Neo-Conservatives On Iran: Rational and Irrational At The Same Time

June 23, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Neo-conservatives really really wish President Bush will bomb Iran before he leaves office, that or Israel bomb Iran. Because they know that with a President Obama, we’ll have a rational foreign policy, and we’ll most likely be finally talking with the Iranians, a sacrilegious thought among conservatives. Conservatives argue on the one hand that Iran is an irrational actor, and the moment they get nukes they will commit national suicide. That’s supposedly why we can’t talk to them. They are irrational. They don’t compromise. They don’t give and take. There is supposedly no self-preservation in their thinking and in their thought process.

But as Eric Martin deftly points out, conservatives like John Bolton, who press for bombing Iran because of their irrationality, turn around and claim that Iran won’t respond to our bombings because:

Bolton gamed out the fallout from an attack on Iran. He claimed that Iran’s options to retaliate after being attacked are actually “less broad than people think.” He suggested that Iran would not want to escalate a conflict because 1) it still needs to export oil, 2) it would worry about “an even greater response” from Israel, 3) and it would worry about the U.S.’s response.

Those are quite rational reasons for not responding. Huh…

Eric Martin states:

So let me see if I have this straight: A country that is supposedly so irrational, reckless and religiously fanatical that its leaders would be willing to countenance the end of its very existence (and that of its population) in order to carry out an unprovoked nuclear strike against Israel will be too cautious to retaliate against an actual attack on its country for fear of economic hardship and conventional military counterattacks?

In other words, Bolton is arguing that Iran’s leadership is comprised of rational actors with well-honed instincts for self-preservation capable of applying a typical – conservative even – cost-benefit calculus. Except we have to bomb them because the opposite is true. Or something. Faster, please.

How did it happen, conservatives? How did you guys lose your sense of rational thought? Do you guys even realize how stupid you sound when you make comments like the following?

I hope you enjoy life as a permanent minority party. Good riddance to the GOP.

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