Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An option for the pacifists

I didn't really get an answer to my question What to do with Iran? from earlier in the week. The Old Man offered some concrete solutions, but they don't seem to work in today's climate. So how pleasantly surprised was I, when (via Andrew Sullivan) Bradford Plumer puts forth a non-violent option for disarming Iran.
Would security guarantees and real economic incentives from the United States convince the Iranian government to give up its nuclear program—or, at the very least, outsource its uranium enrichment to Russia? Maybe. Maybe not. What I don't understand is why this isn't worth trying. The United States would have to negotiate directly with Iran, which would contradict the Bush administration's longstanding preference not to "appease rogue regimes," true, but a little loss of face is about the worst that would come of trying. If it fails, then move on to step two. But the upsides to a serious attempt at engagement are very high.

I've also seen others suggest that diplomatic and and cultural sanctions might be very effective. What if Germany didn't grant the Iranian team visas so they couldn't compete in the World Cup this summer? (if you don't follow football, imagine your favorite team wasn't allowed to play in the World Series/Super Bowl/Orange Bowl, etc)

What if world leaders refused to meet with Iranian leaders on any level?

That, combined with a strong PR message on Arab satellite TV, might win us some support in the region.

Unfortunately, we've got the incompetent duo in charge who have let it get to this level and haven't had any great epiphany about changing their ways.