Open the dialogue with Syria and Iran

I, Muhammad Ali Hasan, am a very proud Republican and champion of the Bush Administration. My reasons for praising President Bush so much are based upon his great work within the War on Terror. It was the Clinton Administration that sanctioned almost the entire Muslim World, alienating us from countries like Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Sudan, and Libya in an attempt to extend ‘toughness’ over the Muslim World; and it was our good President Bush who lifted almost all Clinton Administration sanctions, in addition to giving aid.
Today, we boast many allies in the Muslim World, including Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Libya, countries that were sanctioned under the Clinton Administration and now communicate with us on a daily basis in providing intelligence and help within the War on Terror. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has even identified Indonesia and Jordan as countries where civil liberties and human rights are on the great rise, with the MCC designating Mali as a country that will receive its economic support. The MCC is very meticulous in its selection of partnership and for their organization (MCC) to select Mali, in addition to considering Jordan and Indonesia, is a great sign of progress in the Muslim World. In addition, polling by Terror Free Tomorrow is increasingly showing that the Muslim World is rejecting terrorism and Osama Bin Laden, while accepting America. The Muslim World is on a better track today because of President Bush.

However, President Bush’s good policy of outreach could be extended even further.

As the Co-Founder of Muslims For America, I deeply supported Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Syria. If good memory serves, America had a stable relationship with Syria before the arrival of the Clinton Administration, as it was the Clinton Administration that accused Syria of ill-will towards Israel in issuing very harsh sanctions. Since those sanctions, Syria has harbored close relations with Saddam Hussein in Iraq and extremist elements in Iran. Instead of becoming a better supporter of our goals, Syria became a greater threat. Thus, the sanctions against Syria have more than failed; they have taken steps backwards.

The same can be said for our sanctions against Iran. It was in May of 1997 that the people of Iran elected its most progressive leader to date, President Khatami, a man who campaigned for freedom of the press, economic freedom, better civil rights, and very importantly, greater relations with America; clearly, his election was a sign that the Iranian people desired a dialogue with America.

The Clinton Administration response was to routinely ignore Khatami, causing him to be unsuccessful on his promise to deliver better relations with the West. The lack of success led to a defeat of Khatami’s party, as the people of Iran switched strategies in electing the current hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Thus, we went from an Iran that had a President Khatami who openly stated, “I want a dialogue with the good American people” to one, in which, the new President Ahmadinejad states, “the Holocaust never happened.”

In reality, President Ahmadinejad’s biggest accomplishment, to date, has been his ability to convince the international world that Iran can actually produce a nuclear weapon. It is important to note that Iran has barely self-produced any of its own military equipment. Iran’s navy is a collection of Chinese and Russian war ships, while its Air Force boasts such a large list of outside development that even the chefs at the International House of Pancakes would blush. To this date, Iran has only self-produced four fighter jets, of which, only a few models have actually flown, while all models have been designed off of the 1980’s prototypical plans of American and Russian jets. In other words, Iran’s ability to produce any kind of military technology is deficient, even when it comes to recycling another country’s architecture.

With that said, do we really need to worry about an Iranian bomb? The answer is “no.” But what we do need to worry about is the continued alienation against Iran and Syria. The 9/11 Commission Report confirms that Iran has worked closely with Al-Quaida and the Taliban in the past; in conjunction with their armies, Iran could potentially invade Pakistan and/or India in an attempt to take over their nuclear arsenals. I believe that such actions could be prevented. We can make the first step in opening a relationship with Iran and Syria.

Despite the hard times in Iraq, President Bush has done a substantial job of bringing peace to the Muslim World. It has been under President Bush’s authority that a peace process has started for the Moro Muslims of the Philippines, with Malaysia overseeing the process. Although problems still exist in Darfur, it was under the Bush Administration that the Sudanese government finally signed a constitution that recognized religious freedom for the Christians in Darfur. And it was under President Clinton that peacekeepers left Somalia and it is under President Bush that they are finally returning.

