An Attack On Iran Would Be A Major, Mistaken, War

An attack on Iran's nuclear program would be far more complicated than a one-off attack.

Anthony Cordesman, who has been an old hand in foreign policy analysis circles for decades now (I remember watching him on ABC News in late 1990 and early 1991 discussing the likely course of events in what would soon become Operation Desert Storm) recently co-authored a detailed study looking at the likely course of any efforts by the United States and/or Israel to engage in military strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Over at Wired’s Danger Room, Noah Shachtman summarizes the report, which essentially concludes that strikes against Iran would be a major military engagement and not the kind of one-off attack that many advocates of such a strategy seem to think would be enough to pull off a successful attack:

Should the U.S. actually take Benjamin Netanyahu’s advice and attack Iran, don’t expect a few sorties flown by a couple of fighter jocks. Setting back Iran’s nuclear efforts will need to be an all-out effort, with squadrons of bombers and fighter jets, teams of commandos, rings of interceptor missiles and whole Navy carrier strike groups — plus enough drones, surveillance gear, tanker aircraft and logistical support to make such a massive mission go. And all of it, at best, would buy the U.S. and Israel another decade of a nuke-free Iran.

There’s been a lot of loose talk and leaked tales about what an attack on Iran might ultimately entail. Anthony Cordesman, one of Washington’s best-connected defense analysts, has put together a remarkably detailed inventory of what it would take to strike Iran (.pdf), cataloging everything from the number of bombers required to the types of bombs they ought to carry. He analyzes both Israeli and American strikes, both nuclear and not. He examines possible Iranian counterattacks, and ways to neutralize them.

But, hold on, because that’s only the first wave of the attack. Assuming nothing goes horribly wrong and it goes off perfectly, we’d still need to do more:

At the same time, the U.S. has to keep Iran from blocking the ultra-important Strait of Hormuz, the 21-mile-wide waterway through which flows around 20 percent of the world’s oil and liquid natural gas supplies. And America has to protect its energy-producing allies in the Persian Gulf, or else there will be no oil or gas to send through the Strait.

That will be no mean task, Cordesman writes: “Iran can cherry pick its targets in an effort to pressure and intimidate the U.S. and Southern Gulf states. It can use long-range conventionally armed missiles or drones against large military or urban targets as terror weapons. It can attack sporadically and unpredictably in a war of attrition or attempt to ‘swarm’ U.S. and Gulf naval forces.”

(…)

But to make sure Tehran’s missiles don’t hit Riyadh or Kuwait City, the U.S. will have to take out Iran’s eight ballistic-missile bases and 15 missile production facilities, and 22 launch facilities if a preemptive strike is ever ordered. America will “need to destroy as many missile launchers as possible … in order to reduce number of incoming warheads,” Cordesman writes. Each target will require two aircraft each — either carrier-launched F/A-18s or F-15Es and F-16Cs flying from nearby air bases — for a total of 90 jets. Auxiliary targets could include Iran’s refineries, its power grid, its military bases, and its roads and bridges.

But, guess what? We still haven’t gotten to the main attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities:

Destroying each of Iran’s five nuclear facilities will require a pair of B-2 bombers flying out of Diego Garcia. Every plane will carry two of the U.S. military next-gen, king-sized bunker-busters, the 30,000-pound GBU-57 Massive Ordinance Penetrator. The “GPS-guided weapon contain[s] more than 5,300 pounds of conventional explosives inside a 20.5 foot-long bomb body of hardened steel. It is designed to penetrate dirt, rock and reinforced concrete to reach enemy bunker or tunnel installations,” writes Cordesman, who believes such bomb can set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions for years.

