Pakistan possesses perhaps 100 nuclear bombs and is building more, and anti-Americanism there is far more rampant than in Iran. He writes:
"Pakistan provided nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran itself. It came dangerously close to nuclear conflict with India in 1999. As for terrorism, Osama bin Laden was actually living on Pakistani soil for many years, and the tribal areas in Pakistan are still al-Qaida's most important base.
"Pakistan was also the launch pad for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, in which 164 people were killed. Although Pakistan's government condemned the attacks, there is strong evidence that the terrorists had links to Pakistan's intelligence. If the Mumbai attacks had been launched from Iran, the West would be shouting about 'state-sponsored terrorism.'"
Seven in 10 Pakistanis regard America as an enemy. And the drone strikes ramped up by President Obama, which have taken the lives of many innocent Pakistanis, have increased the animosity.
Yet, U.S. planes and warships are heading into the Persian Gulf, as 44 U.S. senators have urged the president to break off talks with Tehran, toughen the sanctions even further and prepare for war.
Meanwhile, Iran is testing missiles that can hit Israel and U.S. bases, and its large fleet of missile boats is exercising in the Gulf.
Otto von Bismarck said that preventive war was like committing suicide out of fear of death. Are we Americans headed for yet another unnecessary war?
In 1959, President Eisenhower invited Nikita Khrushchev, the Butcher of Budapest, to the United States for 10 days of touring and talks. In 1972, Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing to toast and talk with Chairman Mao, who was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese and tens of thousands of Americans in Korea. Ronald Reagan sought constantly for an opportunity to sit down across from the rulers of the "evil empire."
Iran is not remotely in that league, either in crimes attributed to the regime or any actual or potential threat to the United States.
Have we no statesmen who can sit down, like Reagan at Reykjavik, and negotiate with Iran's leaders for verifiable guarantees that she is not moving to nuclear weapons in return for something approaching normal relations?
If we could sit down with Stalin and Mao, why are the Ayatollah or Ahmadinejad so far beyond the pale? Can we just not handle that?
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