Good times; the return of the Iran debate. People should listen to Ray Takeyh rather than, say, Joshua Muravchik. Interestingly, Muravchik is willing to follow neoconservatism’s war is always the answer approach to some outside-the-box conclusions:
After the Bolshevik takeover of Russia in 1917, a single member of Britain’s Cabinet, Winston Churchill, appealed for robust military intervention to crush the new regime. His colleagues weighed the costs — the loss of soldiers, international derision, revenge by Lenin — and rejected the idea.
Apparently, this was a bad idea on the part of the British government. And, no doubt, Soviet Communism proved to be a very bad thing indeed. On the other hand, the western powers actually did intervene, sending troops into Russia and giving aid to the White forces in the Russian Civil War. It didn’t work out. To be sure, they could have tried intervening even more forcefully (the neocon method of saving all failed military ventures) but I don’t see any real reason to think this could have worked out. Assemble a huge army (in the immediate aftermath of world war one, mind you) to march on Moscow and then . . . what? Install a puppet regime? And occupy the country — a big country — for how long, exactly? And, needless to say, it’s not as if efforts to conquer Russia have some kind of brilliant historical track record.