Re my Barry & Bibi post, a reader writes:
Mark, your usual insight seems to have failed you, here.
You wrote “An Iranian nuclear regional hegemon will destabilize everything, from Egypt to the Gulf monarchies.”
How can you “destabilize” the unstable?
The only “stability” in these despotic regimes is that imposed by iron-fisted repression.
When the lid is lifted from the pot in any Muslim society, it boils over, bigtime.
When the ‘Palestinians’ were handed, on a silver platter, beautiful greenhouses, a working business with reveneue and profits, how did they react? They blew them up and burned them down…
“Stability” ??? You haven’t had your coffee this morning.
Sorry, I wasn’t clear in my original musings. I’m no fan of “stability”, especially in the Middle East — indeed, a big chunk of America Alone is about how “stability is an illusion”. As I say in the book, what appears to be “stable” is always moving in some direction — so, if it’s not moving in yours, it’s generally moving in the other fellow’s. That’s what happened in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria: They’re not “stable.” Across the last 30 years, they’ve moved in Iran’s direction.
Nevertheless, the foreign policy “realists” prize “stability” almost as much as David Brooks and Christopher Buckley prize “temperament.” The realpolitik crowd are heavily invested in the “stability” of Mubarak’s Egypt, the Hashemites’ Jordan, the House of Saud and the Gulf monarchies. Don’t ask me why: they’re an unlovely bunch. But my point is that, if you’re one of these striped-pants cats who digs the festering swamp of Middle Eastern “stability,” you should be even more concerned about a nuclear Iran — because that so-called “stability” will be one of the first victims.