John Bolton on Fred Hiatt's op-ed page today writes:
Significantly, the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that [an Israeli strike] is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people. This was always true, but it has become even more important to make this case emphatically, when the gulf between the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the citizens of Iran has never been clearer or wider. Military action against Iran’s nuclear program and the ultimate goal of regime change can be worked together consistently.
Yes, the Israeli bombs will only kill the bad Iranians. When patriotic Iranians of the opposition see Israeli F-16s raining death from above on Iranian targets, Bolton actually expects them to think, “Boom shack-a-lacka! Here come our Israeli liberators! Let them bomb whatever they like, since even though Mir Hussein Moussavi supports a nuclear program as part of a consensus opinion, I believe Israeli propaganda that says it has our best interests at heart! That’ll show Mahmoud Ahmadinejad! Did you hear that, Aunt Marjam? Aunt Marjam…?”
If there’s one thing that a Bush official should understand, it’s that people under attack from a foreign enemy don’t rush to embrace their more moderate leaders.