Yesterday, on Gateway Pundit, I read that Obama had an Iranian on his staff, so I did some research and found Trita Parsi’s website. It seems that Parsi is indeed Iranian by birth, but he was raised in Sweden. Do I think he’s an agent of Iran? No, not directly. But the fact that he’s on Obama’s staff and an advisor on Iran is fairly disturbing, not because of his ethnicity, but because of his scholarly work.
I haven’t read his book Treacherous Alliance – The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press, 2007), but what I’ve found in interviews should cause alarm. In John Hopkins Magazine;
Among Parsi’s primary conclusions is that for years the U.S. and others have misunderstood the relationship between Iran and Israel, and that misunderstanding has played to those countries’ interests. “The most important false perception,” he says, “is that the conflict is ideologically driven.” He argues that for too long, Western governments and opinion-makers have looked at the two nations and seen an intractable ideological conflict between a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy and the Middle East’s only democracy. He says that actually Israel and Iran are rational pragmatists who have nurtured this wrong idea. Iran maintains the support of Arab countries and diverts attention from its own hegemonic ambitions by portraying itself as the vanguard of Islam and a selfless supporter of the Palestinians’ struggle with Israel. In turn, as long as Israel can portray the conflict as a fight between a democracy and a theocracy ruled by “mad mullahs,” it is assured of support from the U.S. and Europe.
One danger for the U.S., says Parsi, is that misconceptions limit its options. For example, if Iran’s government is seen as irrational and driven only by ideology, that rules out diplomacy or deterrence. How do you negotiate with or deter someone who is not rational? That leaves military action as one of the few remaining options, and a military strike could serve Israel’s interests more than those of the U.S. Parsi says, “If you wanted to convince the United States to take military action against Iran, that is the tack you would take.”
Parsi claims that we (the US) are too susceptible to Israeli propaganda that Iran hates Israel because it’s a democracy. Um, why would we believe that since Ahmadinejad constantly makes references to the Holocaust when speaking about Israel? Hitler didn’t hate the Jews because they supported democratic government, for pete’s sake.
Parsi tries to make the point that the Islamic Republic is not irrational – arming forces in Iraq to fight against the US when we haven’t threatened Iran’s interests is fairly irrational. Holocaust denial as a national policy is fairly irrational. Building nuclear weapons to eradicate a neighbor is fairly irrational.
Parsi fails to recognize that nearly every leader in the region has positioned himself as a champion against the Jews – including Saddam Hussein. Did we misunderstand Hussein’s intention, too?
No, it’s not Parsi’s birthplace that’s disturbing, it’s his politics and it’s no wonder that Obama thinks he can reason with the Islamic Republic’s leaders – he’s been misled by an idiot scholar who happens to be Iranian by birth.
The Infidel Bloggers Alliance has videos of Parsi. I’ll have to look at them later, when I’m through earning my pittance for the day.