Alex Massie enters the debate over Parsi and NIAC from a different angle in response to some of Melanie Phillips’ crazy talk. Massie writes:

So, to reiterate: pretending that the only sensible way forward vis a vis Iran is to continue the failed policies that have done nothing to avert or alleviate the current problem is as sensible as suggesting that US policy towards Cuba has been such a triumpant success that it must never, ever be altered in any way whatsoever. This is a very strange way of thinking indeed.

Of course, according to the standards of Goldberg, Phillips et al., Massie’s post proves that he is also working on behalf of Tehran. For that matter, the Iran expertise and personal experience of the newly appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iran, Jim Limbert, will probably be counted against him by the anti-NIAC crowd. How this usually works is that the people most familiar with a country or region are deemed “unreliable” because, well, they actually know something and understand that the proposed heavy-handed policies of hawks, who typically know little or nothing about the place in question, will backfire badly. The most well-informed wind up being considered virtual agents of the other government or, in Phillips’ despicable formulation, “in hock” to the regime. Obviously, this sort of criticism is intended to have a chilling effect on policy debate and to automatically rule out certain policy positions as treacherous support for the interests of a hostile government.