… then military conflict looks inevitable:
Matt Steinglass likewise urges Obama to pursue diplomacy:
Barack Obama would have to be crazy at this point not to take up the diplomatic overtures the Iranian government has been making over the past few weeks. We shouldn’t have any illusions about what is on offer here. America and Iran are never going to be terribly friendly, or not on any foreseeable time horizon. We have commitments to Israel and the Persian Gulf states which we’re not about to drop and the Iranians are not about to forget. They have a partially theocratic system of government that entails human-rights violations we’re not about to overlook, and they’re not about to abandon their support for Hizbullah or for the ideology of Shiite jihad. But we have by now given up on the illusion that our problems in the Middle East will be solved by “regime change”. Indeed, the countries where the regimes change seem to be the ones where our problems now lie. We need to start approaching the regimes that aren’t likely to change and trying to arrange a wary but peaceful standoff, because the level of carnage and chaos at the moment is more than we can handle.