H.D.S. Greenway has a column in the Boston Globe called, "Don’t assume the worst about Iran." The title caught my attention because it's about the worst type of foreign policy advice possible. Policy makers have to look at the worst-case scenario to avoid getting caught off-guard. It's just basic commonsense. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is a prudent policy prescription. Just hoping for the best is naive and dangerous. Greenway is openly advocating that the government approach foreign policy situations on the basis of wishful thinking.
Greenway's entire article is a list of wishful thinking about why we might not need to do anything about Iran. Maybe Iran might not actually produce any bombs. Maybe Arab countries won't want their own nuclear weapons if Iran gets them. Maybe Iran will be deterred by Israel. Maybe Iran will be rational enough not to provide any weapons to terrorists.
I've been advocating a policy of deterrence toward Iran because I think that A) Iran is going to get nuclear weapons, B) war with Iran is not in our interests at the current time, and C) even if it were we don't have the will to do what would be necessary to eliminate Iran as a potential nuclear threat. But what's Greenway's preferred solution? You guessed it: appeasement.
Only by engaging with Iran as a country, not just as a nuclear proliferation problem; by recognizing and addressing Iran’s concerns; and identifying where we can agree, as in Afghanistan, is there hope for successIt never ceases to amaze me that anyone can listen to Ahmadinejad, understand that Iran is a country ruled by mullahs, with all that entails, yet still spout this sort of nonsense.