Leon Hadar — Richard Haas’ Support For ‘Regime Change’ In Iran

Dr. Leon Hadar, one of our most presciently accurate analysts of Middle Eastern affairs for almost 30 years (besides his other global analytical work), weighs in on the firestorm Richard Haas, CFR’s President, ignited by supporting regime change in Iran. Haas, that titan [sic] of ‘realist thinking’ (we’ve been calling him a weak reed even before 2001), is joined by Harvard’s Walt and others.

Dr. Hadar offers the best, most concise and elegant summary yet. His personal blog, Global Paradigms, is equally terrific. While he contributes to the world, we’re still parsing the QDR and wondering what Taylor Swift means for global financial reform.


  1. Dr Leo Strauss says

    As for the anti-Neocon ‘Realists’ [sic] who want ‘regime change’ in Iran under the guise of Michael Ledeen’s revolution from below (yeah, more than ironic, innit?), the regime’s complete out maneuvering of the ‘Greens’ must be devastating.

    Juan Cole lays it out directly:

    “I have to admit puzzlement about the actions of the leadership and rank and file of the Green Movement on Thursday. Musavi, Rahnavard, and Karroubi appeared to think they would be allowed to go to anti-regime rallying sites, and proceeded in public so that they were easily identified and stopped. The demonstrators also appear to have acted predictably, such that the regime was ready for them and successfully broke up the rallies. I have to wonder whether the regime has not managed to insert spies into the informal leadership of the inchoate Green Movement, or tapped their phones or something, because they appear to have have anticipated their every move.

    After Thursday, the momentum is now with the regime. Either the Revolutionary Guards are getting better at countering the dissidents or movement members are tired of getting beaten up with no measurable political impact. As I said yesterday, the regime blocked the ‘flashmobs’ by interfering with electronic communication (google mail, Facebook, Twitter). They also thought strategically about how to control the public space of major cities, resorting to plainclothesmen rather than just uniformed police squads. It is also possible that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s brinkmanship with the West over Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program is causing the Iranian public to rally to the regime in the face of American, Israeli and European threats.

    The Green Movement cannot depend on being able to go on indefinitely mounting big public demonstrations, especially since the cost to the protesters is rising, with beatings, firing of live ammunition, mass arrests and executions. It also cannot continue to depend on informal networks to organize, since these can be fairly easily disrupted.”


  2. Comment says

    Yeah – we are surpised that Justice Scalia has let that one slide – His clerks should squawk at it. There are a number of fake Tweets – like Habermas and others. Maybe Sally can set Nino up with a real account.

  3. RedPhillip says

    Boy, I would love it if this was really the Scalia baying. I’m surprised that the full Weight and Majesty® of the state hasn’t made this disrespect vanish.

  4. Comment says

    “No marriage can be successful without both kinds of love, Eros and Agape. Both lead to a sense of the divine. ”
    ~Sally Quinn, Twitter

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      That one may answer her in vino veritas comes via designer cardboard with plastic cap . . . still at at a price anchor off the list.

  5. Comment says

    Asmus must feel pretty tough and noble with that Polish sword. That indispensible sword.

  6. Comment says

    The aesthetics of Albrights “indispensible” comment were pretty bad – Who is dispensible? Everyone? Even if true, it would be ungallant and weak to boast in such a way. But she probably thought she was compensating for being a woman and a supposed liberal. But people notice such compensation – so it defeats itself.

  7. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Speaking of people writing, two former former (we are talking Back In The Day) colleagues/acquaintances have books out. The first is Ron Asmus on the Georgian/Russian war called ‘Little War That Shook The World.’


    We’ve not read it and don’t plan to. Sorry Ron. Can’t vouch for what he says re the lead up (and American role in it). Asmus is a bright guy, former Clinton State Department official, and a shrewd observer of power and personal relationships. But was not a made man in the truest, fullest Neocon sense.

    Contra The Economist, he did not mastermind the first enlargement of NATO east. That historic coup de main belongs to James Baker. Bringing a unified Germany into NATO with Soviet approval remains one of diplomacy’s neglected astonishments. The globalist/Second Clinton Administration ‘indispensible power’ nonsense of Neocon-lite expansionism under Not-So-Albreight to “old, New Europe’ only possible because of Baker’s achievement. Crumbs after the meal (and ill-advised to boot).

    The Economist isn’t always perfect. Asmus certainly was Albreight’s co-conspirator re NATO expansion in the late 1990s.

    Still, his conclusion that NATO was useless, the EU feckless and Russian resentment over American triumphalism in its Near Abroad seething makes sense. In all the reviews we’ve seen he does note the Georgian enthusiasm for the Neocon dream. What we’ve yet to hear is whether he explores fully the wider, global Neocon agitating role — and his own role in helping usher it in. Perhaps he does or it’s in a footnote. He mentions a small voice agitating to send American military assistance. We are sure his contacts on the Western professional diplomatic side at Foggy Bottom and elsewhere on the Continent are deep.

    Asmus is still Neocon-lite. His Alberight ‘indispensible’ power gig at least would get Neocons to nod hello under the Warlord. But they would still consider him ‘in the Cave’ and wearing a ‘Guest’ Pass. He may have some of the story. But we’re pretty sure it’s not the full and complete one. How can we type that saying we don’t intend to read the book? More jaw jaw?

    We haven’t even picked it up. But we do know personally the wider Neocon effort and how most of their activity occurred ‘unofficially but very official’. And know their techniques of keeping reality off official records, calls and files and ‘in the network.’ Asmus may do a masterful job working with what he has. We are more confident there’s more to come involving Others.

    The Economist notes that Moscow wasn’t willing to cooperate with the book. Duh. If we were sitting there, that’s a no brainer.

    Which is an odd coincidence because Asmus’ Foggy Bottom colleague Mr. Christiane Amanpour, James Rubin, positively goes completely off the rails and into the parking lot today with a screed against Professor David Calleo’s new book ‘Follies of Power: America’s Unipolar Fantasy’ . Calleo is also very well known to Asmus. All Kevin Bacon going on today. (We, too, knew Calleo Back In The Day). Calleo is a European specialist and justifiably famous scholar across generations. If Asmus was Albreight’s European collaborator, Rubin was more than just an acne breakout at State as a mere spokesperson. Still, it’s beyond preposterous to inflate things as calling Rubin Alberight’s right hand.

    Rubin in a blog-esque rant viciously and personally goes after the far more distinguished Calleo in defense of ‘unipolar’ excess, indispensability and American wars in the Middle East. Calleo has the temerity to suggest the hubris problem went beyond just the Bush Administration and a few people. Instead he notes triumphalist exceptionalism has historical roots in the American tradition (deliberately highjacked knowingly by Kristol Sr., Max Kampelman, Jeane Kirkpatrick et al.). Re the highjack, we know. We heard it directly from the horse’s mouth 10 feet away as it were back then.

    Folks, Calleo’s discussion of American exceptionalism is actually a survey of major strands in mainstream American history. Rubin is either deliberately disingenuous or monumentally ignorant. It’s Calleo’s application of that history to the future that sends Mr. Amanpour ballistic. Calleo suggests a more mutli-lateral European foreign policy model is a better framework for a depleted America. Workable? Certainly open to debate. Calleao’s been an internationally famous European specialist for his entire professional life. What’s Rubin’s real beef? Hmm, could it be . . . no more American war and force in the Middle East?

    How very.


  8. Comment says

    Even Haas helped Powell write his UN speech, now even Haas wants to Do Iran. Even Haas can play good cop for war. Even TNR knows that.

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