Neo-Conservative @BretStephensNYT is tumescent over Trump’s Iran decertification! Political Observer interprets Stephens’ rhetorical wet dream!

Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.

Perry Anderson

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary


 

In the opening paragraphs Mr. Stephens modulates his joy at the prospect of war with Iran, he is like most Neo-Conservatives, having no military experience of actual war and its carnage. Ernst Jünger came to celebrate battle in his ‘Storm of Steel’ , by way of the actual experience of that carnage in World War I.  Mr. Stephens courts the readership at The New York Times with his political rationalism, by way of quoting an anonymous source who describes what might go wrong with that decertification, but first a sample of his muted reverie:

Negotiators warn never to take a hostage you can’t shoot. By announcing Friday that the administration would not certify that the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran was in the national interest, Donald Trump has taken a hostage.

The hostage is the deal itself. Contrary to belief, decertification neither violates nor cancels the agreement. It does not betray our commitments to our allies and it does not abrogate our obligations to the Iranians. It’s an act of domestic politics between two branches of the United States government.

But it’s also a psychological step, a brash signal that Trump is prepared to see the deal fail and accept the consequences, including war, if he can’t negotiate a better one. Since Iran insists it won’t budge, it sets Washington and Tehran on a path of confrontation that can be averted only if one side or the other blinks. Decertification is Trump saying: We won’t blink.

Mr. Stephens is vulgar, if not profane, while observing New York Times decorum, ‘we won’t blink’ is pure Madison Ave. sloganeering dreck! That anonymous source:

On Thursday, a well-placed source who advises the administration on Iran policy and supports decertification listed for me all the ways things could go wrong.

Could that ‘well placed source’ be Stephens’ invention? Could it be Victoria Nuland, or any number of other Neo-Conservatives that have colonized the State Department?  Perhaps Stephens consulted his fellow travelers  Robert Kagan, Wm. Kristol, Jeffrey Goldberg? This is interesting speculation but on to the arguments about ‘the way thing could go wrong’.

There’s personnel risk

There’s escalatory risk,

There’s diplomatic risk

the risk that Iran will call Trump’s bluff,

Do any of these reasons need  ‘well placed sources’ to establish their validity? Just the exercise of clear thinking, not corrupted by ideology, could produce such a result! But then Stephens presents this:

So what’s the case for supporting decertification?

Mr. Stephens presents ‘arguments’ shaped by Neo-Conservative animus toward the Islamic Republic, as the regional power in the ‘Middle East’. After the invasion and war on  Iraq. In fact, Iraq has become a close ally of Irans. The demonization of Iran has become the perpetual threat, to the thinkers who concocted the bellicose, hegemonic fantasies of the Project for the New American Century: the Devil of the West of Radical Islam, and the Devil of Iran, in the Neo-Conservative coteries fetid imaginings, mirror each other.

Political Observer

 

 

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.