If you have followed the GOP primary and observed the candidates as they vandalize reason right before your eyes and ears, you rightly suspect that should one of the top dogs achieve power, a war with Iran is soon to follow.

Fortunately, there are wiser heads thinking about the problems with Iran, and Wednesday’s Morning Joe featured Bob Woodward, David Ignatius and Zbigniew Brzezinski discussing—intelligently—those problems and what even a small foreign policy misstep can mean in that part of the world, as well here at home:

Vodpod videos no longer available.


  1. ansonburlingame

     /  January 19, 2012


    Partially, a good clip. But it lacked the range to be considered for your readers, in my view.

    There are two essential issues in our relations (or lack of them) with Iran. One is the broad geopolitical context of a Shia and Persian Iran in conflict with the Sunni and Arab world, a huge and long term geopolitial conflict. I sent you an article on that point which you have ignored so far.

    Second is the immediate conflict related to accquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran. Consider a nuclear armed Iran within ONLY the context of the above paragraph, not how it would directly affect the U. S. as a national or even vital national interest.

    Finally the clip lacked the needed “range” of debate in that no one represented, on the panel, the more militant options available to the U. S. Joe was the only one suggesting such alternatives and he cannot hold a candle to Woodward, Ignatius or Brzezinski in terms of intellect on foreign policy issues. But you can bet Gingrich can do so. It would have been a completly different clip had someone like Gingrich participated to inject such views, legitimate views that need to be debated, side by side, so to speak.

    Of course I will now respond to you via my own blog on this point .



    • Anson,

      If you read Friedman’s piece (the one you sent me), and if you watched the clip above, they are essentially saying the same thing.  The problem in the region is that no one has a strong hand to play. If you have played much poker, you know that generally when the hands around the table are weak, everyone tends to play cautiously, no matter how much they might talk. Once in a while, a poker-player with a weak hand might try to bluff, but who knows if and when that might happen with Iran.

      And I might warn you about George Friedman.  Although generally I think his analysis is sound (it actually comports with what other “experts” are saying about the region—except those on Fox, who tend to want us to blow up Iran), he has a record of making unusually faulty predictions based on his analysis. (See his book, “The Coming War With Japan,” published—in 1991! He based that prediction on the post-1989 era in which a situation similar to the 1930s would ensue and Japan would pursue economic and military expansion. Too bad he missed the “lost decade” of Japan.)



  2. ansonburlingame

     /  January 19, 2012


    You missed the point made by Friedman in his essay. He was NOT speaking in terms of U.S. power in the region, he was speaking of the various other powers, therein, specifically the Sunni Shia conflict and Persian and Arab one.

    THAT background in my view is essential to see the role played by the U.S. in the Mideast and it was not mentioned by the panel shown. Big shortcoming, but as Woodward said, it was a very “high road” discussion for cable networks and not enough time to really do the subject justice.

    But so what? Your intention, clearly to me at least was to mock Gingrich for his criticism of Obama for cancelling a joint exercise with Israel. And now you accuse him and Fox of calling for “blowing up Iran” which is so far off the mark, you are not even on the correct rifle range.

    By blog on Iran is now up if you so choose.



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