Posted tagged ‘Iran’

A SOFA that’s not so comfy

June 4, 2008

As the media frenzy focuses on the windup of the Democratic presidential primary and the beginning of the GE contest between McCain and Obama, an important issue is flying under the radar. It is called a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and many supporters of Obama will be dismayed by the limitations that it might place on a new president’s ability to end the war in Iraq. Why, you might ask? What has this SOFA got to do with bringing the troops home in 16 months, as Obama has promised? The answer, unfortunately, is everything.

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that has been negotiated between the Bush Administration and the Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is a blueprint for continued American military presence in Iraq. Not a comfortable SOFA for those Americans hoping that a swift resolution of the Iraq occupation once a new American President is inaugurated on January 20, 2009. (more…)

Just talk to each other …

November 1, 2007


It is major news when a U.S. Senator says we should talk to Iran.  Other words:   communicating, diplomacy, working things out.  What all the marriage counselors always tell couples who are having difficulties in their relationship.  “Talk to each other,” the therapist says.

Now Chuck Hagel has become like a therapist offering advice to President Bush:  talk it out,  Hagel says.   He calls for direct, unconditional talks with Iran:

An approach such as this would strengthen our ability across the board to deal with Iran. Our friends and allies would be more confident to stand with us if we seek to increase pressure, including tougher sanctions on Iran. It could create a historic new dynamic in US-Iran relations, in part forcing the Iranians to react to the possibility of better relations with the West. We should be prepared that any dialogue process with Iran will take time, and we should continue all efforts, as you have, to engage Iran from a position of strength.

We should not wait to consider the option of bilateral talks until all other diplomatic options are exhausted. At that point, it could well be too late.

Since 2001 diplomacy (i.e., talking to other governments even those we disagree with)  is something that seems to get lip service but has not been embraced as a hallmark of the U.S. Dept. of State.

What have we got to lose?  It is certainly to something new to try.

Let us all join Senator Hagel in urging the President to:

consider pursing direct, unconditional and comprehensive talks with the Government of Iran

Start talking NOW.   Let the diplomacy (read:  therapy) begin.