Watch as Richard Just expends a staggering number of words on not getting the difference between liberal opposition to criticizing Iran’s record on human rights (fine by me) and liberal opposition to freaking out at the idea of Mahmoud Ahmadenijad being physically present in the United States (not at all fine) or liberal opposition to persistent efforts by the hawkish right in the United States to wildly overstate Ahmadenijad’s role in the Iranian government (also not fine).
The bed-wetters aren’t people who criticize the Iranian government. The bed-wetters are the hysterics who seem to think that the basic acts of diplomacy are a clear and present danger to the United States. Meanwhile, despite Just’s best efforts to portray the recent outburst of Ahmedenijad-related hysteria as driven by human rights concerns, the freak-out movement wasn’t driven by human rights groups, it was driven by the warmongering elements of the press — The New York Sun and The New York Post plus the magazines and radio and television shows. The Human Rights Watch Iran page is dominated by actual human rights issues in Iran, not by random screechings about Ahmadenijad’s sightseeing schedule.
Meanwhile, one of the things you need to do in journalism is come up with novel terms for phenomena and groups of people. For example, there’s a set of people, including Just, who say they don’t think we should start a war with Iran but who only seem to comment on Iran-related issues when they want to criticize opponents of going to war with Iran. They’re against starting a war, but never raise a peep against the warmonger chorus, but do speak up to police the bounds of acceptable opposition to the warmongers. Call them the Something Somethings. But I need a better word.