They Got It Right: (4) Steve Van Evera

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Steve Van Evera — as prolific, engaged, unbuttoned and accessible online as his MIT colleague Barry Posen — foresees a US air assault on Iran that could run to five days and 1000 sorties; and then a certainty that “Iranians will respond.”

Van Evera2

Stephen Van Evera of MIT

Informed guesswork: “They can wreck our whole project in Iraq,” Van Evera says, if they are willing to live with the wreckage of a failed state next door. “They have capable terrorists” in the Western hemisphere as well as the Middle East. “They could interrupt the world’s oil traffic, they could attack Israel, they could have Hezbollah attack Israel.”

Why are we playing with this fire? Mainly, Van Evera argues, because the neo-conservative cult in the Bush-Cheney White House — “isolated… cloistered… the wrong crowd to run anything” — has not been broken. And it hasn’t been broken mainly because the “intimidated” Washington press has barely covered the “vast imperial program” in the fantasies and the published texts of principals like David Wurmser, who should be a household name but isn’t. Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton are out of office and out of the news, but their dreams have not died in the Vice President’s office.

Click to listen to Chris’s conversation with Steve Van Evera (9 MB MP3)


  • rahbuhbuh

    Thanks for harping on “Washington reporting should mimic the sports pages, with batting averages” (badly paraphrased). This is something I’ve been bothered by for some time. Not only for it’s aggressive tone toward accountability: “you’re doing a piss-poor job, you’re fired,” but for its editorial clarity. I cannot keep up with all the names and players involved in our city or national politics let alone international. I want a quick reference guide to their voting histories and political alignments. Give me break out boxes with points of reference supplementing the article. But, this is what the web is good at, and my lunchtime Boston Globe needs those valuable column inches for ad space.

  • OliverCranglesParrot
  • Potter
  • http://www.marcmcelroy.com Marc McElroy

    this is super off topic, but I think it would be good to crank up the podcast on iTunes, I think getting new supscribers would help the discussion. As far as I can tell it’s free, perhaps even easy.

    any thoughts?

  • Potter

    How about an interview with Flynt Leverett?

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15630318

    http://www.esquire.com/features/iranbriefing1107

    I could not believe my ears during the Conan interview- it was so unlike what we usually get from his one from his column A, one from column B show. The ever even-handed Conan promised at the end an interview with David Frum next week to make up for it.

    And since Marc McElroy went super off topic- me here again- though it is all connected in some way:

    I recommend listening to this amazing 8 minute interview with one of the Iraqi women journalists just honored with the Courage in Journalism award by the International Women’s Media Foundation. (The six women work in the Baghdad bureau of the McClatchy Company.)

    Scroll to Iraqi journalist piece:

    http://www.theworld.org/?q=taxonomy_by_date/1/20071026

  • rahbuhbuh

    Potter: thanks, that’s very helpful.