Iran: Quickly emerging as the next chapter in
W's "Club Sandwich" foreign policy

Sam T. Harper

March 15, 2006

When discussing the why's of W's Middle East policy, I often refer people to a Middle East map. From the map, one could label the policy as "club sandwich" policy. The club sandwich has a democratic (mostly) Israel on the western end and an embryonic democratic Afghanistan on the eastern end, with an emerging democratic Iraq in the middle. What is sandwiched in between the three democracies? Iran and Syria.

Over the last two weeks, I have detected an increase in evidence that Iran is the next chapter in the democratizing of the area. During these two weeks, I have detected an increase in the toughness of the calls for Iran to cease and desist from any further work on developing its nuclear capability. Why is the pressure just now building? We have known of Iran's intentions for developing nuclear weapons for at least a couple of years. The reason, I believe, is that in Iraq, the middle slice in the "Club Sandwich" policy, stabilization has greatly improved.

First, let's look at what is being said.

3/12/06 Sydney Morning Herald: "...the US is increasing the pressure to force Iran to step back from its refusal to co-operate with the IAEA."
"THE United States is pushing the United Nations Security Council to give Iran a two-week deadline to halt nuclear work that could be related to the making of weapons."
"US President George Bush yesterday labeled Iran a "grave national security concern...."
3/10/12 AP Wire Report: "There is not need for the U.N. Security Council to delay taking up the question of Iran's disputed nuclear program, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said ...."

3/6/06 Vice President Cheney: "The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences."

We would not be cranking up the heat unless we can execute the actions that will produce the "meaningful consequences". I see that message in the news coming out of Iraq.

In the last two weeks we have heard from General Peter Pace, USMC, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He states that in Iraq we are making "very, very good progress." (Staff generals are eternally optimistic; generals that come up through the fighting ranks, like General Pace, are bluntly and harshly realistic.) Vice President Cheney stated last week that the situation in Iraq has been "improving steadily". Reports from Iraq last week reported that Sunni insurgents are turning on their Al' Qu'eda comrades. Many caches of weapons and IED "ingredients" have been confiscated in the last week. Iraq forces have taken up more and more of the security jobs. After the recent shameful bombing of the historic Shiite mosque, Iraq forces provide the lion's share of security that kept the country from erupting.

I include in my evidence the sudden emergence of military "experts", Gary Hart and Molly Ivins (at least she admits she has no military experience) debasing our military and its results in Iraq. Their complaints are nothing more than desperation by the anti - "Club Sandwich" policy crowd.

We clearly could not apply pressure to Iran if we were bogged down in Iraq. So the message is that we are not bogged down in Iraq. I see this as the beginning of the campaign to demonstrate that American and Allied forces see themselves over the hump in Iraq (though more fighting and dying are to come) and now are beginning to bring focus on Iran.

The Iranian leadership is publicly ignoring this rise in talk from the US. Today Iran announced it has withdrawn from the talks with Russia to transfer its nuclear research to Russian soil so it can be more easily monitored. I suggest that the Iranian leadership begin looking for spider holes in which to hide.
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