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Monday, November 14, 2011

Roger Cohen, "Contain and Constrain Iran": Does Cohen Suffer From a Split Personality Disorder?

An abbreviated version of the following blog entry, which was submitted as an online comment in response to Roger Cohen's op-ed, "Contain and Constrain Iran," was censored by The New York Times:

In his latest New York Times op-ed, "Contain and Constrain Iran" (, Roger Cohen provides the following "expert" advice concerning Iran:

"What is needed is a contain-and-constrain policy. Contain Iran through beefed-up Israeli and Gulf defenses, a process underway. Constrain it to circle in its current nuclear ambiguity through covert undermining (Stuxnet 2.0, etc.), tough measures to block its access to hard currency, and, as a last resort, a 'quarantine' similar to John Kennedy’s interdiction of shipping to Cuba during the missile crisis."

Interesting. Now consider the "expert" advice proffered by Cohen in a September 2, 2009 New York Times op-ed entitled "Iran’s Flip-Flopper Supreme" (

"Since June 12 [2009], the Islamic Republic has become a far more pressing threat to itself than to others. It is inwardly consumed. For the United States and its allies to threaten it — through sanctions or otherwise — would be worse than foolish. It would be pointless."

In a nutshell, Cohen is today urging a "contain-and-constrain" policy which might ultimately entail a maritime blockade, whereas two years ago he insisted that threats "would be worse than foolish." So which is the correct path, Roger, and will you have different "expert" advice for us tomorrow?

Who now is the "Flip-Flopper Supreme"?

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