A predominantly one-topic blog: how is it that the most imminent and lethal implication for humankind - the fact that the doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" will not work with Iran - is not being discussed in our media? Until it is recognized that MAD is dead, the Iranian threat will be treated as a threat only to Israel and not as the global threat which it in fact is.
A blog by Mladen Andrijasevic
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Bret Stephens's Blind Spot
In his Tuesday’s column in the Wall Street Journal, Bret
Stephens writes in President BuzzFeed:
There’s a sense in which the president’s foreign policy reminds me
of Francis Fukuyama ’s “End of History” thesis, though it is typically
associated with American neoconservatives. Following the publication of Mr.
Fukuyama’s book in the early 1990s, the argument was attacked for ignoring all
the history—the breakup of Yugoslavia, genocide in Rwanda, and so on—that
continued to take place after he had declared it over.
Mr. Fukuyama’s rebuttal was that none of that really counted, at
least in the dialectical, Hegelian, capital-H sense of “History.” History had
ended because there was no plausible ideological competitor to liberal,
democratic capitalism, and sooner or later everyone would get the point.
Maybe that’s even true. Yet in the words “sooner or later” lie the
great political questions of our day, matters of life or death for the
Ukrainian soldiers encircled by Russian troops, or Western hostages held by
Islamic State, or everyone threatened by Iran’s slow and steady march toward
and steady march toward regional hegemony? That would be the better
scenario. Apparently, Bret Stephens has a blind spot for the more
dangerous possibility. The possibility that Iran would use nuclear
weapons regardless of the consequences for Iran. This scenario Bret Stephens
never considers. Why not? This article is notan exception. Only last week in the Jerusalem Post, in A conversation with Bret Stephens, he said:
The second source is that there are theological
resources within Shi’ite Islam and its “quietism”; the political tradition
argues that religion and politics shouldn’t mix, and that we should not have “guardianship
of the jurist” – the concept that Ayatollah Khomeini [argued], insisting on
clerical political leadership
There are other traditions in Shi’ite
Islam, epitomized by the Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq; this provides the deeper theological basis for rejecting Islamic
government, which we do not find much in the Sunni world. And it was important to
hear Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ask the clerics of [Cairo’s]
Al-Azhar University to do some thinking. But Sunni Islam needs to develop its
own quietist tradition if it is going to save itself from its radical impulses.
Yet he never mentions theShi’ite Twelver eschatology and
Bernard Lewis with his famous quote “For people with this mindset, M.A.D. is
not a constraint; it is an inducement.” Why not? In Why
MAD will fail with Iran, in 2010, I wrote
managed to do it. Two leading U.S. journalists from the two most
important U.S. papers, Bret Stephens from The Wall Street Journal and Roger
Cohen from The New York Times, succeeded in the impossible.
In The Iran Debate on
Friday, April 30, they debated for an hour and a half without
mentioning the very crux of the problem - that Iran may use the bomb because
MAD, the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine, does not work with the Iranian