Hogan's Alley

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hitchens Proposes Alternative Approach To Iran

Up to this point the governments of the U.S. and Europe have been threatening Iran with sanctions and with implications of the use of force. In Slate, America and Britain's favorite contrarian, Christopher Hitchens, proposes a totally different approach. Despairing of the efficacy of sanctions and air strikes, Hitch proposes a "Nixon to China" scenario, which, if accepted, could lead to the gradual opening of that society and engagement with the West. Key quote:

The aging mullahs might claim this as a capitulation, which would be hard to bear. But how right would they be? The pressure for a new constitution and genuine elections is already building. Within less than a decade, we might be negotiating with a whole new generation of Iranians. Iran would have less incentive to disrupt progress in Iraq (and we should not forget that it has been generally not unhelpful in Afghanistan). Eventually, Iran might have a domestic nuclear program (to which it is fully entitled and which would decrease its oil-dependency) and be ready to sign a nonproliferation agreement with enforceable and verifiable provisions. American technical help would be available for this, since it was we who (in a wonderful moment of Kissingerian "realism") helped them build the Bushehr reactor in the first place.

Just a thought.

Certainly a thought worth thinking about and debating. And quickly.