Better Iran Hawks, Please

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The Trita Parsi/Iran lobby non-story took yet another turn last week. On Parsi's critics, Andrew writes:

They are essentially trying to accuse Iranian-Americans who disagree with them of dual loyalty. Even as they rightly scream blue murder if that is ever applied to them. You realize after a while that they have no principles but the maintenance of their own power and the destruction of their perceived enemies. War for ever indeed - within American and outside it. At any cost. Whatever it takes.

I think Sullivan is giving Parsi's accusers a little too much credit here. Anyone who could possibly argue that it's somehow pro-regime to support rapprochement and question Western democracy promotion inside Iran isn't really an honest broker in this policy debate. I happen to disagree with Parsi on sanctions, but I'm not about to call him "Iran's man" in Washington. That's irresponsible, and it speaks volumes about how truly disinterested hawkish pundits are in a conversation absent of bombs and regime change. It simply bores them.

And I seriously doubt this uproar is entirely about Iran for the Lakes and Goldfarbs of the world. My suspicion is that they view this as payback for years of left-wing and realist assaults regarding AIPAC and the so-called Israel lobby. This is their opportunity to pigeonhole those falling short of the regime change position on Iran.

A quick glance at Eli Lake's Twitter feed only reaffirms my doubts. He's a little too clever by half on this, and clearly relishes this opportunity to get back at the Stephen Walts of the world.

As a J-Street skeptic, allow me to say I'm not impressed. The whole thing strikes me as disingenuous and undeserving of any further response.

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