Friday, June 22, 2012

Prominent Political Scientist Supports Iran Getting Nukes

Kenneth Waltz says Iran acquiring atomic arms would be a good thing; even more alarmingly, perhaps, a nuclear-armed Iran is now considered an inevitability by many, if not most, Washington insiders. Read more.

Incredible. Waltz is a so-called neorealist, or defensive realist. If he was alive today, the father of political realism, Hans J. Morgenthau, who was both a leading critic of the Vietnam War, seeing it as an unnecessary and unwise intervention, and a strong supporter of Israel, would surely be shocked--maybe even sickened--by the reasoning. Morgenthau (under whom this reporter was privileged to have studied) stressed the crucial importance of a nation's intentions in the context of understanding an imperialist foreign policy as one that aims to overthrow the status quo, or power relations among nations.

Like Germany in the years leading up to World War II, Iran is pursuing an imperialist foreign policy; unlike Hitler, however, whom Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clearly admires, the Islamist nation is making its intentions known, musing openly about Israel's destruction, a "world without America and Zionism," etc. That Waltz and others who share his hair-brained views can't or refuse to see this, that they are repeating or simply ignoring the fatal error of Neville Chamberlain and the advocates of appeasement, is astonishing--and frightening.

A nuclear-armed Iran is inevitable? Apocalyptic clerical fascists with atom bombs--inevitable? Heaven help us if that's the case.

Endnote: There is a real need to take back realism--to revive classical political realism--in light of Waltz's nutty neorealism and the "offensive realism" of John Mearsheimer, a fierce critic of Israel.