Mr. President, Tear Down This Wall

The Nation of Change has published the Pepe Escobar article Mr. President, Tear Down This Wall.

Let’s start with the obvious but important: on entering the Oval Office in January 2009, President Obama inherited a seemingly impregnable three-decade-long “Wall of Mistrust” in Iran-U.S. relations. To his credit, that March he directly addressed all Iranians in a message for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, calling for an “engagement that is honed and grounded in mutual respect.” He even quoted the thirteenth century Persian poet Sa’adi: “The children of Adam are limbs of one body, which God created from one essence.”

And yet, from the start he was crippled by a set of Washington misconceptions as old as that wall, and by a bipartisan consensus for an aggressive strategy toward Iran that emerged in the George W. Bush years when Congress ponied up $400 million for a set of “covert operations” meant to destabilize that country, including cross-border operations by special forces teams. All of this was already based on the dangers of “the Iranian bomb.”


With an Obama 2.0 administration soon to be in place, the time to solve the immensely complex Iranian nuclear drama is now. But as Columbia University’s Gary Sick, a key White House adviser on Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the Tehran hostage crisis of 1979-1981, has suggested, nothing will be accomplished if Washington does not start thinking beyond its ever-toughening sanctions program, now practically set in stone as “politically untouchable.”

Reading this full article might get you thinking outside the box in which the administration seems to be locked.

Many of you will probably react with anger over the mild suggestions in this article, possibly due to the propaganda you have been fed by our own mefdia and politicians.

I am not naive enough to think that Pepe Escobar may not have his own agenda. Yet, long before I read this article, I have been thinking that the U.S. position on Iran has been unnecessarily and unproductively  bellicose. This article just explains the reasons why I have felt the way that I have.

I do not want you to think I am hiding anything here, so I will feed you some information that may reinforce your biases.  But remember that what is being reinforced for you may be a bias.

According to, where I think this article may have first been published:

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times, an analyst for al-Jazeera and the Russian network RT, and a TomDispatch regular. His latest book is Obama Does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).


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