The Corner


Michael, always nice tangling with you. But you’re making my point. Let’s say that Iran is in a pre-revolutionary situation, and that there are things we can do to help it along and that we do them. That still means Iran might have a revolution tomorrow or ten years from now (or maybe never–sometimes revolutions don’t happen). No one can predict. If it’s tomorrow, great. But if it’s ten years from now, not so great. Since we have no way of knowing when such a revolution would happen, or really whether we can make it happen, depending on it happening soon is more wishfulness than strategy. (That’s why I think that if you follow your own logic, you should be in favor of directly toppling the Syrian and Iranian regimes–that will definitely eliminate their governments, won’t it? And if you’re not in favor of that, you should favor drawing down in Iraq because we are in a hopeless battle until the revolutions materialize.) Anyway, by all means, let’s do whatever we can within reason to check and destablize the Iranian government, and hope something comes off it and sooner rather than later. But in the meantime we have to deal with the immediate crisis in Iraq, which I think means more troops to Baghdad. Others have other prescriptions, but the question can’t just be blown off by labeling it as sub-strategic. Speaking of scholars of revolution, by the way, this is a new book that you might enjoy if you haven’t come across it yet by the late Martin Malia.


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