With our embrace of Libya, Pakistan, Indonesia and India, President Bush has a track record of taking opposing Muslim countries and turning them into our best allies. Even the Moro Muslims of the Phillipines have talked about working with us in a crackdown against the Al-Quaida elements of South Asia. Thus, no Statesman is better qualified to start the dialogue with Syria and Iran, considering an excellent history of past experience.

We here at Muslims For America suggest the following –

1. All sanctions against Iran and Syria be lifted

2. Humanitarian and economic aid be granted

3. Iran and Syria are not to be removed from the terrorist sponsorship list, until documentation proves that all Al-Quaida and/or terror ties are fully dissolved

In exchange, we expect the following –

1. Iran and Syria give us all the intelligence they have on Al-Quaida

2. Agreement made that United Nations weapon inspectors have free right to inspect all facilities of weapon development

3. In conjunction with the MCC, agreement be made that America give guidance in the building of infrastructure and economic systems, for the purpose of creating an economic environment in Iran and Syria that is full of greater opportunity

4. Any pursuits in nuclear technology will be done for civil purposes only, with America sponsoring and overseeing those pursuits

After all, if Iran only wants nuclear development for the purposes of energy, as they are saying, then they should have that right, provided that we are involved and overseeing its process.

We are proud of Speaker Pelosi’s trip to the Middle East. She has done so without criticizing our good President and without agreeing with any kind of anti-American sentiment. Her peaceful visit there suggests that a relationship is ready to be cultivated. Whether my fellow Americans realize it or not, Speaker Pelosi and President Bush actually have a lot in common when it comes to foreign policy, as they are both good at taking the ‘first-step.’ Muslims For America salutes our good President and good Speaker and we are proud to follow their collective leads. With that said….

President Bush – it is time to pick up the phone and give a call to Syria and Iran. And if you need help in what to say, then consider the same approach you used with Pakistan and Libya.

May Peace and Love Be Upon You All!


Muhammad Ali Hasan

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About Muhammad Ali Hasan

Muhammad Ali Hasan is a political commentator/writer, filmmaker, and activist. Hasan is the Co-Founder of Muslims For America, a think-tank organization that specializes in policy proposals that address solutions towards building peace between America and the Muslim World, with the help of a nationwide membership that welcomes Muslims and Non-Muslims. Muslims For America evolved from Muslims For Bush, an organization that Hasan co-founded in 2004. Hasan currently serves as a guest political commentator for Fox News, MSNBC, GEO-TV, and BBC Radio of England, in addition to being a former regular guest on CNBC’s The Dennis Miller Show and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. Hasan’s political writings have been published in BeliefNet and the Washington Review of Middle Eastern Affairs, in addition to writing regularly for and As a filmmaker, Hasan was recognized as an Emerging Filmmaker of 2007 by Panavision for his directing work on short film, Rabia. Hasan was also named a Coca Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Finalist of 2006, part of Coca Cola’s nationwide filmmaking competition. In 2006, Hasan opened his short film production company, Rabia LLC, boasting sponsorships from Eastman-Kodak, Color By Deluxe, and Panavision. Hasan is proud of his work as a political activist, especially in building bridges between American Muslims and the Republican Party. Through filmmaking and writing, Hasan hopes to create greater peace between all, as the War On Terror continues. Past activities for Hasan also include serving as a tyro teacher public school teacher in Los Angeles, where he was a candidate for a Masters in Teaching. Hasan worked extensively as an environmental scientist, in college, under the direction of Dr Jim Sadd, where the group used Geographic Information Systems analysis to study social justice issues within environmental science. Hasan will soon be basing himself in Colorado, where he has opened Sangre De Cristo Capital LLC, a land development company. Hasan is looking to get more involved, politically, from his base in Colorado as he continues his efforts in political commentating and filmmaking.

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