Eyes Wide Open

Goldblog calls Roger Cohen Ahmadinejad's Charlie Brown:

Yesterday, Ahmadinejad, on "Qods Day," the day designed to divert the attention of Iranians from the failures of their own bloody and repressive government to the supposed sins of the Jews, once again denied that the Holocaust took place. I guess "that's just way of things in Iran."  It's uncanny -- every time Roger Cohen tries to explain why the Iranian regime might just be ripe for rational negotiations, Ahmadinejad enters the room with a plateful of crazy.

I suppose, at this point, I need to say it again: I'm opposed to an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, and I'm for a time-limited negotiation between the U.S. and Iran. Unlike Cohen, however, I think the Iranian regime is not so hard to understand. It's malevolent and narcissistic and violent and corrupt and anti-Semitic, and for all those reasons, I hold out virtually no hope that something good will come from these talks. But at least, at the end of the talks, we'll see the Iranian government for what it is.

So after all the sound and fury, Goldblog agrees with Cohen. The question, of course, is how to balance this regime against the country that, for the most part, despises it. It's not an easy question - and the prospect of any talks with Khamenei turns my stomach. But that's what statecraft is: sometimes it requires some nausea and delicacy. Sometimes it doesn't easily comport with morally easy choices. And if bombing Iran helps the regime, as I think it would, and unleashes another wave of Jihadist terror against the West, and Israel is widely seen as the country that started it all - then I suspect Khamenei will be very happy indeed.