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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Iran situation removes 'Middle East peace' from the agenda?

Ironically, says the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, the current situation in Iran is likely to remove American attempts to resolve the Israeli-'Palestinian' dispute from Washington's agenda.
There are a couple things to say about this, all of them depressing. First, those of us who have long argued for the fundamental rationality of the Iranian regime have seen our case fundamentally weakened. A rational regime might have stolen the election. But they would not have stolen it like this, where there is no doubt of the theft. This is like robbers leaving muddy footprints and a home address. Tehran's evident vote-tampering is tempting both domestic revolution and international isolation. That they appear to fear neither says something very unsettling about the mental state of the regime.

The second is that it is likely to disrupt what was, to my mind, a very positive trend in the United States: the long-overdue effort to pressure Israel on the settlements. Among America's points of leverage was that Israel desperately needed our help to handle Iran. Among the trends freeing our hand was the apparent quieting of Iran's drumbeat of provocations. Now that Iran appears to be more of an independent problem and less likely to fall into a period of relative quiet, it's hard to imagine either Israel or America spending too much time worrying about their relationship with each other.
Maybe I need to get some new Obama and Ahmadinejad photoshops.



At 7:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

If the world can't party like its 1938, its time to ask a different question:

What could go right indeed



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