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Happy Warrior

Non-Suicidal Tendencies

by Mark Steyn

The other day, noting Bret Stephens’s analysis in Commentary as to why Iran cannot be contained, Jonah Goldberg made a very shrewd throwaway aside: “Arguments like this tend to get ignored not because they aren’t persuasive, but because they are,” he said. “The political and psychological costs of accepting the premise are too high. So, denial inevitably triumphs.”

And thus our Iran “policy”: There will be no U.S. military strike. There will be no international sanctions regime. The mullahs will go nuclear, because letting them go nuclear requires least of us — and there will always be scholars and experts ready to justify our inertia as farsighted realpolitik. Hence the rehabilitation of “containment”: That we can do. Iran, says Zbigniew Brzezinski, “may be dangerous, assertive, and duplicitous, but there is nothing in their history to suggest they are suicidal.”

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