And none of this even takes into account the probability of non-conventional retaliation against the interests of  the U.S., Gulf States, and Israel via the terrorist networks that Iran has cultivated over it’s 30-odd years of existence or the rather obvious impact that a war of this scale would have on oil production and transportation in the one of the most economically important parts of the world. The important takeaways from Cordesman’s report, though, are two-fold:

  • Israel does not have the capability to do anything more than pull off a strike that would set Iran’s program back a year or two at best. This isn’t really a new revelation, but it comes at a time when there are some signs that the Israelis may be thinking they are reaching a so-called “point of no return” after which they’d have no capability at all of having an impact on Iran’s nuclear program. Furthermore, an Israeli attack is likely to set off a wave of terrorist retaliation that would turn the Middle East into the kind of powder keg unseen in decades. This suggests that the American efforts to discourage a unilateral Israeli attack is a move in the right direction since such an attack would likely make any subsequent attacks more difficult and only harden the Iranian’s resolve to develop nuclear weapons.
  • An American attack would potentially set the Iranian program back by as much as a decade if it were successful, but it would come at an enormous cost in men and material and would likely still lead to spikes in the prices of oil and the threat of terrorist retaliation. I would suggest that it would also, quite likely, put an end to any idea that the United States could act as an “honest broker” in Middle East peace negotiations, which by itself could throw the region into a kind of chaos that it may not recover from for a long time.

All of this suggests to me that the current Obama Administration policy is likely the correct one. We’ve ratcheted up sanctions against the Iranian regime based on their non-compliance with international law, and we’ve engaged in sub-rosa efforts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program via operations such as the Stuxnet virus and the Flame trojan. Indeed, it appears that Stuxnet itself was in part motivated by an effort by the Obama Administration to placate Israeli fears and convince them to hold off from launching an attack that likely would not succeed and which would only result in strengthening Iranian resolve while simultaneously flaming the fans of terrorism and sinking the world economy via exploding oil prices.

Of course, the Romney campaign disagrees, and says so in a recently released campaign memo:

The Iranian program has gotten to this point because President Obama has squandered all credibility with the ayatollahs:

  • A Failed Engagement Policy. President Obama offered the ayatollahs “no preconditions” talks, which were rebuffed. The latest round of multilateral talks has produced no results.
  • Refrained From Supporting The Green Movement. When asked during a press conference, President Obama shamefully refused to voice support for Iranian dissidents in 2009 as they were being killed in the streets, saying he did not want to “meddle” in Iran’s affairs.
  • A Weak Sanctions Policy. President Obama opposed and sought to water down crippling sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank until he was forced into them by Congress and our European partners. He then undermined those sanctions by issuing waivers to 20 of the top importers of Iranian oil, including China.
  • Abandoned Missile Defense. He abandoned a European missile defense system meant to protect against Iranian missiles.
  • Undermined The Credibility Of The Military Option. His administration has given the Iranians no reason to believe it is serious about a military option. The administration has repeatedly talked down the effectiveness and advisability of the military option, and seems to have devoted more energy toward preventing an Israeli strike on Iran than toward preventing an Iranian nuclear weapons capability. Obama officials leaked that the administration has focused its efforts on explaining to Israel “the dangers of an Israeli attack” on Iran and has attempted to “make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel.” And the President himself, after boldly stating to AIPAC that the United States “has Israel’s back,” changed his tune two days later by saying his statement was “not a military doctrine.”

In the face of such irresolution, the ayatollahs are pressing forward toward nuclear weapons capability without fear of repercussion because they do not believe we are serious.

Daniel Larison does a  good job of debunking each of  these arguments, but his comments about the Obama Administration’s “failure” to support the Green Movement deserve particular attention. The Green Movement, you will recall, was the protest movement that erupted in Tehran and other Iranian cities after the last Iranian Presidential elections. The protests erupted after Mir Hossein Mousavi lost the election to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a manner that many of Mousavi’s supporters considered to be fraudulent. The country was rocked by protests for several weeks, and for a time there was a question as to whether or not Ahmadinejad would stay in power in the wake of the popular uprising. Many of the protests turned violent and several people died. In the end, Ahmadinejad’s victory was confirmed and, ever since then, people on the right have criticized President Obama for not, well, doing something even though they cannot name precisely what he should’ve done. As Larison notes, much of the conservative mythos of the so-called “Green Revolution” is based on wishful thinking and bad information:

Obama did, in fact, speak in support of the protesters within a few weeks of the presidential election in Iran, but that’s almost beside the point. Obama’s greater rhetorical support would not have changed the outcome of the protests, and lending sustained rhetorical support to protests against the current leadership would hardly have made the Iranian regime any more likely to acquiesce to U.S. demands on the nuclear issue. The Iranian opposition is the political force inside Iran that is harmed the most by the sanctions that Romney still thinks are too weak, and if he had his way the Iranian opposition would be even weaker because sanctions invariably strengthen the regime and its cronies at the expense of everyone else in a country. If Romney wants to argue that Obama is not doing enough to strangle the Iranian economy and has “failed” to impose even more unjust burdens on the Iranian people, he can do so, but he might at least have the decency to stop pretending that this has anything to do with supporting the Iranian opposition. It doesn’t, and it never has.

