May 11, 2007 4:50 pm


I know of no sanction which would work as well. The Iranian regime survives because Iranians can escape them whenever they wish. Close the loophole and the pressure cooker would explode. Do remember 150,000-200,000 educated Iranians leave the their country every year. It is the largest brain drain in the world and, under normal circumstances, American benefits. But at this point the price is too high.

I know this may strike some as unfair but I believe it is preferable to the alternatives.

Max Booth analyzes the hard, soft alternatives. Everybody is talking about the China option. They forget that the US was ready and willing to activate that option as early as 1966. But the Chinese were not. Only when the Soviets amassed troops on their northern borders and Zhou En Lai told Mao that he needed to choose between the US and the USSR, did Mao chose the enemy further away. I do not see Iran facing a similar choice, hence I do not see any reason she would agree to play ball. Hence, by throwing its principles to the wind, the US will merely lose more face and the Mullahs will have additional ammunition with which to convince the faithful of the correctness of their"hard" strategy.

James Baker is currently trying to execute the same exercise Clark Clifford used to force Johnson to go to Paris. Johnson went but held tough and helped elect a successor who refused to budge until China was ready for the great bargain. I believe Bush will follow in Johnson's footsteps. This is nothing to cheer about. It is better than the alternatives. It would be better yet if Bush took the bull by its horn and upped the pressure on Iran by closing the American borders to its citizens. Come on Bush, you can do it!

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