Familiar rhetoric from familiar sources

FAMILIAR RHETORIC FROM FAMILIAR SOURCES…. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) stopped short of calling for U.S. military intervention in Iran on “Meet the Press” yesterday, but by the time he insisted that “just the carrot approach does not work with these people,” Kyl’s rhetoric was sounding pretty familiar.

“[A]t a certain point talking is counterproductive rather than productive, because time it not on our side,” the Republican Whip said. “All the Iranians need is time to develop their nuclear weaponry and, and their missiles. And as a result of that, at some point you have to say that the talk has to stop and solid action in the form of sanctions or some other way of stopping them is necessary…. I mean, what we’re trying to do here eventually is to get a regime change with a group of people in there that are more representative of the Iranian people, who we really can talk with in a way that might end up with a good result.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) used similar language: “We have to have strong sanctions, economic sanctions that can force either a regime change or the Ayatollahs to change their policy.”

Ben Frumin noted, “For those keeping score at home, that’s now no fewer than two Republican senators who called today for regime change in Iran.”

In fairness, neither conservative senator specifically endorsed attacking Iran immediately, but phrases likes “regime change” and “time it not on our side” offer pretty big hints as to what Republican lawmakers have in mind.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates took a more reasoned approach on CNN yesterday morning.

“The reality is, there is no military option that does anything more than buy time,” Gates said. “The estimates are one to three years or so. And the only way you end up not having a nuclear-capable Iran is for the Iranian government to decide that their security is diminished by having those weapons, as opposed to strengthened.

“And so I think, as I say, while you don’t take options off the table, I think there’s still room left for diplomacy.”

Gates said “a variety of options” remained available, including sanctions on banking and equipment and technology for Iran’s oil and gas industry.

Here’s hoping GOP lawmakers were listening.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation