The Daily Talking Points

News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for August 25th, 2010:

  • Washington Times: In an editorial, the hawkish daily chronicles what it calls, “Iran’s emergence as a regional hegemon,” based on its slowly advancing nuclear program and its unveiling of a new line of unmanned aircraft. The editorial cites the Israeli Foreign Ministry in saying that the developments are “totally unacceptable” and wonders if the term means as much to President Obama. Coyly attributing two recent mysterious events to Israeli subversion, the Times takes comfort that “perhaps ‘unacceptable’ means something after all.”
  • Foreign Policy: On FP‘s “Shadow Government” blog, the Foreign Policy Initiative‘s Jamie Fly admits that the new Iranian reactor at Bushehr “fails to meet the hype,” but nonetheless reveals a failure in U.S.-Iran policy. He says, “a serious exploration of new options, including the military option, is thus in order if the United States remains unwilling to accept a nuclear Iran.” Fly also disapprovingly notes Russia’s complicity in the reactor’s start-up, and raises questions about Iran’s nuclear time line. On the latter point, Fly wonders “how close Iran should be allowed to get to a nuclear capability before military action is taken.”
  • Commentary: On the “Contentions” blog, prolific über-hawk Jennifer Rubin riffs on a Bret Stephens Wall Street Journal column asserting that the United States didn’t act soon enough to remove Saddam Hussein in Iraq. She extends the logic of Stephens’ “Twenty Years War” with Iraq to the “the Thirty-One Years War that Iran has waged against the United States and the West,” urging Obama “to finally engage the enemy, thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and commit ourselves to regime change.” She concludes with a note that recalls the measures taken against Iraq by Bill Clinton, which laid the groundwork for Bush’s war there: “But perhaps, if Israel buys the world sufficient time (yes, we are down to whether the Jewish state will pick up the slack for the sleeping superpower), the next president will.”
  • Huffington Post: Conservative pundit Tony Blankley lists differences between “1938ers” — those who believe it’s always 1938 and Hitler always lurks around the corner — and the Obama administration’s policies. “So the question today is not whether to appease Iran or not — but whether Iran is appeasable. And if not appeasable, whether its threat can be defeated with acceptable costs,” writes Blankley. He concludes that Obama’s strategy is based on “wishful thinking, at best,” and that, “the grim assessment of the 1938ers seems sadly more realistic.”

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.


One Comment

  1. It has never been clear to me why Tony Blankley is taken seriously by anyone. Of course, he appears quite rational in contrast to the true neocons — but then so does his old boss, Newt Gingrich. So far as one can tell he isn’t burdened by anything like the psychological baggage Newtie carries around, but he’s basically a fat, aging ex-lawyer with a limey accent. He should’ve stuck to his childhood career an actor.

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