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Say What You Mean!

By Matthew Yglesias on March 1, 2007 at 3:53 pm

"Say What You Mean!"

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Glenn Greenwald on the war party’s bizarre refusal to actually come out and say that it favors war with Iran:

For that reason, Stuttaford has been repeatedly asking the Warriors what they think we ought to do about Iran if negotiations are so misguided, and they keep refusing to answer. Finally Rubin was forced to address the question, and he began this way: “What would I suggest? When it comes to economic measures, Patrick Clawson provides some useful suggestions.” He does not, of course, say that we should confine ourselves to those “economic measures,” because that’s not what he believes. He thus proceeds to reject various other measures (while never saying which ones he favors) and then finishes with this pronouncement:

Nor do I believe it in U.S. interests to acquiesce to the Revolutionary Guard and Office of the Supreme Leader with nuclear arms. Their ideology matters; it would be unwise to project our own values upon those circles in Iran which would control such capability. With regard to much more precise options, such things are better discussed in private, and I would be glad to do so.

So Rubin is unwilling to say publicly what he thinks the U.S. should do with regard to Iran. He is willing to unveil his great insights only in secret, closed-door meetings at the AEI at shadowy gatherings of our nation’s neoconservative foreign policy geniuses, but is not willing to advocate those ideas to his fellow citizens in public forums.

Only Rubin is dumb enough to get caught up in this precise phrasing, but the basic pattern is everywhere.

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