This is spot-on, but it’s also worth mentioning that the “Green Revolution” was never really a revolution to begin with. The differences between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad, at least on the issues that concern the United States the most, were never really that substantive. Indeed, Mousavi was Prime Minister of Iran when the nation first embarked on its nuclear research program and said that he supported continuing it during the campaign. He did, and apparently still does, take the position that the Teheran regime should be more open to contact and negotiation with the outside world, including the United States, but that doesn’t mean that he’d be any more willing to back down on nuclear issues than Ahmadinejad is. And, of course, it is always worth remembering that the ultimate authority Iran lies not with the President, but with Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader. In the end, a change in the identity of the President of Iran, which is all the “Green” protests were aiming for, probably wouldn’t matter much at all unless Khamenei agreed to the change in policy.

But this, along with Cordesman’s analysis, is not the kind of sanity that the right seems to want to listen to right now when it comes to Iran.

Here’s Cordesman’s report:

Analyzing the Impact of Preventive Strikes Against Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

FILED UNDER: Intelligence, Middle East, Military Affairs, National Security, World Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    Nuclear non-proliferation, in the long term, strikes me as a bit like King Cnut ordering the tide to stop.

    In the short term, carrot & stick, where “stick” involves non-war options, seems the best approach. The least worst approach. If your goal is to slow down Iranian nuclear development and keep Israel from doing something stupid.

    I’d rather a dramatically different policy, but I’m way off in a FP cul-de-sac. Liberal interventionists to the left of me, Neocons to my right, here I am…

    Though given a choice, give me the lib interventionists any day.

  2. MBunge says:

    But there’s still no reason a principled Libertarian should vote for Obama over Romney.

    Mike

  3. James in LA says:

    This is the real insanity of a Romney Presidency. Debt can be forgiven. But not this.

  4. Why should I vote for Obama when Gary Johnson will be on the ballot here in Virginia, especially since there are numerous, numerous positions on which I completely disagree with the President?

  5. george says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Nuclear non-proliferation, in the long term, strikes me as a bit like King Cnut ordering the tide to stop.

    Yup. Seventy year old technology. Folks have to stop and think about what that means.

  6. CB says:

    the really scary thing is that we are already deep into the exact same propaganda cycle that got us into iraq. its all happening again, and nobody bats an eyelash. call it a byproduct of ignoring the fact that the prior administration ever happened.

  7. anjin-san says:

    I wonder how the economy will look if the flow of oil from the middle east is disrupted. Someone with 100 million in an IRA will be fine, but the rest of us, not so much.

  8. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Why should I vote for Obama when Gary Johnson will be on the ballot here in Virginia, especially since there are numerous, numerous positions on which I completely disagree with the President?

    You’re voting for Johnson, but you won’t mention his positions or him as a choice.
    It’s almost like you don’t want disgruntled Republicans and R-leaning Independents voting for Johnson…

    I could only see one reason why someone voting for a third party candidate wouldn’t want others to vote for him…

  9. Peacewood says:

    @PJ:

    You’re voting for Johnson, but you won’t mention his positions or him as a choice.

    To defend Doug, the media has more or less blacked out anything regarding Johnson. If there isn’t any current news about him, there’s nothing to constantly update. And this blog generally follows the news and news-worthy events.

  10. Dave Schuler says:

    I think the situation is actually much, much worse than what is being portrayed in this post. There is an assumption here and in the CSIS report that a war of limited objectives against Iran is possible. I don’t believe that’s the case. To the best of my knowledge every wargaming of an Israeli or U. S. attack against Iran has refuted that belief.

  11. PJ says:

    @Peacewood:

    To defend Doug, the media has more or less blacked out anything regarding Johnson. If there isn’t any current news about him, there’s nothing to constantly update. And this blog generally follows the news and news-worthy events.

