America has long made trade, political or peace treaties and deals with other countries that we regretted later. That said, peace treaties signed within the last 25-30 years are still fresh in memory and, so far, have been looked at as being a committed word that should be upheld for at least several generations. Maybe the philosophy on when an international agreement should be breeched is changing in our governmental leaders. Of course, America’s recent tensions with Iran has made the well-known 1981 Algiers Accords start to look tempting in throwing the original signed documents into a fireplace. Well, the current Bush Administration won’t go that far (as far as we know)–but it’s been reported that, despite once steadfastly upholding the meaning behind the Accords of no international intervention, they’ve dealt in sending some covert U.S. intelligence into Iran to help pave the way for an attack if it ever becomes necessary.
So just how do you prepare for a possible war without breaking a world-famous provision to not mettle into the affairs of an enemy country? During WWII–President Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t have to deal with such a treaty with Japan as he covertly set this country up for war before anybody even had a glint in the eye about Pearl Harbor happening. It could be argued that President Bush and his administration have no choice when past administrations have a long history of setting up intelligence and spies overseas without a single American’s knowledge before committing to a war. But then President Bush has to go up against the Algiers Accords that was formed and backed by President Bush’s favorite President, Jimmy Carter (and you know I’m being sarcastic), Ronald Reagan and even occasional Bush pal/surrogate brother, Bill Clinton.
From all appearances, however, you can plainly see that George H.W. Bush didn’t necessarily back the Algiers Accords during his one term. Is it perhaps because his father didn’t show outward support for them that George W. thinks he can go over these other Presidents’ heads? Well, it’s a complicated situation that doesn’t deserve such a cut and dry answer.
A refresher course on what’s in the Algiers Accords…
Anybody old enough to remember the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran remembers how tense of a situation it was and just how long it lasted. Just as President Carter was winding up his only term in January 1981–Carter unceremoniously worked day and night to make a deal with Iran to finally get the hostages freed so he could put it down on his Presidential record that he managed to bring the hostages home. (This was something Ronald Reagan got the credit for on his inauguration day, ultimately.) Iran, of course, was concerned that if they released the hostages, they’d have litigation with the U.S. that would go on for years. Using the Algerian government as a go-between, President Carter and his administration managed to carve out an accord with Iran that finally enabled the hostages to be freed after two long years.
In the agreement, no lawsuits would be filed against either side regarding keeping hostages. We also agreed that we would no longer meddle into their internal affairs. All trade with Iran would be unfrozen, too–and all debts Iran had with the U.S. would be paid.
As of today, most of that has held–except evidence that we haven’t paid off all their debts to us. In that one regard, some Iranians currently have a beef with the Accord itself–and ever-increasing as the Bush Administration shows signs of breaking the Accord out of national security.
In The New Yorker last year, a reporter there, Seymour Hersh, reported that the Bush Administration supposedly paid various terrorist ethnic groups in Iran (and supplied them with sophisticated U.S.-produced weapons) to go after certain Iranian targets. Other reporters in the region have supposedly backed this story up–outside of Turkey claiming they captured some of these terrorist groups themselves possessing weapons belonging to the U.S. Whether a lot of this information is blown out of proportion or not–it’s clear that we’re still doing something in what this country prepares to do before entering war. Even though we give hints that we’re unprepared in times of war (as a ruse), we never have been at least during the 20th century and never will be again.
And what are the consequences of the Algiers Accords being broken? The ramifications are mind-boggling, of course, and signs are occurring of a domino effect already happening as of this writing. When various media (particularly ABC) insist that the Bush administration has already funded various more terrorist organizations in Iran to destroy particular desired targets and Revolutionary Guard (one of the prime hits they’re going for)–it harkens back to when the U.S. funded an Afghanistan terrorist group to fight against the Soviets during the Afghani-Soviet war in the 80’s. Those well-acquainted with history would know that Osama Bin-Laden was a member of that particular-funded group (Mujahedeen). Almost every terrorist group we fund eventually turns the tables on us.
The complications and contradictions of planning for war go on for America where questionable alliances made to get us into and ultimately win a war become almost circular…