Via Iran Affairs the AP (hmmm) report on the help Iran gave America after 9/11 yet the Bush regime (and it’s difficult not to see the hand of AIPAC & the neocons as a major factor here) took the help and in return called them part of the ‘axis of evil’. It’s a common story, how the world was horrified by 9/11 but the Bush regime managed to turn that solidarity into contempt by reacting as it did. Using the attacks as cover for a pre-determined set of bloody imperial polices & domestic repression that bore no relation to dealing with the attacks and their causes.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an effort to help the United States counter al-Qaida after the 9/11 attack, Iran rounded up hundreds of Arabs who had crossed the border from Afghanistan, expelled many of them and made copies of nearly 300 of their passports, a former Bush administration official said Tuesday. The copies were sent to Kofi Annan, the U.N. secretary-general, who passed them on to the United States, while U.S. interrogators were given a chance by Iran to question some of the detainees, Hillary Mann Leverett said in an Associated Press interview.
Leverett, who said she negotiated with Iran for the Bush administration in the 2001-3 period, said Iran sought a broader relationship with the United States. “They thought they had been helpful on al-Qaida, and they were,” she said. For one thing, she said, suspected al-Qaida operatives were not given sanctuary in Iran. Some administration officials took the view, however, that Iran had not acknowledged all likely al-Qaida members nor provided access to them, Leverett said. Many of the expelled Arabs were deported to Saudi Arabia and to other Arab and Muslim countries, even though Iran had poor relations with the Saudi monarchy and some other countries in the region, Leverett said.
James F. Dobbins, the Bush administration’s chief negotiator on Afghanistan in late 2001, said that Iran was “comprehensively helpful” in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack in working to overthrow the Taliban and collaborating with the United States in installing the Karzai government in Kabul. Iranian diplomats made clear at the time they were looking for broader cooperation with the United States, but the Bush administration was not interested, the author of “After the Taliban: Nation-Building in Afghanistan,” said in a separate interview. The Bush administration has acknowledged contacts with Iran over the years even while denouncing Iran as part of an “axis of evil” and declining to consider a resumption of diplomatic relations.
“It isn’t something that is talked about,” Leverett said in describing Iran’s role during a forum at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan policy institute. Leverett and her husband, Flynt Leverett, a former career CIA analyst and a former National Security Council official, jointly proposed the next U.S. president seek a “grand bargain” with Iran to settle all major outstanding differences.
“The next president needs to reorient U.S. policy toward Iran as fundamentally as President Nixon did with China in the 1970s,” Flynt Leverett said. Among the provisions: The United States would clarify that it is not seeking change in the nature of the Iranian regime but rather in its policies, while Iran would agree to “certain limits” on its nuclear program. Iran considers most of its neighbors as enemies. Among its incentives for improving U.S. relations is that they feel that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would be less provocative, the Leveretts said.
I’m guessing this won’t puncture the bubble of presidential campaign/financial thing obsessed homeland media, especially as the level of debate the right perpetuates is a flavour of imperial functioning racism with eliminationist goals –Obama’s middle name is Hussein, so he’s a terrorist like all Arabs & Muslims, we must kill them all– (not to mention Iranians are erm, not Arabs). Still, what can be expected from an administration led by a man who was unaware there were two major sects of Islam before invading Iraq.
PS. Apparently the police in Ohio are not treating the gas attack on a mosque as a terrorist act or a hate crime while the rubbish & hateful ‘Obsession’ DVD continues to be distributed by a well funded secretive hate group that maintains that crucial polite deniable distance from the McCain campaign.