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Rice’s Blowback


Friends have written to me taking issue with my criticism of Secretary Rice’s Iran speech, and an Atlanta-Journal Constitution editorialist lambasted me as a “naive intellectual” because I could not see the wisdom of the U.S. about-face.  Many diplomats, journalists, and academics continue to backslap each other.  If I’m wrong, I’ll eat crow.  But, I’m not going to drink this Kool aid:  The deal is less than meets the eye.  Red lines only mean something when diplomats are prepared to take a stand to defend them.  Russia has already ruled that out.  More worrisome is the Iranian reaction.  Bill Samii—perhaps the best and, consistently, most accurate Iran analyst in the United States—has just released an analysis showing that the Iranian government is accelerating its domestic crackdown.  This crackdown shouldn’t surprise.  In the past few weeks, the Libyans, Egyptians, Tunisians, and now Iranians have all reverted to their worst oppression in years.  Realists may say we have other interests, but letting regimes get away with murder shouldn’t be one.  


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