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Whom Do You (Objectively) Serve? (II)

Alex Massie [1] enters the debate [2] over Parsi [3] and NIAC from a different angle in response to some of Melanie Phillips’ crazy talk [4]. 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 [5], 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.

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3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "Whom Do You (Objectively) Serve? (II)"

#1 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On November 11, 2009 @ 4:48 am

Melanie Phillips is an utter loon.

#2 Comment By Northern Observer On November 11, 2009 @ 10:31 am

Iran is the one country in the Islamic would that has the potential to be a functioning secular democracy and an anti-islamist radical one at that. This is a 50 to 100 year project. The question is how do you get there from here, but I am with you in that invasion, bombing and sactions will probably not work. This is all of the neo con school of FP governing idea that we confronted the USSR into oblivion so we can confront any ennemy of the USA into oblivion school. (oh and every FP issue is 38/Munich) I think their facts and arguments are bunk.

#3 Comment By Imzak On November 11, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

“Iran is the one country in the Islamic would that has the potential to be a functioning secular democracy and an anti-islamist radical one at that.”

Shia theology is too ingrained in the Iranian psyche, along with the Persian cultural traditions of yearly mourning. Iran will never be secular, not in 50 years and not in 500 years.

Muslims and secularism do not go together. If a Muslim is secular, then he/she is no longer a Muslim.