In the November issue of Esquire, two former high-ranking policy experts from the Bush Administration say the US has been gearing up for a war with Iran for years, despite claiming otherwise.
In the years after 9/11, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann worked at the highest levels of the Bush administration as Middle East policy experts for the National Security Council. Mann conducted secret negotiations with Iran. Leverett traveled with Colin Powell and advised Condoleezza Rice. They each played crucial roles in formulating policy for the region leading up to the war in Iraq. But when they left the White House, they left with a growing sense of alarm — not only was the Bush administration headed straight for war with Iran, it had been set on this course for years. That was what people didn’t realize. It was just like Iraq, when the White House was so eager for war it couldn’t wait for the UN inspectors to leave. The steps have been many and steady and all in the same direction. And now things are getting much worse. We are getting closer and closer to the tripline, they say.
What comes through in the article is how Iran and other countries in the Middle East have been making overtures to the US for years, to solve the regions’ many problems and its differences with the United States. Everett and Mann were at the center of many of these efforts, but were continually rebuffed by the White House.