All Hail a Covert Coup

In the Wall Street Journal, Max Boot trumpets the return of covert operations (Special Forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Stuxnet computer worm that has stalled the Iranian nuclear program) after the Clinton administration's "abundance of caution." Boot thinks it would be a shame to waste "recent gains" and urges Washington bring its cloak-and-dagger tactics to bear, not only to halt Tehran's efforts to get the bomb, but to overthrow the Iranian regime (he seems to think doing the latter will automatically lead to the former). After missing a "prime opportunity" in the wake of mass protests over the 2009 reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Boot writes that the United States "must try," even if "toppling" Iran's rulers proves "impossible." (Plus, America's past covert forays into Iranian politics turned out so well.)

In other related news, the crown prince of Iran is dead. Ali Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late shah, committed suicide Tuesday morning at home in Boston. He was forty-four years old. Stephen Kinzer, over at the Daily Beast, recounts his tragic life. You can watch TNI's March 2009 interview with Reza Pahlavi here