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Whom Do You (Objectively) Serve? (II)

Alex Massie enters the debateover 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.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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