Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, March 02, 2006

US to "Promote a Democratic Transition" in Iran

Story here.

I've been called a war-monger and a chickenhawk for my support for the Iraq war. The reality (as was clear to anyone who bothered to read what I've written on that subject) is that I supported that war under those circumstances because I believed, and believe, that the potential benefits outweighed the potential costs.

The cost/benefit calculation is a lot closer for Iran, however. I think war will be a total disaster, if it comes to that. Not to say I'm opposed to military intervention, just that if we're going to start shooting, we'd better come to terms with the fact that the outcome will be very nasty. While the benefits are potentially higher (a bigger, crazier regime than Saddam's out of power, and Persian nuclear ambitions squashed), the costs are almost guaranteed to be much higher, as well. I fear the probability that the costs will outweigh the benefits.

So I'm glad to see that the State Department is announcing plans for peaceful regime-change efforts. Not that I have a lot of confidence they'll work (Ahmadinejad is a total nutball), but because of the glimmer of hope that they'll work. I want to avoid war in Iran at almost any cost.