Do Americans Really Think This Way?

October 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

This is a frequently used bit of logic.

This brings us to the one policy option that Tehran truly fears–and thus the only one that gives these negotiations any realistic chance of success: a credible threat of military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities by the United States, perhaps joined by Britain and France, or Israel. If the Iranian leadership believed that such an attack was a real possibility, it, or some parts of it, might be persuaded to change course.

Why would anyone believe this to be true? This kind of logic has been used by right wingers for some time now, about a decade or more actually. But let’s just turn the tables slightly and see if Americans truly think this way.

Osama Bin Laden:

This brings us to the one policy option that America truly fears-and thus the only one that gives us any realistic chance of success: a credible threat of terrorist attack on American civilians by our freedom fighters, perhaps joined by Egyptians, Afghans, or Iraqis. If the American leadership believed that such an attack was a real possibility, it, or some parts of it, might be persuaded to change course.

Hamas:

This brings us to the one policy option that Israel truly fears-and thus the only one that gives us any realistic chance of success: a credible threat of a terrorist attack on Israeli civilians by our martyrs, perhaps joined by Islamic Jihad, Hesbollah, or Fatah. If the Israeli leadership believed that such an attack was a real possibility, it, or some parts of it, might be persuaded to change course.

What do you think? Could the United States be persuaded to change policy vis a vis the Middle East simply because Osama Bin Laden threatens us with terrorist attacks? Could Israel be persuaded to change policy vis a vis the Palestinians simply because Hamas threatens them with terrorist attacks? Why would Iran be persuaded to change policy vis a vis their nuclear program simply because the United States threatens them with military action?

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  1. Some people worry that America will be weak if we draw down the troops overseas, cut some military spending, reconfigure our E. European missile defense systems, etc….
    One of the biggest reasons I voted for Pres. Obama was because I believe we’re a safer, healthier, more honest, more well-received, more respected country when we have a leader who uses his intellect, his sympathy, his understanding about the outside world. Nearly a year later, I’m even more sure of my choice.


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