THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume IX, Issue # 190, October 13, 2007
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
Government Committed to & Acting in Accord with Conservative Principles
Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity
Home Page   Main Menu   Recent Articles   Site Map   Website Index   Issues & Controversies
  Cyberland University   Political Science, Philosophy, & History: Lectures   U.S. Constitution
  American Constitutional Law   American Constitutional System   American Political System
  Conservatism, Liberalism, & Radicalism   How America Goes to War
  World War IV: Islamist Terror War Against the U.S.A. & the West

THE GULDIMANN MEMORANDUM:
The Iranian "Roadmap" Wasn't a Roadmap, & It Wasn't Iranian
By Dr. Michael Rubin

DETERIORATING RELATIONS BETWEEN THE U.S.A. & IRAN:  WHO IS TO BE BLAMED?  THE FRADULENT ROOTS OF CRITICISM OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD THE ISLAMIST POLITICAL REGIME IN IRAN -- USE OF THE GULDIMANN MEMORANDUM BY POLITICAL OPPONENTS & OTHER CRITICS OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH & THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN AN EFFORT TO CAST BLAME FOR THE ROCKY U.S.-IRANIAN RELATIONSHIP ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S INTRANSIGENCE, RATHER THAN ON IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM & IT'S SPONSORSHIP & SUPPORT OF ISLAMIC TERRORISM -- SEEKING TO DISCREDIT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION & BASE FOREIGN POLICY ON A FOUNDATION OF FALSEHOODS THAT WILL ONLY DISTRACT FROM EFFORTS TO RESOLVE INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES BEFORE THEY ESCALATE INTO MILITARY ACTION -- THE NEED TO BASE FOREIGN POLICY ON REALITY
FULL STORY:   As relations between Washington and Tehran deteriorate, critics of the Bush administration are seeking to cast blame for the rocky relationship not on Iran's nuclear program or support of terrorism, but on President Bush's intransigence. At the root of the attacks is the administration's supposed rejection of a May, 2003, Iranian offer of a grand bargain to settle all outstanding disputes. "Basking in the glory of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq, the Bush administration dismissed the Iranian offer," Peter Galbraith, a Democratic Party activist and former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, wrote in the October 11, 2007, New York Review of Books.

The problem is that this argument is rooted in a fraud. The "Iranian Roadmap," which was posted online by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on April 28, 2007, was not an Iranian overture, but the work of a disgruntled Swiss diplomat, Tim Guldimann.

I first met Guldimann at a 1999 dinner party at his Tehran residence, and he spoke of his desire to repair U.S.-Iranian relations. The Swiss Ambassador in Tehran is charged with representing U.S. interests -- basically passing messages between the governments -- but Guldimann was more ambitious. He saw an opportunity to facilitate rapprochement, which he said was hampered not by Iran's support for anti-U.S. terrorist groups and violent opposition to the Camp David II peace process, but by the Clinton administration's inflexibility.

Fast forward four years: Guldimann was nearing the end of his posting. With Iranian reform in retreat, he had little to show for his time, and blamed Bush and Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei equally.

Guldimann developed the one-page "roadmap" in conversation with Sadeq Kharrazi, the Iranian Ambassador in Paris. It suggests Tehran would address Washington's concerns about its weapons programs, its embrace of terrorism, its efforts to destabilize Iraq, and its opposition to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In exchange, Washington would refrain from pressing regime change, abolish sanctions, recognize Iran's "legitimate security interests," crack down on the militant Mujahedin al-Khalq (MKO), and give the Islamic Republic access to "peaceful" nuclear, biological, and chemical technology.

Kharrazi circulated the paper to senior Iranian officials with the caveat that it did not come from Washington, and Guldimann tried to use the Iranian response as "the basis for opening bilateral discussion." The paper went nowhere; it was clear to all involved that it was Guldimann's proposal and had little to do with Tehran. Guldimann said in his cover memo and in meetings with a range of U.S. policymakers that the Iranian leadership agreed with 85 to 90 percent of the proposal, though he did not know which 10-15 percent they disputed.

Guldimann's suggestion that the proposal came from Iran was bizarre. The United States and Iran were already deep in dialogue, with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw as the high-level intermediary. In 2003, Iran's UN Ambassador, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met U.S. diplomats Zalmay Khalilzad and Ryan Crocker in Paris and Geneva. Indeed, Khalilzad met Zarif the day before Guldimann delivered his Iranian "breakthrough."

