Title quote is Joe Klein to Mike Stark.
If you are against nuclear first-strikes, please tell that to your Senators.
Joe Klein was promoting his book, ““Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized By People Who Think You’re Stupid“ on a radio show hosted by Jim Bohannon.
One of the callers was liberal blogger Mike Stark:
Mike: Yeah. I did want to make one suggestion and that is that the media and pundocracy may have a lot to do with what I see as American stupidity. Now no disrespect intended, but one noted pundit last weekend suggested that, you know, it might be OK to nuke Iran. And I’m wondering, I have to ask about this… Have you thought through the consequences of that Mr. Klein?
Joe: what makes you think that I would be in favor of nuking Iran?
Mike: Just what you said last weekend that…
Joe: (interrupting) Did you watch…
Mike: (continuuing) it should be an option.
Joe: Oh… Oh… OK. I said that it should be an option. And I do believe that it should be an option. But let me tell you what I actually believe about this. First of all, it should be an option and I think it doesn’t do us any harm for the Iranians, if they are going to go around saying crazy things, to think that we might act crazily as well.
Mike: So it’s not really an option…
Joe: No, but let me say this. It’s not really an option because I don’t believe that the Bush administration, given the disastrous foreign policy of the last five years, has the credibility or the wherewithall to act unilaterally attack Iraq (sic). And as a matter of principle, throughout my entire career, my entire career I’ve believed that we can only use force when we do it in concert with out allies as we did in the first Gulf War, as we did in Kosove when it was NATO. So for you to say that I am in favor of nuking Iran, you sound like one of those left wing bloggers who are so routinely innaccurate in everything they write about.
Mike: I am a left wing blogger…
Jim: Well, fair enough. Anyway, we’re not here to talk about that as much as we are to talk about the subject at hand, so you’ve made your point there. Although, where i thought you were going with this, I will quote from Joe Klein’s book, Politics Lost. “A generation of Americans came to believe that political discourse consisted mostly of rabid hyperbole.” And in that regard the punditocracy, I suppose, has contributed to the coarsening of discourse. But that rhetorical wrestling sells.
US foreign policy should be based on principle.
Not on acting “crazy.”
Joe Klein tries to have it both ways regarding nuking Iran, but unless the US has a prinicple agaisnt nuclear first-strikes, it’s making the use of nuclear weapons more likely.
Better yet, we should have a law against a nuclear first-strike, with harsh penalties for anyone who gives or follows orders involved in a nuclear first-strike.