It seems to be a catchy tune that some people don’t get tired of humming. Â Alex Kuperman is the latest.
There are lots of good reasons not to pursue this option, of which the most obvious is that it’s probably not technically feasible. Â We can drop bombs, but it seems unlikely that doing so would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
But the strongest reason not to get into a military confrontation with Iran is that doing so would be a huge favor to the present regime, which is encountering more domestic opposition than it has since the revolution of 1979. Â Now it’s not just the urban middle class that’s unhappy: Â a big chunk of the clerical leadership has lost patience with the Supreme Leader, and most of them never had any regard for the President. Â If Ahmadi-nejad has been even more provocative than usual recently, it may be precisely in hopes of provoking a showdown with the Great Satan, in hopes of getting a “rally-round-the-flag” surge in support at home.
William III is supposed to have said, about one of the non-jurors, “He is determined to become a martyr, and I am determined to frustrate him.” Â That seems to be the game Obama is playing, though of course even if I’m right about that he can’t say so. Â An attack on Iran now would violate Churchill’s principle of not interfering when an enemy commits suicide.
Patience, patience! Â Regime change in Iran may be about to fall into our lap.
Update Dan Drezner finds the analysis in the Â Kuperman piece “so radically incomplete as to Â be f***ing insane” and wonders whether the Times ran it precisely in order to discredit the case for war.