Career Kiss of Death: Asking Why Iran Has to Be Our Enemy

Accepting that Iran is an enemy is a prerequisite to a career in U.S. foreign service. Pictured: Chief nuclear negotiators U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. (Photo: Yahoo News)

Accepting that Iran is an enemy is a prerequisite to a career in U.S. foreign service. Pictured: Chief nuclear negotiators U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. (Photo: Yahoo News)

In an eye-opening article for Foreign Policy in Focus entitled Why Doesn’t the Foreign Policy Establishment Take World Peace Seriously?, Didier Jacobs writes of U.S.-Iran relations that the U.S. “foreign policy establishment is susceptible to groupthink.”

Very few people in the establishment challenge the threat to use force if Iran reneges on the [nuclear] deal. No one questions whether Iran should be considered an enemy in the first place.

In fact:

For international affairs graduates, challenging such consensus views puts access to senior government jobs at risk. An academic at a prominent university whom I interviewed in preparation for this essay quickly grasped where I was heading and confided that “it is impossible to make a career in this field with an alternative view; it is not by chance that alternative views come from people educated in other disciplines, like linguistics for Noam Chomsky or law for Richard Falk.”

In other words, watch out: your credibility (pace credit) report will take a serious hit if you question whether Iran is an enemy. Never mind entertaining the idea of world peace. Or as Ms. Didier writes:

Such groupthink explains in part the inability of the discipline to articulate a transformative vision.