Vivian Salama at PostGlobal

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. She has also appeared as a commentator on the BBC, France24, South African Broadcasting Corp., TVNZ, NPR and as a reporter for Voice of America radio. Her byline has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the National, Jerusalem Post, and the Daily Star. Salama has an MA in Islamic Politics from Columbia University and she previously worked as a lecturer of international journalism at Rutgers University. Close.

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award-winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. more »

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President Bush Needs a Time Out

If I were a school teacher, and little George Bush made a comment in class about World War III with Iran – particularly given the current political climate – I would tell him to put his head down on his desk and take a time out.

IS HE SERIOUS? Pakistan, our so-called partner in the "War on Terrorism" is a breeding ground for radicalism and President Bush is making outrageous references to an Iranian instigated World War III?

This is just another catch phrase we can add to the pot of simmering war slogans and provocative accusations, along with "War on Terror" and "Axis of Evil." It carves in stone the do's and don'ts of diplomacy and leaves no leeway for reconciliation.

President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will only capitalize on this type of rhetoric. To use an old Vietnam War slogan, Ahmedinejad is winning the "hearts and minds" of those across the Muslim world with his anti-West, anti-Israel speech – something that many of the Sunni regimes have failed to do given their pro-West stances and, in the cases of Egypt and Jordan, treaties with Israel. Sticks and stones from the West WILL break bones, but they will not solve a thing.

How about some diplomacy for a change?

I am no fan of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, but can we really compare him to Adolph Hitler who was behind the death of at least six million people? Every administration needs its token "bad guy." This administration has had a few. Despite his faults, Ahmedinejad does not measure up to the dreadful legacy of Hitler. The Iranian president is just a figurehead, not a major decision maker in Iran.

It is poor form (not to mention poor diplomacy) to toss around threats of war. As Americans are coming to learn, war is ugly. It should always be a last resort, not a basis of intimidation. Has President Bush considered the consequences of such a comment? While I am no combat expert, I do have an understanding of Iran's geography. A war in Iran's dry midlands and rugged exterior would make Iraq look like a picnic.

Should America participate in this hypothetical war, how would it fund such a war project? Does America have the resources or man power to attack yet another country? Is bombing people into submission the political order of the day?

I can't imagine why any leader would rattle an already war-fatigued America with this kind of rhetoric. I can only assume that the chances of seeing another war during the current US administration are slim given that there is just about a year left on the clock. My question is why is the Bush Administration diverting attention to countries like Iran while turning a blind eye to allied regimes that may only be fueling the fires of fundamentalism?

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