It is the latter that I wanted to discuss. The Iran two-step basically involves swinging back and forth between telling your audience that Iran is harmless (so there's no reason to attack) and that Iran is armed to the teeth (and so an attack would be a disaster).
This discussion return with an article by Bob Kerrey, a former senator and governor of Nebraska. He wrote an an article on the Huffington Post which was basically designed to fulfill their weekly "somebody gives his opinion about Iran" article. Mr. Kerrey's argument is basically the following:
"Three trillion dollars for Afghanistan and Iraq. Six thousand Americans dead. I think invading Iran will make Iraq and Afghanistan look like a cakewalk. There are 80 million people living in Iran. If we were undersized with 250,000 men and women going into Iraq, it's going to take a million to go to war with Iran. That's a mistake we just can't afford to make."Now you'll have to excuse me, if I haven't been following the rumblings of action with Iran as closely as I should have. But I was under the impression that the goal with Iran would not be regime change (like in Iraq) or pushing the ruling groups out (like in Afghanistan). It would be bombing the nuclear facilities and then leaving. Now I know that this could be wrong, or that circumstances could change once a hypothetical war got started. But this paragraph seems like a strawman: As close as I can figure it no one is talking about invading Iran, as the title of the article declares it would be a disaster.
Anyway it sure appears like Mr. Kerrey's argument is the second part of the Iran two-step, that Iran is too strong to be defeated militarily without taking heavy losses and that's why we shouldn't do it. As I said, a legitimate point of view. The only problem, of course, is that he is talking about a theocracy that arms terrorists and is dangerous enough to deter the US military and that could soon be gaining nuclear weapons unopposed. A counter argument is not presented in Mr. Kerrey's article. Fortunately he has his friends on the Huffington Post to defend him and the Iranians. Most of the arguments that I saw were on the line of "America can't afford another war," while not mentioning whether or not America can "afford" to have a nuclear armed Iran.
Most of the posters, on the other hand, stuck with the second part of the Iran two-step, that of Iran as a danger to America forces across the region:
Gee, now Iran sounds kind of threatening doesn't it? As much as the anti-Zionists complain that "we can't have an honest debate about Israel in this country," I have yet to see an honest debate about Iran, at least on this thread. It's all talking points being thrown at each other. That being said, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we return to the first part of the Iranian two-step, that of the harmless Iran who hasn't invaded anyone in 400 years. Or however long it's been.