Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Does Fareed Zakaria Read This Blog?

Newsweek columnist Fareed Zarkaria is stealing my stuff. Hey, Fareed, how about a hat tip, a footnote, a little something for the effort? Here's how his latest column, Time to Face Reality on Iran, begins.

At best, a military strike would set back Iran's program a few years, inflame public opinion there and unify the nation in its bid to go nuclear.

Dude, I've been saying this for weeks. (For example, see The Day After We Bomb Iran and New Age.)

Hey, Newsweek, I'll crank out a column a week for a fraction of what you're throwing at Zakaria. Seriously, have your girl call my girl. We'll talk.


Pastorius said...

Hey, what do you know, he can be just as pessimistic as you.


If we have to bomb them every six months, it's a better solution than nuking them, isn't it?

What is your solution to the problem? I don't think you've ever proposed one, have you? I know you're not paid to do it, but, I'd love to hear.

By the way, Thomas, I admire what you do, so I'm sorry if this comment is coming off sarcastic. I don't know how to put it into words any other way.

Jason Pappas said...

I respect the honesty of someone who can admit that they don't know an answer. But for some reason I don't trust Zarkaria. I can't put my figure on it. He seems sure Iran is 3 years off. Why is he so sure? If he's wrong, we will miss opportunities to act. And most other estimates have it between several months and one year. Something doesn't smell right. Perhaps I just don't read him often and I'm off on this. What do others think?

Epaminondas said...

Yes but he's a jerk.
He's dead wrong on a lot of stuff n that article
I actually took the trouble to email him and that domain is no good.
'comments@fareedzakaria.com' = NG

"1) These guys are NOT George Meany looking for a better deal

2) This is NOT a political problem, it is as they make very clear..a religious matter, in which we are whispering satan's tempting message to all their people, and they have the perfect word of god on their side

a. Therefore it is not amenable to ANY political solution

3) w/rgd not just to what Ahmadi-nejad has said, but they ALL have said since 1979, I do them the respect of taking them seriously

4) This means there IS no good answer

5) This means any attempt to delay the nukes should be combined with decapitation strikes and revolution

6) This sucks, but they cannot be deterred from getting a bomb, and my personal judgement id that they cannot be deterred from using it

a. Take a good look at the World Without Zionism posters. You will see that as Israel is falling into the abyss, the USA is already broken

b. We have already had ONE failure of imagination, and frankly your words of Baldwinesque mollification can only lead to genocidal (for jewish people) destruction and nuclear war

This conclusion is not based on anything any US politician has had to say.

I agree with your conclusion, knowing many as I do, that this might unify the Iranians in the worst way, but so sorry, this cannot be our concern. Our concern in this case must be for the safety of our people, and this is ill served by waiting on those who cannot be deterred and hoping for the best as if we are dealing with Gorbachev. "
Too bad because a lot of the people at MSNBC columns have been responsive in the past

Oscar in Kansas said...

I'm thinking about my "solution" although I don't really like that word. Incidentally, Slate asked its readers for their ideas on Iranian nukes. You can email them and they will post the best ideas.

I think we can forget revolution. It ain't happening. Bombing them will only strengthen the regime, not weaken it. As an issue of national pride, nuclear power is widely supported. "The Armenians have a nuclear plant. India has several. It is our right to build one," they say. It's best to remove that from our calculations altogether. If it happens, so much the better but we cannot count on it.

Decapitation is also unlikely. We have never really done that and the regime is likely to regenerate a new head. Ahmedinejad is 47. He's part of a whole generation who fought in the Iraq War and are ardent believers in the Revolution. Others will rise in his place. Killing the Supreme Leader will make him a martyr, which is doubly bad in a religion of martyrdom. We play right into their narrative if we kill the top X layers of government. Even if we could which I don't think we can.

Epaminondas said...

Where that's headed TTW, is we wait for them to lob one, and then kill the lot?
Or Israel does it?

Another view:


Oscar in Kansas said...

epaminondas - I am afraid I agree. We have a bizarre sense of morality that require us to be victimized before we allow ourselves to take the field. In every war from the Civil War until now the enemy had to strike first. From Fort Sumter to the Lusitania to Pearl Harbor to 9/11. Sad that we have to see so many American corpses to justify attacking a clear enemy. But that's the way we are.

Anonymous said...

I have trouble seeing a measured approached toward violence as an American weakness. I also have trouble with the notion that the problem of Iran attacking Israel is a DIRECT attack on the United States (as implied in an earlier post). I find the consistent conflation of Israel and US odd. Israel is, in fact, a country separate from our own, with its own military, its own foreign policy, its own motives.

Israel certainly has every right to defend itself and strike pre-emptively if it determines that is in its best interests, but that doesn’t mean the US must ALWAYS back its play, particularly when a US attack on Iran, a great many experts agree, could be a huge mistake for us.

The elephant in the room here though, is China. A China in opposition to a nuclear Iran could be quite literally, The Ballgame.
President Hu received a cool, even bungled reception in DC this week. (Hecklers credentialed as press; Mistakenly IDing China as Taiwan!; The VP falling asleep during Hu’s press conference)
Honor is everything in Asia, and this dishonorable reception has certainly nixed whatever chance there was for persuading China on Iran. What slim chance there was…