Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Next War

What Josh says.

...Yglesias adds:

Politically, defining the terms of the debate is important. A certain number of people are going to want to hold a nuanced, sophisticated middle-ground position on the Iran question. That's fine, that's the way the world works. The important question becomes what counts as nuanced and sophisticated. I took it as a good sign that in the latest New Republic Peter Beinart's column on Iran refers to my own column as "Not exactly subtle" and the main liberal take on the issue "too glib" while ultimately having much harsher words for Iran hawks. If that's the way things are going to play out, then I say so much the better for unsubtly and glibness on the part of those of us who'd prefer not to see another disastrous war.

Politicians in the mix, meanwhile, need to disabuse themselves of any illusions about the administration acting in good faith. It's clear that a certain faction on the right is determined to have a war. It's not clear whether that faction will ultimately drive policy, but it is clear that if there is a war the war will be a result of the hawks' ascendancy. At the same time, there's a school of thought in the GOP that thinks a war will be politically beneficial. Put it together and what you most certainly don't have are a group of people who are merely keeping all options "on the table" as they try to play a game of patient diplomacy.