Winning Without War

Matt Stoller and Matt Yglesias are being pretty silly. Barack Obama has taken what should be a pretty uncontroversial position, pushing for legislation to force multinationals to divest from the Iranian oil industry to put pressure on the country’s nuclear program. It’s a sensible approach; considering as robust sanctions succeeded in eviscerating Iraq’s biochemical weapons programs, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that a similar approach would work to beat back Iranian efforts. It’s what the Democratic position on Iraq should have been in 2002, and so it’s good to see Obama and other Democrats embracing it with regards to Iran.
But the Matts aren’t quite as happy. Stoller is apoplectic:

With the neoconservatve elites pushing for war with Iran, moves like this are unbelievably dangerous. If I were an Obama supporter, I’d be quite furious, an I’d give his campaign a piece of my mind.

Yglesias is more calm, but still pissed:

Stoller’s right — this kind of thing is not endearing me to Barack Obama.

I don’t know what’s more bizarre: the Matts’ positions in and off themselves, or their apparent belief that Obama’s position is self-evidently ridiculous. The fact of the matter is that, if we are to prevent a war with Iran, an alternative Democratic policy for dealing with Iran has to be formulated. That’s what Obama’s trying to do here. To dismiss it as warmongering is dishonest and irresponsible.

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