It's only fair that I link to Charles Glass's response, in which he argues that
the US should cut all arms sales and military aid to the region. That means withdrawing from Iraq; closing bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain; ending arms deliveries to the reactionary monarchy in Saudi Arabia; and cutting aid to Israel.
Mr. Glass has his own website, which you can find here.
Edward Luttwak has written one of the more persuasive pieces on the Middle East that I've read recently. In short, Luttwak argues that the Middle East is increasingly irrelevant. Given that this is so, he says, we would be better off if we focused more of our attention elsewhere.
As far as Charles Krauthammer is concerned, Iran's latest escapade just demonstrates the impotence of the European Union and the United Nations when it comes to maintaining any semblance of international order.
Here's an interesting article by James Surowiecki of The New Yorker. Mr. Surowiecki explains that the dynamics of the international oil market provide Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with an incentive to engage in inflammatory rhetoric because such language drives up the price of oil. That's not to imply, however, that Ahmadinejad might not be sincerely expressing what he actually thinks.
More: I forgot to mention that Mr. Surowiecki refers to an article by Roger Stern that I blogged about six weeks ago.
Since Levey's article was published on Salon.com, you'll first have to view a short commercial if you aren't already a subscriber. But it doesn't take very long, and once you watch it, you can browse the entire site for free.
Roger Stern argues in the International Herald Tribune that Iran is running short of oil. Oil, that is, not oil reserves. Failure to maintain a proper level of investment, according to Stern, is undermining Iran's oil industry.
The implication for U.S. foreign policy is that Iran might actually be developing nuclear power in order to generate energy, contrary to what many have argued, thinking that an oil-rich country wouldn't build a nuclear reactor for any reason but to develop nuclear weapons. So maybe Iran really needs nuclear-generated energy. But, of course, that possibility doesn't preclude the further possibility that Iran genuinely intends to build nuclear weapons.
Stern's column is based on a lengthier article that you can download here for free.