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Esper Asks: Why Can't Iran Just Be Normal?

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Message Michael Galli

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On the January 12th CNN broadcast of State of the Union with Jake Tapper, the United States' 27th Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, opined his wish for the future of Iran:

"What we have got to do " is get back to a position where they will come sit down with us, we can talk about how we get Iran to act like and behave like a normal country. That's what all of us want. That's what the regional partners want. That's what the Europeans want, is get Iran to behave like a normal country, which means no nuclear weapons program, no long-range ballistic missiles, no hostage-taking, and no support of proxy groups that are spreading mischief from Yemen and Iraq and Syria to Africa to Afghanistan."

Act and behave like a normal country? According to what standard? Certainly not that of the United States, in possession of over 6,000 nuclear weapons and the only country thus far to actually use such bombs on civilian populations. Certainly not the U.S. with its 24 armed military bases in the Middle East. Certainly not the U S of A with its history of hording and torturing hostages in black sites around the world including close to 800 that haunted Guantanamo Bay and the 40 souls that are still there. Certainly not America arming its proxy, Saudi Arabia, with internationally banned cluster bombs to kill and maim the people of Yemen. Not to mention boots on the ground fighting with, and training, our proxies in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Mischief indeed! And need Mr. Esper be reminded that Africa is a continent with over 50 independent nations? One would think he should know considering forces under his watch are fighting in Kenya, Somalia, Tunisia and Niger, to name a few.

Esper's comments on Iran are bush league, pun intended.


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Michael Galli is the Dean of Students at Rivendell Academy, a small 7-12 interstate public school on the New Hampshire / Vermont border, where he teaches classes on media and U.S. foreign policy.

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