It seems to be a catchy tune that some people don’t get tired of humming. 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. 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. Now it’s not just the urban middle class that’s unhappy: 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. 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.” That seems to be the game Obama is playing, though of course even if I’m right about that he can’t say so. An attack on Iran now would violate Churchill’s principle of not interfering when an enemy commits suicide.
Patience, patience! Regime change in Iran may be about to fall into our lap.
Update Dan Drezner finds the analysis in the Kuperman piece “so radically incomplete as to be f***ing insane” and wonders whether the Times ran it precisely in order to discredit the case for war.