By Daniel Luban
National Review‘s Rich Lowry:
A major irony in Bush’s policy is that Iran appears to be much better primed than Iraq for a transition to democratic government (although Iraq is managing it anyway). It hasn’t been devastated by sanctions and war the way Iraq was; its faux elections let people at least exercise their democratic muscles; and the country has a relatively well-developed civil society. [my emphasis]
Just give it some time, Rich!
More seriously, Lowry’s comment does cut to the core contradiction of the neocon position on Iran. The same people who so self-righteously hold themselves up as champions of the slain Neda and protectors of innocent Iranians want nothing more than to ramp up sanctions (which, as Fred Kagan forthrightly admitted, will have the immediate effect of killing innocent Iranians) followed in all likelihood by military strikes (the destructive effects of which should need no explanation.) The fact that war with Iran would likely consolidate the hardliners’ power and snuff out the opposition similarly does not seem to factor into the thinking of these courageous defenders of the Iranian people.