Thursday, November 16, 2006
Catastrophe keeps us together:
Too delicious: the typical hawkish handwringing on leaving Iraq has a counterpart in ... Iran. Quoth the Los Angeles Times:
On Tuesday night, Tehran's English-language news channel featured commentary from political scientist Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh, who called for the U.S. to remain in Iraq until it has established a strong, stable central government capable of providing adequate security.

"The Americans can't simply withdraw from Iraq, leaving the mess as it is," Mojtahedzadeh said in a telephone interview from the Iranian capital afterward. "Who's going to look for the safety of the Iraqis there? The Iranians can't do it. The Turks can't do it…. This is not a question of political rivalry between Iran and the West. It has to do with the fact that the society has to have a government structure in place."

Analysts familiar with official thinking say there is growing support for views like Mojtahedzadeh's within Iran's professional foreign policy establishment, if not within the hard-line circles closest to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and a feeling that a drawn-out timetable for withdrawal would be preferable to a quick pullout.
Now, to be clear, it's foolish to do something simply because the Iranian chattering classes don't like it. I'm only interested in a cheap debater's point here. You hear again and again what a blessing it would be for the Iranians if the U.S. left Iraq -- as opposed to what a blessing it is for them with us, you know, there, right now -- and so those who engage in such argumentation ought to consider that the fearsome Iranian Enemy finds common cause with them on this issue. Scoop Jackson's head would explode like an overripe cantaloupe in a microwave.
--Spencer Ackerman