Thursday, August 27, 2015

Scholars Supporting Iran Deal

Politico has the public letter signed by a bunch of Middle East and IR scholars.  My first reaction is that I agree with Chomsky and Mearsheimer?  Yuck.  Then I see that I agree with Chenoweth and Jervis!  Woot!

Howeverr, I don't really agree with the entirety of the letter, as I am not sure this agreement will stabilize the Mideast much (where is Marc Lynch's signature? Nope).  But the deal itself is a good one--arms control to limit proliferation is good, and that US opposing a multilateral deal is bad.

I definitely believe that diplomacy and not more force is required here.  Our military options suck and have lots of nasty 2nd/3rd order effects ... not to mention that the past 15 years in the Mideast should have taught us something about the limits of the use of force.

I am not sure talking with Iran will tame it, but rejecting this agreement will certainly not contain it.

What does surprise me about this letter is that it could have gotten far more signatures had it been circulated wider.  Ah, but academic networks are funky things.

The really big question is: if the agreement goes through, will Mearsheimer finally feel like folks are listening to him, that he really matters, and that he can feel better about his role in the world?  Or will he still think the Israeli lobby is behind everything and that politicians lie and all that?  Ironically, this suggests that we may see a key hypothesis to be tested!

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