    That would be a reason, if he’s your preferred candidate, to mention him and his issues even more.

    Instead there’s silence.

  12. C. Clavin says:

    The only way you can vote for Romney is if you have total amnesia.
    He has surrounded himself with the same crack-pots that brought us Iraq. There should be some kind of law that when you f’ up that badly you aren’t allowed a chance to f’ up that badly again…but Romney is intent on letting them f’ up that badly again…probably worse.
    But even in a big picture way Romney screws up Foreign Policy by willingly ceding the future to countries like China, India, and Brazil. Republicans would slash $500 billion from investments in science and technology as well as education and training programs…while other countires are making massive investments in educating their youth, building new major infrastructure projects, and supporting science and technology advancements. China spends 9 percent of its GDP on infrastructure investment, while the United States spends less than 2.5 percent. And Romney wants to cut that more in order to give himself an even bigger tax break than he already gets.

  13. @anjin-san:
    Well, as soon as you get the news of the first jet strike, go very long on oil futures.

  14. Me Me Me says:

    Why should I vote for Obama when Gary Johnson will be on the ballot here in Virginia

    Because you don’t want Mitt Romney to be president.

  15. @Me Me Me:

    I also don’t want Barack Obama to be President, to be completely honest.

  16. Me Me Me says:

    @Doug Mataconis: It is time for you to grow up and deal with reality. Gary Johnson will never be president. Either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama will be. Mitt Romney wants to do truly dangerous borderline-insane things. You voting for Gary Johnson in Virginia could enable him to carry out his poorly-thought-through, dimly-comprehensible “plans”.

  17. TastyBits says:

    I doubt things would be this bad, but it will be a lot more difficult than the proponents imagine. I suspect that the Pentagon has a plan for a military option that has most of the problems, and furthermore, I suspect this is the same plan they had for President Bush.

    A President Romney will see this plan, and the Bush/Obama policy will become the Bush/Obama/Romney policy. Candidate Romney can say anything he wants, but President Romney will learn that the world looks very different behind the Oval Office desk.

    Also, a large scale operation cannot be conducted off of an aircraft carrier(s).

    This is a problem the predates President Obama, and there is little he could do to change events.

    It is my understanding that neoconservatives are former liberal interventionists.

  18. MBunge says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Why should I vote for Obama when Gary Johnson will be on the ballot here in Virginia”

    Because you’re not a moron. If you lived in Missouri or California, I’d tell you to vote for Gary Johnson as many times as you can get away with. You live in a swing state that could decide who the next President is and whether or not this country goes to war with Iran. Why bother to post on the subject if you don’t think it’s important?

    And let me echo others. Either start churning out a lot more pro-Gary Johnson posts promoting his candidacy or shut the hell up about him. Stop using him as a childish excuse.

    Mike

  19. sam says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Why should I vote for Obama when Gary Johnson will be on the ballot here in Virginia,

    Reminds me of my friends who voted for Nader. Hence, Iraq.

  20. stonetools says:

    @MBunge:

    Look, its crystal clear that me that Doug will either vote for Johnson or Romney, and that he will not even consider a vote for Obama. That being the case, I far prefer that he vote for Johnson and deny Romney a vote in a swing state. That’s real world.

  21. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I also don’t want Barack Obama to be President, to be completely honest.

    I don’t want to brush my teeth, eat my vegetables, or exercise, but I do all those things because I realize that as a responsible adult I should make responsible choices.

  22. Rafer,

    Using rhetoric like that to try to persuade someone to vote for the candidate you prefer is doomed to fail.

  23. stonetools says:

    Romney has a secret plan to win to the war in Iran, which he will unveil to JCOS on January 20, 2013. Its on the shelf right next to his secret plan to balance the budget.

  24. Stonetools,

    No, I will vote for Johnson and not even consider voting for Romney or Obama.

  25. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Go ahead. I’ll hold you to that . One less vote for the Mittster.

