Thursday, November 18, 2004

Joementum into Iran

Yglesias wonders why we're mocking Pollack's new book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iran The Persian Puzzle : The Conflict Between Iran and America for calling for an invasion of Iran when the new book apparently doesn't do that. But, the old book didn't actually call for an invasion of Iraq (no matter what the title said). What it did do was say if we can accomplish a,b,c,d, and e, and Saddam Hussein won't do x,y, and z, then maybe in about 5 years war will be necessary and appropriate. But, then, Pollack had about 500 hours of face time on TV during which he could have stated loudly and clearly that "well, no, I think this invasion is a bad idea." He didn't.

His new book doesn't argue for an immediate war in Iran either, but as with Iraq -- once you make the case that something is a serious threat, and once the people in power reduce the options to "war or not war," suddenly we'll find war once again presented as the only "serious" option.

And, yes, my silly conservative friends, I'm well aware that that the Iranian government is not exactly to be admired. Nor is the Chinese government, the Saudi government, the Azerbaijan government, or the government of Uzbekistan. The latter two, of course, being a part of the much praised Coalition of the Willing. And, I'm all for peaceful protest by college students to enact change, something which is praised abroad but strangely sneered at here. I have nothing against the students who might agitatate for change and everything against those who fetishize them by projecting their own political agenda onto them.

The fact is that the Bush administration strengthened the hand of the anti-American forces within Iran the instant the "axis of evil" phrase crossed his lips. Reform in Iran is great. Reform from within is even better. But cut the crap.