Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I Rock, I Ran: Robert Baer's POV

I don't know what is really going on in this world or any other. But if nothing else, Robert Baer's take on Iran in this interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross is worth checking out for its level headedness. His position is that, messianic rhetoric aside, the Iranians are rational enough to engage in some form of detente.

Are they? Are we? (If "we" includes aerial wolf-hunting beauty contest psychobitches, "we" are soooo fucked ...)

The backers of the Buenos Aires bombing and the Sderot missiles are not nice guys, but neither were the Soviets or Mao and we found ways to engage and confront them simultaneously.

Baer has a different worldview from Robert Kaplan, who seems to drift further and further rightward nowadays. But Kaplan's Soldiers of God, especially the passages regarding Pakistan's ISI are still relevant today.

Kaplan's The Arabists is a good read with a critique of westerners who go native in the middle east.

If Baer and Kaplan debate somewhere, let me know.

UPDATE: Here's a link to General Petraeus at a news conference: "I Do Think You Have To Talk To Enemies"

ONE MORE UPDATE: Kaplan has weighed in on what a war in the Persian Gulf would look like here.
"Some of the promoters of a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities have sold the strike as a high-tech, airborne surgical attack. But a look at the naval environment indicates that like the Iraq invasion, what starts surgically could end very messily indeed."