Defending terrible ends using embarrassingly unserious arguments is Ferguson’s specialty, so it’s hard to isolate any particularly argument as being especially bad. One can start with his inability to decide whether a war would create a massive spike in oil prices or not (whether a “Saudi spike” will mostly cover things depends on what argument he’s making at the time.) Still, I think I’ll have to go with this:
Wait. We’re supposed to believe that a revolutionary Shiite theocracy is overnight going to become a sober, calculating disciple of the realist school of diplomacy … because it has finally acquired weapons of mass destruction?
He seems to think there’s some kind of contradiction here, but there isn’t. The regime that governs Iran has proven, in fact, quite adept at maintaining its hold on power. What is the evidence, exactly, that Iran’s political elites are irrational or indifferent to the survival of the regime? Apart from the not-very-thinly-veiled racist implications (scary Muslims! Probably suicide bombers!), there’s nothing here.
And now, the punchline:
It feels like the eve of some creative destruction.
What a wit! Join us next week for the next installment of Niall Ferguson’s Warmongering Comedy Classics, which will involve smashing watermelons that are clearly Shiite. Featuring musical guest star John McCain.