Iran and Our Rotten Foreign Policy Debates

Twenty years after the illegal invasion of Iraq, it is depressing that we are still debating the “merits” of criminal aggression against another Middle Eastern country.

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Dennis Ross just can’t get enough saber-rattling against Iran:

Instead, Blinken or President Joe Biden should announce that although the U.S. favors diplomacy for resolving the threat of the Iranian nuclear program, the Iranians continue to demonstrate that they don’t; instead, their actions are drawing them closer and closer to a bomb, something that the US has pledged to prevent, and Iran must understand that its actions jeopardize its entire nuclear infrastructure, including parts that could in theory be used for civilian energy purposes. Declaring this would signal that the US is beginning to prepare the American public and the international community for possible military action against Iran’s nuclear program.

Ross has been bangingthewar drums against Iran for years, and his latest call for threatening an illegal attack is the least subtle one yet. He still bizarrely assumes that the Iranian government doesn’t believe that the US will attack them, and he thinks that the key is convincing Iran of Washington’s determination to strike. Ross never explains why this would lead them to do anything other than hasten towards developing nuclear weapons, and he simply takes for granted that threatening Iran with completely unjustified aggression is the solution. What would make a deterrent more attractive to their leaders than repeated threats to wage illegal war on their country?

It is worth recalling that Iran’s nuclear program has advanced as much as it has because of US “maximum pressure” sanctions and Israeli sabotage attacks. These policies were sold as the means to thwart Iran from making progress with its nuclear program, but in utterly predictable fashion they provoked and drove the progress that the supporters of those same policies now try to use to start a war. If every previous hawkish “remedy” has backfired so badly, what do you suppose will be the result if the US and/or Israel took direct military action against Iranian facilities? It would, of course, lead to an even worse outcome by triggering both conflict and proliferation.

Ross tries to blackmail the Biden administration by warning that a regional war will start in response to an Israeli attack:

Without a clear show of resolve by the US to act on its own behalf, unilateral Israeli strikes on the Iranian nuclear program will trigger Hezbollah and maybe Hamas missile attacks on Israel, potentially numbering thousands per day.

Read the rest of the article at SubStack

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. 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.

3 thoughts on “Iran and Our Rotten Foreign Policy Debates”

  1. Dennis Ross is a warmongering Israel ass kisser. He was an ambassador to Israel under the Clinton Administration. In Foreign Policy Magazine, he said the Israel Lobby doesn’t have too much power. It does. It distorts the truth about Israel’s persecution of Arabs and attacks on the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon.
    AIPAC has too much control over the government and media.
    It is a good thing younger people are less pro-Israeli than the other people and in 20 or more years, aid to Israel will be stopped in its tracks.

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