Eric Martin corrects Ezra Klein:
Ezra should know better. The people that have "long argued for the fundamental rationality of the Iranian regime" have done so in the context of rebutting the argument that we must launch (yet another) war to prevent Iran from some day obtaining nuclear weapon-building capability because the regime is so irrational that it is undeterrable (unlike, apparently, the USSR and China during the Cold War - whose regimes never acted irrationally, not even under Klein's tenuous definition, natch). Ezra's weak argument undermining the claims of rationality will be used for one purpose, and one purpose alone: selling war.
And takes aim at George Packer and me:
[T]wo Iraq war champions that have supposedly found religion, George Packer and Andrew Sullivan, have been urging President Obama to do more - that is, to make hollow symbolic gestures and speak out in favor of the protesters. According to Packer and Sullivan, Obama should insert the United States in the middle of an indigenous Iranian electoral dispute in a way that would only hurt the intended beneficiaries and galvanize support for Ahmadinejad and his faction....[S]uch entreaties from Packer and Sullivan for Obama to "do something more" nurture the emerging right wing narrative that Obama is a weak, feckless, appeasing liberal incapable of standing up to tyranny...
While I have been more than willing to treat mea culpas from former Iraq war supporters as sincere, and do not believe in permanent excommunication or any other such drastic measures, the proof of conversion is in the follow through. Part of the process should include a recognition that, not only is preventive war a catastrophic policy when put in action, but also that our adversaries are not presumptively "irrational" and lunatic, and that any and all manner of intervention by the United States does not always lead to positive outcomes.
I have specifically not argued for Obama's speaking out for one side. What blog is this dude reading?