  26. legion says:

    @Me Me Me: I’m actually gonna defend Doug on this one. Normally, I don’t think of third-party votes as having a worthwhile impact, but this particular cycle is a bit different. No matter how many votes Johnson – or any third-party ticket – gets, it won’t significantly change the de facto 2-party system we’ve got now, but I think it may have a valuable effect on the party that gets hurt by it. If a significant number of nominal conservatives, who would otherwise vote Republican, go third-party because they’ve watched the GOP chart a course directly into self-destructive extremism, it might just convince some people in the Upper Reaches of the party that extremism and red-meat antics are not a viable path to actually getting elected.

  27. This is spot-on, but it’s also worth mentioning that the “Green Revolution” was never really a revolution to begin with.

    For what it’s worth, a “fresh off the boat” guy I knew was sure it was going to carry through. He had friends on both sides, protesters and people who signed up as Ahmadinejad thugs, so you’d think he was fairly dialed in.

    In retrospect it’s easy to call everything inevitable. I’m sure we could have said the same thing about protests, had they failed, in Egypt.

  28. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Using rhetoric like that to try to persuade someone to vote for the candidate you prefer is doomed to fail.

    Who says I’m trying to persuade you to vote for Obama? I already know you’re not going to vote for Obama. I’m instead using rhetoric like that to illustrate how you’re making an irresponsible choice.

  29. (I agree that anyone in a contested state has an obligation to vote the lesser evil. I once voted for Anderson myself, but only because driving to the polls the radio told me Reagan had won.)

  30. Peacewood says:

    …I can’t believe I’m defending Doug a second time, but look.

    This is a democracy, which means you goddamn stand up and be counted, no matter what your beliefs are and no matter what anyone else thinks. End of discussion.

  31. Me Me Me says:

    @Peacewood: I find your definition of democracy fails to encompass the purpose of democracy – namely, to achieve better, more effective government. Encouraging people to let their freak flag fly when they go to the polls…not really such a great idea in my books.

  32. @Me Me Me:

    It is time for you to grow up and deal with reality. Gary Johnson will never be president. Either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama will be.

    And whichever of them it will be, it will be regardless of how Doug Mataconis’s single vote is cast.

  33. @Stormy Dragon:

    And to make it clear, I also intend to vote for Gary Johnson. But if a gun was put to my head to choose either Obama or Romney (which may come to pass thanks to the PA GOP’s attempts to prevent Johnson from being on the ballot), I reluctantly have to say that as much as I dislike Obama, I think he’d be a better President than Romney.

  34. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “But there’s still no reason a principled Libertarian should vote for Obama over Romney.”

    Please don’t object if I ask you to stand with the principled Naderites.

  35. Barry says:

    @anjin-san: “I wonder how the economy will look if the flow of oil from the middle east is disrupted. Someone with 100 million in an IRA will be fine, but the rest of us, not so much. ”

    When one has a $100 million IRA (despite contribution limits), I’m guessing that one’s investments will continue to be, ah – ‘lucky’.

  36. Barry says:

    @Donald Sensing: “Well, as soon as you get the news of the first jet strike, go very long on oil futures. ”

    As I hinted, that’ll be far too late. The Big Boyz will have already been there.

  37. Barry says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Using rhetoric like that to try to persuade someone to vote for the candidate you prefer is doomed to fail. ”

    Are you assuming that people are treating you as an honest man, open to persuasion?

  38. Barry says:

    @legion: “If a significant number of nominal conservatives, who would otherwise vote Republican, go third-party because they’ve watched the GOP chart a course directly into self-destructive extremism, it might just convince some people in the Upper Reaches of the party that extremism and red-meat antics are not a viable path to actually getting elected. ”

    Like in 2008, when the GOP went moderate, after a smashing defeat?

  39. DC Loser says:

    Good, vote for Johnson or Goode or whomever, as long as it’s not Romney.

  40. legion says:

    @Barry: I didn’t say I had high hopes for such a path; just that if I were in Doug’s position I could see it as a perfectly reasonable option.

  41. Kenny says:

    wow, the comments section of this blog, has really taken a downward turn over the recent weeks. How is a blogpost about a possible Iran War, turned into a discussion about Doug’s vote in the upcoming election.

  42. Me Me Me says:

    @Kenny: Scroll up and read the 4th comment.

  43. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Oh great, the “Don’t blame me, I voted for the Kodos” defense.

