Friday, June 26, 2009

Pete Seeger – Little Boxes
2. Discussion
Part IV - Social Pressure
The technique of using social pressure to keep each other in line leaks out into the foreign policy idea that we can shame other nations into doing the right thing by appealing to their better natures. If it doesn’t work, it’s only because we didn’t give it enough chance. Sometimes we must speak a little sternly, but if we could only inspire those other people enough – if we could only get them to see – if they would only dare – then they would begin to negotiate with us. Check out these key sections of Obama’s Cairo speech – they are hard to beat for vacuity. This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is in fact a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I’ve made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question now is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.
I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America’s interests. It’s about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.

No comments: