Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

John Edwards On Iran

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 4, 2007

Lately there’s been much worry over whether Bush is going to further endanger our troops in Iraq by launching a “shock and awe” bombing campaign against Iran.

There’s also a lot of concern over whether John Edwards — who has emerged as the most likely person to knock off Hillary Clinton on the road to the nomination — wants to go along cheerfully with Bush’s (or at least AIPAC’s and Likud/Kadima’s) desire to do so.

A recent interview with Ezra Klein over at The American Prospect shows that he most definitely does NOT back the idea of Bush attacking Iran:

EK: So, the Iran speech to Herzliya. That caused me to think a little bit more about what we had spoken about Iraq [in a previous interview]. And so I wanted to talk to you for a minute about —

JE: Do you mind me taking just a minute to lay out where I am on Iran and then you can just ask anything you want? Here’s my view about what we ought to be doing in Iran.

Number one, you have a radical leader, Ahmadinejad, who is politically unstable in his own country. The political elite have begun to leave him, the religious leaders have begun to leave him, the people aren’t happy with him, for at least two reasons: one, they don’t like his sort of bellicose rhetoric, and second, he was elected on a platform of economic reform and helping the poor and the middle class, and he hasn’t done anything. In fact, while he was traveling, the leaders of the legislature sent him a letter saying, ‘when are you gonna pay attention to the economic problems of our country.’ So, I think we have an opportunity here that we need to be taking advantage of.

First, America should be negotiating directly with Iran, which Bush won’t do. Second, we need to get our European friends, not just the banking system, but the governments themselves, to help us do two things — put a group, a system of carrots and sticks on the table. The carrots are, we’ll make nuclear fuel available to you, we’ll control the cycle, but you can use it for any civilian purpose. Second, an economic package, which I don’t think has been seriously proposed up until now. Because there economy is already struggling, and it would be very attractive to them. And then on the flip side, the stick side, to say if you don’t do that, there are going to be more serious economic sanctions than you’ve seen up until now. Now of course we need the Europeans for this, cause they’re the ones with the economic relationship with Iran, but the whole purpose of this is number one to get an agreement. Number two, to isolate this radical leader so that the moderates and those within the country who want to see Iran succeed economically, can take advantage of it.

Now that’s on the one hand, the flip side of this is what happens if America were to militarily strike Iran? Well you take this unstable, radical leader, and you make him a hero — that’s the first thing that’ll happen. The Iranian people will rally around him. The second thing that will happen is they will retaliate. And they have certainly some potential for retaliating here in the United States through some of these terrorist organizations they’re close to, but we’ve got over a hundred thousand people right next door. And most people believe that they have an infrastructure for retaliation inside Iraq. So, that’s the second thing that’ll happen. And the third thing is there are a lot of analysts who believe that an air strike or a missile strike is not enough to be successful. To be successful we’d actually have to have troops on the ground, and where in the world would they come from?

There’s much more at the link, but I don’t want to violate fair-use. Suffice it to say that I seriously doubt that Edwards is all fired up to kill Iranians the way some folks out there think he is.

2 Responses to “John Edwards On Iran”

  1. Charles said

    I saw him at a Dartmouth event on C-Span. He’s not entirely coherent about what he wants to do, and I don’t think he has an answer to the question of whether we let Iraq burn, but as you say, he’s not on board with nuking Iran.

  2. Yeah. I bolded the key bits of the interview, in part to highlight them and in part to make the text in general easier to read (for some reason WordPress will not recognize the P or BR commands within blockquoted text; I’ve yet to figure out a way around that). He knows, for instance, that attacking Iran would have very bad and immediate consequences for the 100,000-plus American troops next door in Iran.

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