Iran

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on Keeping Newt Undercover

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It takes hard work to evoke sympathy for Iran's odious regime, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in her latest column at The Daily. But Newt Gingrich and his fellow GOP presidential maybes proved up to the task during their Saturday debate in South Carolina.

"After accusing the Obama administration of being dumb about Iran, the former House speaker proceeded to say just about the dumbest thing of the night — and arguably the entire debate season. (Yes, even dumber than Rick Perry's now-immortal "Oops"). 'We need maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems,' this alleged brainiac opined. 'All of it covertly, all of it deniable.'"

Gingrich obviously doesn't believe he'll become president, his post-debate poll bump notwithstanding. If he did, he wouldn't put himself in the position of having to deny in office something that he had already admitted he'd do if elected, Dalmia writes. But his foreign policy views have problems deeper than incoherence. They are downright frightening.

"America, however, doesn't need a Dr. Strangelove to deal with Iran's mad mullahs," she points out.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. ‘We need maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems,’ this alleged brainiac opined. ‘All of it covertly, all of it deniable.'”

    “But don’t tell anyone I said this, okay?”

  2. Iran is led by a guy who openly talks of blowing up a nation and Newt is frightening? Let’s say the mullahs decide that A-jad is onto something and they sign off on launching against Israel or some other target. I’m sure the strongly-worded memo from the Obama team would put the Iranians in their place.

    I don’t know what the right approach is, but I do know this: sanctions are not going to work, absolutely no country takes Obama seriously let alone fears him, and no other nation has talked of using nukes offensively.

      1. The closest I came to finding something was this.

        The statement published by Kayhan said: “If the US strikes Iran with nuclear weapons, there are elements which will respond with nuclear blasts in the centers of America’s main cities.”

        Kayhan is an Iranian newspaper. Ahmadinejad isn’t named, nor is there any indication of who in Tehran was making this statement.

    1. hey patton – all iran has to do is shoot a cruize missle at a tanker & *poof* Lloyds cancels ALL tanker insurance. guess what happens to the retail price of gas u fatties in the burbs depend on

      1. Who is going to move all the Mideast oil then? Maybe the Sunni countries would then have a retaliatory beef against Shia Iran? What, Iran has “stealth” refineries that no one could surgically take out?

        1. Yep. If Iran started fucking with the life blood of its sister nation’s economies, then the rest of the ME would have some serious beef with them. But, don’t worry Urine, it’s better that a few million people suffer than live in a world where gas prices might average $5.00/gallon for a month, right?

    2. I don’t know what the right approach is, but I do know this: sanctions are not going to work, absolutely no country takes Obama seriously let alone fears him, and no other nation has talked of using nukes offensively.

      Try being friendly. Hey, why the fuck not, right? Nothing else works.

  3. If he did, he wouldn’t put himself in the position of having to deny in office something that he had already admitted he’d do if elected

    That would only matter to Newt if truth or sense were of some importance to him.

    Obviously they aren’t.

    You think Newt can’t stand up there and deny that the Earth goes around the sun? Don’t kid yourself.

    He would simply lie. All of the other words he says are lies, including “and” and “the”, so why would a few more lies make any difference to him whatsoever?

  4. I have talked to a couple of people recently who think Newt is doing great in the debates, and he would be the right guy to put up against President 0.

    i weep for this once-great land.

  5. Sorry, Shikha Dalmia calling someone dumb just doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

  6. he wouldn’t put himself in the position of having to deny in office something that he had already admitted he’d do if elected, Dalmia writes.

    Isn’t that pretty much SOP?

    If Iran started fucking with the life blood of its sister nation’s economies, then the rest of the ME would have some serious beef with them.

    And what would they do about it, exactly? None of these countries has any force projection capabilities, as their militaries exist mainly to keep their own serfs in line.

    1. No kidding. This is common. At this point, if a politician doesn’t admit this duality, it makes me believe them less, not more.

      I expect Democrats to come into office screaming about lobbyists, and then be firmly integrated in to the lobbyist community.

      I expect Republicans to come into office complaining about internationalism, and then being military hawks.

      This is the way our political system works.

  7. FYI, from an Iranian Immigrant (me), who is an American citizen, with a large family in both Iran and here.

    The following:
    “‘We need maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program, including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems,’ this alleged brainiac opined. ‘All of it covertly, all of it deniable.'””

    is *exactly* what most Iranian would support the US doing.

    90% of Iranians you poll will indicate that they believe a full frontal military attack on Iran would be a Vietnam like venture.

    95% of Iranians you poll will agree that a deniable covert operation to topple the government during the next phase of Iranian political instability would be a *fantastic* thing.

    It might be bad domestic politics, but for some reason, Iranians are big opponents of overt action to topple the Mullah regime, and big supporters of covert action to do the same. As an Iranian, I find it intriguing that Newt either picked up on this, or randomly happened on to it.

  8. However ‘frightening’ Newt’s FP policies would be, I’m sure they’d still be nowhere near as terrifying as the consequences of non-interventionism. We would hardly know what to do with all the bodies.

    1. Proof?

  9. You don’t seem to understand how deniability works. It doesn’t matter if regular folks believe you or not, you get to deny things officially even if you’ve said them unofficially, such as in the course of a campaign. I’d’ve said much the same thing.

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