A Second Look: Thinking Through the Iranian Dilemma

December 16, 2013

I posted the following on March 19 of last year. Nothing that has transpired since, not even the recently achieved, yet still not implemented short-term deal – which I think a basis for justified future military action just as it is, more hopefully, a foundation for peaceful resolution – has changed the balance of views [...]

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Finessing Foreign Policy

January 25, 2013

. In his testimony at yesterday’s hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry said, It is also imperative that in implementing President Obama’s vision for the world as he ends more than a decade of war, we join together to augment our message to the world. President Obama and every one of us [...]

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The Hagelian Dialectic

January 7, 2013

. This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on January 4. Today, President Obama announced his nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense. The Chuck Hagel trial balloon has been aloft for weeks now, not to burst or land – since its lofting was never officially acknowledged – until either he [...]

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We Are Not Speechless, but Dumb before Terrorism

July 20, 2012

. I had it in mind to offer today a series of many quotations on terrorism. I thought some collection of insightful commentary on the phenomenon might be of momentary worth. What provoked the thought, it may not surprise, was yesterday’s suicide bombing in Bulgaria. The U.S is now confirming its belief, in agreement with [...]

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Thinking Through the Iranian Dilemma

March 19, 2012

Attempting to think through a dilemma like the threat of a nuclear Iran is like trying to make one’s way through a windstorm. For most people, who have none of the inside information of those in various official roles, or the view from the doorway of the analysts with access, all of the details that [...]

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The Wisdom of G.H.W. Bush – and Barack Obama

February 28, 2012

. Whatever one’s judgment about the goal of the Gulf War of 1991, it is difficult to argue (which hardly means that no one will) that it was not superbly managed and prosecuted. The deeply and broadly experienced George Herbert Walker Bush, in contrast to his shallow but zealously missionary son G.W., famously chose, after [...]

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Trita Parsi’s Three-Card Monte Argument Against Iran Sanctions

February 16, 2012

. Trita Parsi is never at a loss to provide excuses for Iran or explanations for how U.S. and Western policies toward Iran are mistaken. If you believe Parsi, those policies are even the source of conflict. Parsi’s latest argument appears at the Boston Review Online. Titled “Blunt Instrument: Sanctions Don’t Promote Democratic Change,” the [...]

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Existential Threats and Slanted Arguments

January 28, 2012

. UPDATED BELOW There are breeds of argument that always startle me for their smug, tendentious presumption. Here is one, frequently made, this time by Robert Wright, that rests the continued –  literally – existence of a nation on the parsing of translations and the assurances of theocratic tyrannies. (I assure you, said Mr. Hitler, [...]

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The Libertarian Delusion

January 5, 2012

. One of the signatures of the fallen human state is how precipitously and flat seemingly reasonable people can land on their cogitative rears. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on ourselves. You watch me, friend. I’ll be checking you. For now, we have Ron Paul. In addition to certain strains of [...]

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Israel, Iran, “Social Activists” & the World We Live In

November 5, 2010

The event occurred in September. The video first hit YouTube in October. Over the past week it has been appearing on various blogs, though generally speaking only blogs with a dedicated or regular focus on Israel and Jewish issues. There is an old lesson in that, right there. My hat tip goes to Z World [...]

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The (Lost) Art of Democratic Argument – A Day Trip (2)

August 13, 2010

Yesterday at the Huffington Post, Shawn Amoei offered a post entitled “Neocon War Plans Undermine Iranians’ Quest for Democracy.” The post opened, after that already auspicious title, The “Bomb Iran” crowd, fresh off their historic blunder in Iraq, is now at it again with Iran. As if the daily drumbeat of articles and op-eds advocating [...]

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Ten Questions for Monday

June 28, 2010

Weekend is over. Back to work. Who is right about Iran, Leon Wieseltier or Fareed Zakaria? The answer later in the week. (The Answer Man) What would be the nature of a Democratic president who was truly a Democrat, pursuing truly Democratic policies, with whom conservatives would genuinely respectfully disagree? Is a female politician who [...]

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Scylla and Charybdis

May 27, 2010

To begin, the politics of policy is so often so dishonest that one marvels that so much so decent has been achieved. So many so foul, who know it and know it not, so many so foolish, who never know it. How to enter into it all and be neither foul nor fool? The dilemma [...]

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