Michael's points on the George Will Fray
National Review Online / Andy McCarthy

1. I don’t agree that the Iranian regime could be ousted without the use of military force. Your excellent points (and other reporting at your essential blog) about how the Iranian population is ripe for revolt argues for giving them whatever encouragement we can. But I think the regime’s grip on the levers of brute force is too extensive to be undone without U.S. military intervention. I’m familiar with the arguments about how moderate elements of the IRGC could get the job done, and I hope those arguments are right and I am wrong, but I’m not optimistic. (As you know, I think vital U.S. interests call for ousting the regime regardless of whether the population is amenable, but the fact that they are amenable certainly helps make the case.)


2. The challenge of Islamism in Iran is more difficult in my mind than you suggest. It’s not as if all the Islamists are in the regime and the population is a bunch of Western democrats. Iran is a fundamentalist Shiite country. If the mullahs are overthrown, the world would be a much better place because an aggressor regime bent on exporting its Islamic revolution would be gone. But I think the best we should hope for is its replacement by a moderate Islamist government which is more interested in governing Iran and content to export Islamism the same way the Saudis do—not good... >>>

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