The Narrative

Atrios:

The point is that the deterrence that kept a few thousand ICBMs coming our way from the Soviet Union should also work with smaller state nuclear powers, with the added benefit that “mutually assured destruction” simply becomes “assured destruction” – theirs, not ours.

There’s no reason, absolutely no reason, why what I’ve bolded above can’t be the narrative we use to combat the bullshit issuing from the White House in the coming months.

There’s no reason, absolutely no reason, we can’t turn to the Reagan-revering section of the public and say, “We want to adhere to the policy set down by President Reagan when it comes to nuclear regimes hostile to our interests. We want to isolate them, freeze them out, bring the weight of international opinion to bear on them and let them crush themselves.”

(Don’t e-mail me. I’m not talking literal truth/global forces/blah blah blah/parse-cakes. I’m talking storyline, and the storyline is that Saint Ronnie pulled down the Berlin Wall with his big manly hands after disarming every missile in Moscow, okay?)

There’s no reason, absolutely no reason, we can’t look tough on national security by saying, “They’ve got nukes? SO DO WE. Bigger ones. We’re not afraid of Iran, and we don’t see any need to go off half-cocked just because they’ve got their hands on a new toy.”

Or by saying, “The last time these guys started a war they lost all the money, let the weapons get stolen, put the Iranian proxies in charge and wrecked half the army, so please, this time let the adults handle it.”

Or by doing anything other than using the words “diplomacy” and “negotiation” and “United Nations.” I’ve got nothing against any of the three, but they’re pundit flashpoints, like little shiny silver things are for crows. We should instead say “Reagan,” “deterrence,” “threat the Bush administration fucking ignored while it was off playing with its chemistry set in Iraq,” and “grown-up solutions for the real world.”

My point here isn’t the relative size of the threat Iran poses or how it should actually be dealt with. There are people with actual foreign policy experience who can talk about that. I’m talking the most trivial part of all this, the media narrative, a way to make Timmeh work to punch holes in our party instead of doing it for him. Our rhetoric has to be that this is America, bitches, and there isn’t a threat we can’t handle if the right people are in the right places at the right time. Are they? And if they’re not the right people in the right places, Mr. Voter, what are you prepared to do to make sure they are?

Otherwise it’s gonna be there we go again, and I’ve seen that movie. The ending sucked.

A.