama’s defeated rivals, were both correct when they noted that the next president would need to be ready to govern on day one. Barack Obama has until the 20th of January to get his policies in order, because at one minute past noon on that day, he becomes the most powerful man in a volatile world. While the problems he will face are many, I will focus on what I believe are the four most critical issues that will need to be addressed in the first weeks and months of the Obama administration: Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Russia. This will be done in a series of articles, the first of which will deal with Iran.
Barack Obama, the candidate, said many things about Iran, some of which were inherently contradictory. In this he is not unique, since the reality of the rough-and-tumble world of American presidential politics requires any given candidate to show extreme flexibility in defining solutions to complex problems, oftentimes based not on the facts as they exist, but rather the fiction of domestic political imperative. Sometimes initial positions are staked out based upon fact-based analysis, only to be corrected as a given domestic constituency expresses unease and imposes its own fantasy-based worldview on the candidate. Nowhere is this process of the fictionalization of fact more prevalent than on the issue of Iran and its nuclear program. One year ago, in an interview with The New York Times, Obama demonstrated a level-headed approach toward Iran, expressing “serious concern” over the country’s nuclear program and its support for what he termed “terrorist organizations.” He grounded his comments in an appreciation for the cause-and-effect relationship between Iran’s involvement in Iraq and the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of that country. Obama also expressed the need for “aggressive diplomacy” with Iran at the highest levels and emphasized the importance of economic incentives and security assurances when it came to compelling Iran to change course on its nuclear program.
MIR: Ahmadinejad – Guns N’ Roses
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Ahmadinejad congratulates President-elect Barack Obama. But then, Iran test fires a new generation of missiles. Is Ahmadinejad reaching out to the US, or is he issuing yet another threat? What will Obama’s policy be towards Iran? And will he answer Ahmadinejad?
Answers to these questions and more on Link TV’s Mosaic Intelligence Report. Presented by Jamal Dajani.
For more info, visit at http://www.linktv.org/mosaic.