Tuesday, May 30, 2006

But it was cute in Mandarin

via LGM, this is possibly the silliest thing I've ever read:
Today, it is the essence of foreign policy sophistication to suggest that we apply the old Cold War containment strategy to the Iranian situation. It worked against the Soviet Union, didn't it?

That is true, up to a point. In the eighties, Reagan implemented "containment plus" when he supported anti-Soviet insurgencies around the world. He also challenged the Cold War notion of Mutually Assured Destruction by advancing missile defense and questioning the traditional approach toward arms control.

But, the difficulty with applying the containment strategy to Iran is that it is governed by a madman who might not necessarily be governed by the normal rules of statecraft. That unfortunate reality is evident in this interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Der Spiegel .
Yes, because when Mao Zedong said that nuclear war wouldn't be so bad, he was obviously "governed by the normal rules of statecraft". Think I'm exagerrating?
If one half of humanity were destroyed, the other half would remain, but imperialism would be destroyed entirely and there would be only Socialism in the world. - Speech, Moscow, 1957
Plus you've got to love the gratuitous man-love given to Reagan's corpse. I thought it was at least impolite to celebrate Reagan's backing of the Contras and UNITA, but I guess when you're so concerned about being "centrist" it means you get to justify war crimes.

The queerest reality of international relations is that nuclear weapons seem to make even irrational actors more rational. See India/Pakistan, China/US, and of course Soviet/US. "Seem to" is deliberately squishy, because of course I can always be shown to be wrong. But believe it or not, the world will survive an Iranian bomb.

This wouldn't be an issue, of course, if the US and Russians had pursued diarmament with good faith, as they promised to do in the Non-proliferation treaty. But we're all so quick to apply the law to others - especially the "rogue nations - that we forget the law makes demands on us, too.

While we're on matters military, this is one of the most interesting short posts I've read in a while. Makes ya think.

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