In a post yesterday at NewsHog, Cernig asks the question, "Where are all the progressive bloggers and pundits who should be writing about Iran?" I'll answer that in a moment, but let him make some excellent points first:
Sure it's easy and fun to write about the Abramoff scandals or Snoopgate but neither of those are going to kill American citizens! Yet the progressive grassroots seem to have left the field open to the hawks of the Right and the hawks in the Democrat leadership. . . .Steve . . . the answer to your question is "nowhere", man. "Progressive"'s just another word for nuthin left to lose.
Who does Condi Rice think she is to be demanding anything of anyone over Iran? Has she forgotten that she was the one who ruled out American involvement in negotiations when the EU3 and Iran most wanted U.S. input? Even the rightwingers who normally believe that the sun rises and sets only at Mad King George's behest are pissed at his administration's utter lack of open involvement in negotiations, Condi and pals being content to pull strings and exert pressure behind the scenes . . .
So just maybe progressives should be listening to the voice of my favourite Texan libertarian:
Iran was the birthplace of Western civilization. It is a sophisticated nation of almost 200 million well-educated inhabitants. So why do Belgium and Portugal have more to say about global affairs than Iran? Because we continue to perceive this world power as if it were an ill-mannered colonial stepchild. It is not. Iran is going to be one of the world’s most influential players in the 21st century and the sooner we realize this the better. Instead continuing a feeble and fruitless policy of trying to keep Iran a eunuch nation, we should be intent on trying to help develop and direct Iran peaceably into its rightful place as one of the preeminent players in world affairs.
In other words change the Iranian regime by changing the actual regime rather than swapping it for another which would be even worse.
Just because this option doesn't involve dropping bombs on anyone it will be decried as "wimpish" and "appeasing". That is more an indictment of the mindset that believes all tough choices can be answered with mayhem than of the option itself.
May I suggest that the Republican Party needs a war against Iran to justify (1) using nuclear weapons in a battlefield and (2) further limiting (or just plain eliminating) popular constitutional safeguards and rights. The Democrats need a war in Iran to justify their continued existence.