Guldimann's ignorance of these ongoing discussions exposed his fraud. John Bolton, then U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, suggested to Colin Powell that the Swiss be formally asked to recall Guldimann for freelancing. The Swiss Foreign Ministry keeps a discreet silence, but Guldimann has quietly left the Foreign Service.

The facts notwithstanding, a coterie of former officials and lobbyists have seized upon the Guldimann memo. Flynt Leverett, a Condoleezza Rice appointee who left the National Security Council to campaign for John Kerry in 2004, has compared it to Mao Tse-tung's 1972 opening of China. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's Chief of Staff, affirmed the Iranian offer to credulous journalists. Iran lobbyist Trita Parsi, a former aide to disgraced Congressman Bob Ney, insists he alerted White House political strategist Karl Rove to the Iranian proposal. But Parsi, who trades on his close ties to the Tehran regime, was also unaware that the United States was already in talks with the Islamic Republic.

Journalists at the Financial Times and the Guardian used the Guldimann memo to bash Bush's alleged diplomatic ineptitude, the plotting of the Neoconservatives, and the dark hands of U.S. Vice President Richard B. Cheney and then U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. From there, it crossed the Atlantic. On April 29, 2007, Nicholas Kristof penned a column in the New York Times labeling the Bush administration's rejection of the Iranian offer "diplomacy at its worst":

    "A U.S.-Iranian rapprochement could have saved lives in Iraq, isolated Palestinian terrorists and encouraged civil society groups in Iran. But instead the U.S. hardliners chose to hammer plowshares into swords."

In her new book, USA Today's Iran beat reporter Barbara Slavin suggests Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith are to blame for scuttling the offer.

Regardless of who wins the White House in 2008, Iran will dominate the diplomatic agenda of the next few years. But policy must be based on reality: There was no Iranian offer in May, 2003, but rather a Hail Mary pass thrown by an activist ambassador and pitched by limelight-seeking former officials to a receptive press. Almost seven years into the Bush administration, Tehran has yet to offer a single confidence building measure. Relying on a foundation of falsehoods only distracts from efforts to resolve disputes before they escalate into military action.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
The Middle East & the Problem of Iran

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

International Politics & World Disorder:
War & Peace in the Real World

   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

U.S. National Security Strategy



Dr. Michael Rubin, a Ph.D. in History (Yale University) and a specialist in Middle Eastern politics, Islamic culture and Islamist ideology, is Editor of the Middle East Quarterly and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Dr Rubin is author of Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2001) and is co-author, with Dr. Patrick Clawson, of Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Dr. Rubin served as Political Advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad (2003-2004); Staff Advisor on Iran and Iraq and Iran Country Director in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense (2002-2004); Visiting Lecturer in the Departments of History and International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2001-2002); Visiting Lecturer at the Universities of Sulaymani, Salahuddin, and Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan (2000-2001); Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1999-2000); and Visiting Lecturer in the Department of History at Yale University (1999-2000). He has been a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Leonard Davis Institute at Hebrew University, and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.


The foregoing article by Dr. Rubin was originally published in the Weekly Standard, October 22, 2007, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat.


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
October 13, 2007




Return to Top of Page

Go to the WEBSITE INDEX

Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Public Issues & Political Controversies


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA
Most Recent Articles


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Volume IX, 2007


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Subject Matter Highlights


Return to POLITICAL EDUCATION Homepage

CONTACT & ACCESS INFORMATION




LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:

Africa: Black Africa * Africa: North Africa * American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control


This is not a commercial website. The sole purpose of the website is to share with interested persons information regarding civics, civic and social education, political science, government, politics, law, constitutional law and history, public policy, and political philosophy and history, as well as current and recent political developments, public issues, and political controversies.



POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS

POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE

Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.

Government, Politics, Public Policy, Legal Issues, Constitutional Law, Government & the Economy, Cultural Values, Foreign Affairs, International Relations, Military Defense & National Security, Geopolitics, Terrorism & Homeland Security, American National Interests, Political Systems & Processes, Political Institutions, Political Ideologies, & Political Philosophy

INDEX FOR THE ENTIRE WEBSITE

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis

Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor

Conservative & Free-Market Analysis of Government, Politics & Public Policy, Covering Political, Legal, Constitutional, Economic, Cultural, Military, International, Strategic, & Geopolitical Issues


Conservative Government Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity