Tom Cotton's get-tough-on-Iran policy: Wrong, conservative writer says | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tom Cotton's get-tough-on-Iran policy: Wrong, conservative writer says

Posted By on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 9:19 AM

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton yesterday continued a favorite theme, blasting the Obama administration for a weak and vacillating policy on Iran.

He wants regime change. That would include U.S. military action, if necessary, to bring about that change.

Cotton's idea draws this criticism from a writer at The American Conservative. It's reckless, he says.

As Noah Millman pointed out in his excellent post on North Korea last week, the difficulty that the U.S. faces in its dealings with recalcitrant regimes and their patrons is not that our threats are not believed. On the contrary, the U.S. suffers from having a very well-established and well-known record for subverting and/or directly attacking regimes it dislikes, and that makes it very hard for other regimes to believe U.S. officials’ pledges when they try to pursue a negotiated compromise. Hawks assume that Iran doubts that the U.S. would attack and therefore thinks that it can do whatever it wants with impunity, but in reality the Iranian regime assumes that Washington seeks their downfall one way or another and views every tactic as a means to that same end.

It seems logical that a threat to go to war against Iran to bring about a change in its government would be a disincentive to negotiating with the U.S.

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