    So let me get this straight. You participate in a two party republic, and take no responsibility for the state of the two party republic or the wars it fights, because you voted for a third party candidate with no chance of winning, so therefore you have locked your ego in the safest, most secure location possible…your own fantasy ideological dream-world, where you are principled and consistent while you evade responsibility for every political choice you make in the real world.

    In the meantime, policy gets made in the real world, and you stay safe in your ideological enclave lest your purity be tainted by filthy reality where you might make (gasp!) THE WRONG CHOICE.

    *DUN DUN DUNNNNNN*

    Also, I apologize for Al Sharpton, so you have to take me seriously.

  44. @Lit3Bolt:

    In the 2008 Presidential election, in which I voted for Bob Barr, Obama beat McCain 69,498,215 votes to 59,948,240. Had I voted for Obama, he would have won 69,498,216 votes to 59,948,240. Had I voted for McCain, Obama would have won 69,498,215 votes to 59,948,241.

    Please explain to me in what way I am “morally responsible” for Obama, when I have no control over him being the President?

  45. Inhumans99 says:

    Folks…for the love of Pete, can we please stop haranguing Doug (and derailing this thread)!! If he wants to vote for Romney, or write-in his next door neighbor, well…good for him!

    If you want to convince Doug to vote for your guy, create your own blog. Then you can try to convince Doug to come visit your site and be subjected to why voting for Romney means an Angel loses its wings. Too many folks tilting at this windmill have sucked the life out of the comments sections on OTB. Seriously, stop…you know who you are.

    By the way, I just reregistered (moved to a different County) as an independent, so yeah…you can assume I am not voting for Romney.

    I love OTB, even if Doug and I have different political champions.

  46. The Q says:

    Let Brother Doug vote Libertarian, its his right….if more repubs did this, it benefits Obama.

    Now, back to the Iran invasion.

    Its seems that Israel had its fingerprints all over the run up to Iraq, from the bogus intel to the attacks on Dems who may have voted against the bill authorizing the invasion.

    The cover-up or non-investigation is a consensus by all in DC to not rock the boat and let the public in on embarrassing facts that bode bad for both sides.

    Obama is negating this same Israeli pressure which obviously the neo cons supported and encouraged

    The white wash committee on 911 was a farce and hopefully the current admin will not buckle to the pressure to invade Iran.

    If we do, expect the anti semitism in this country to go off the charts. I can’t believe the Israelis can be that stupid.to underestimate this backlash.

  47. @The Q:

    Its seems that Israel had its fingerprints all over the run up to Iraq, from the bogus intel to the attacks on Dems who may have voted against the bill authorizing the invasion.

    Speaking of, the was an interesting report over the weekend on NPR indicating that the violence by ultra-orthodox settlers toward Muslims in the West Bank is now starting to turn toward Christians, with a growing rash of arson attack toward chruches, most recently an attempt to burn down a Trappist monastery in Jerusalem:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19483217

    If this keeps escalating and makes it into the mainstream US press, it will be interesting to see how the Evangelical Christian part of the pro-Israel lobby reacts.

  48. Rafer Janders says:

    @Kenny:

    How is a blogpost about a possible Iran War, turned into a discussion about Doug’s vote in the upcoming election.

    Umm, because Doug wrote this at the top of the thread. Your client opened the door, counselor:

    “Why should I vote for Obama when Gary Johnson will be on the ballot here in Virginia, especially since there are numerous, numerous positions on which I completely disagree with the President?”

  49. Rafer Janders says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    so therefore you have locked your ego in the safest, most secure location possible…your own fantasy ideological dream-world, where you are principled and consistent while you evade responsibility for every political choice you make in the real world.

    You know Doug’s a libertarian, right….?

  50. MBunge says:

    @Inhumans99: “If you want to convince Doug to vote for your guy, create your own blog.”

    This is less about who Doug votes for and more about policing his intellectual integrity. If Doug were filling up OTB with posts about Gary Johnson, his views, how he’d be a great President and how awful it is that the media and political establishment are conspiring to silence him, I’d have no problem with Doug saying he’ll vote for Johnson over either Obama or Romney.

    The problem is that Doug only seems to mention voting for Johnson as an excuse to avoid the nigh inevitable logic of his own arguments.

    Mike