Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Cautionary Note on Iran Debate

Josh Marshall on Bush's plans for Iran:

As we prepare to be ginned up into a 'debate' about whether we should embark on an insanely misguided war with Iran (since we don't have our hands full as it is), it is well to remember one of the many -- but one of the most important -- lessons of the Iraq catastrophe.

When applied to Iran, that lesson, I believe, is as follows ...

There is no question of our policy to Iran. That is to say, no question of the issue in the abstract or the issue if conducted in the hands of sane and/or experienced foreign policy practitioners. There is only our policy over the next eighteen months as conducted by George Bush and Dick Cheney. For that reason, even hypotheticals or abstract discussions about threats of force to prevent the progress of the Iranian nuclear program are profoundly misguided and dangerous.

Given the track record, who would trust these incompetents to expand our military involvement in the Middle East for almost any reason whatsoever? And relatedly, who would trust that a 'threat of force' as a leverage to diplomacy is not what it has usually been with the Bush White House: a feint toward diplomacy to leverage the use of force?

It's like handing a drunk the keys to yet another car. Where he says he's going is really beside the point.

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