Trita Parsi: New Iran Sanctions May Spell Death of the JCPOA

From Responsible Statecraft:

According to the state department on Wednesday, Washington is slapping new sanctions on Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical producers, along with Hong Kong and Emirati companies accused of selling the oil on East Asia markets in violation of existing embargoes.

In a tweet, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “absent a commitment from Iran to return to the JCPOA, an outcome we continue to pursue, we will keep using our authorities to target Iran’s exports of energy products.”
But is this really the best way to get back into a deal that Washington was the first to leave, and for which talks have been on thin ice and time is ticking away? Quincy Institute’s Trita Parsi, author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy, weighs in.

We Must End the Illusion of Military Dominance

United States military analysts love strategies and the theories behind them. The theories provide what appear to be perfectly reasonable and rational approaches to warfighting, even offering a sense of certainty about the outcome. After all, they’ve been designed with military precision. Authorized personnel at the Pentagon or military think tanks are assigned to create strong, catchy names for the theories. A longtime theory is “Escalation Dominance,” which has a close cousin called “Full-Spectrum Dominance.”

Both theories promote the idea that effective deterrence comes from being able to defeat the enemy in every step of a potential conflict, in any place, and at any time, from small-scale skirmishes between proxy guerillas up to and including nuclear war, and possible escalation within a specific conflict. Such strategies would, in theory, deter any adversary from initiating any step up the escalation ladder.

Continue reading “We Must End the Illusion of Military Dominance”

The ‘Necessary Myth’ Is Bad for America and the World

Tom McTague praises America’s “necessary myth”:

The dumb simplicity of America’s interventions is often infuriating and obtuse, or even disastrously naive and destructive. It exists in people like Neal and Holbrooke, Bush and Biden. And yet if America stops believing in its myth, if it scurries back into the safety of its continental bunker, having decided it is now just another normal nation, then a cold wind might start to blow in places that have become complacent in their security. When the dumb simplicity is removed, the complexities of the world start growing back.

This is what Ukraine fears and others in Europe expect. In the end, though, what really matters is which story America believes, and for how long.

The myth that McTague is referring to is essentially the belief that U.S. dominance is good for the world, and that the US acts for the good of the world as it acts in its own interests. As he puts it, “America believes that it is a superpower, but an anti-imperial one, founded in opposition to arbitrary force, monarchy, foreign domination, and the like. Its supremacy, unlike other imperial powers, is good for everyone.” Like every other self-flattering story that empires tell about themselves, this one is also a lie. Whatever else one wants to say about US foreign policy over the last seventy-seven years, one cannot call it anti-imperial. It has certainly not been good for everyone, and one can argue that the pursuit of what Stephen Wertheim calls “armed primacy” has frequently been very bad for the United States and the rest of the world.

The US should absolutely reject the “idea that convinces US leaders that they never oppress, only liberate, and that their interventions can never be a threat to nearby powers.” We should all reject it because that idea is false and dangerous, and ultimately nothing good can come from something so much at odds with reality. As McTague acknowledges, this bad idea “lies at the core of its most costly foreign-policy miscalculations” when the US projects its own desires and interests onto other nations and then acts surprised when they have their own very different preferences and interests. It isn’t possible to conduct a competent and constructive foreign policy if our policymakers keep making these errors, and they make these errors at least in part because they believe in this false idea. The myth may keep the US actively meddling in the world, but that isn’t doing our country or the world any favors.

Read the rest of the article at SubStack

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

Scam Alert! Ukraine Demands $750 Billion… For ‘Reconstruction’!

As Ukraine continues to lose ground in the east, its leaders are inexplicably demanding three-quarters of a trillion dollars to “reconstruct” areas controlled by Russia. Once widely considered the most corrupt country in Europe, Western leaders have already dumped in billions with zero oversight. Will they keep writing checks? Also today, Saudis laugh at Biden’s request for more oil. And…JP Morgan warns of $380/barrel oil.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.