We should all be glad that a strategic war game on Iran at the Brookings Institution lately ended in a terrifying manner, with all-out war, but is Ken Pollack really in a position to be instructing us about the American people’s demands for retaliation against Iran? Pollack is the expert who did more than anyone else to promote the Iraq war among liberals, in New York Times editorials and a book saying that invading Iraq would remake the US image in the Arab world and get their minds off Palestine! But when NPR covered Pollack’s war games the other day, host Robert Siegel left out Pollack’s last war completely. Further evidence that you can’t be taken seriously in Washington unless you supported that debacle. The introduction:
ROBERT SIEGEL: … The Brookings Institution staged a war game. No real weapons were used, but teams playing the roles of U.S. and Iranian policymakers were presented with a hypothetical but not very far-fetched scenario, and the results were not encouraging. Kenneth Pollack is a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, and he ran this exercise and joins us. Good to see you again.
KENNETH POLLACK: Very good to be back.
SIEGEL: First, you’re not identifying the people who took part in the game, but can you at least describe what kind of people they were?
And here is Pollack getting to be a dove while talking about Americans’ thirst for retaliation:
POLLACK: One of the most remarkable moments for me, one of the moments where I felt like, boy, this game is now headed irretrievably into war, was when the Iranians are debating what to do after the American initial move. The game starts with a terrorist attack, an Irani anterrorist attack, that get’s too out of hand, too big. The United States decides to respond, and one of the things the United States decides to do is to hit a remote Irani Revolutionary Guards’ facility. And the Americans were hoping that the Iranians would see this as a minimal American response.
SIEGEL: It was the least they would do, yeah.
POLLACK: Exactly. Literally the least the American people would accept.