Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I've often thought the liberal blogosphere (except for Mr. Drum) has been pretty damn deluded about the situation with Iran. However, I could never put it in the sort of words that IR master Dan Drezner has. Watch him eviscerate Yglesias, Atrios, DeLong, and Marshall. And all on ground no one would expect: Iran is not a repeat of the Bushies actions in Iraq. As a matter of fact, the policy up until now has been a true multilateral approach.

Read and learn:

Now, I certainly have had my doubts about this administration's foreign policy competence in the past few years. Given the administration's policy to date on Iran, however, this line of argument strikes me as pretty much bulls**t.

Consider what the U.S. has done vis-à-vis Iran:

1) Deferred to the EU-3 on negotiations towards Iran;

2) Backing away from having the IAEA refer Iran's noncompliance to the UN Security Council unless and until there was overwhelming international support from key members in that organization for the move;

3) Sharing their intelligence about Iran's nuclear ambitions with all the relevant governments;

4) Endorsing a Russian compromise proposal that would have allowed Iran to continue a nuclear energy program;

5) Securing the support of China and Russia in ratcheting up the rhetoric towards Iran.

The approach the Bush administration has pursued towards Iran -- multilateralism, private and public diplomacy, occasionally deferring to allies -- is besotted with the very tropes that liberals like to see in their American foreign policy. I'm still not sure what the end game will be with regard to Iran, but to date I can't see how a Kerry administration would have played its cards any differently than the Bush team.

They can't stop Drezner's ninja powers of rationality, and he throws in a few neat verbal and logic barbs just for the sake of it. It always struck me as odd, and probably a sign of the Condi Rice dominance in Bush Foreign Policy, that Iran was treated so differently. And, if anything, it should maybe have been the other way around. (H/t: Sullivan!)