Well, it sure ain’t Mardi Gras. As we’ve noted hereabout, it’s very, very hard to know what’s actually going on in a closed society like Iran’s, but we can get an impressionistic idea with bootleg videos, blogging, and media outlets like Radio Azadi. And they’re all saying it’s a very unstable situation. Which is terrific, as anything that brings down the Islamic Republic will be a blessing for Iranians, a boon to the U.S., and a huge step towards peace in the region. Hezbollah and Syria may remain malignant, but without their patron, they’ll be a lot weaker force. Iraq and Afghanistan will also benefit mightily. President Erdoğan might be put out that his misbegotten “strategic depth” has just gotten a lot messier, but a Republic of Iran will get along much better with the Republic of Turkey in the long run.
But—and there’s always a but—in these situations, you’ve got the inherent problem of instability: no one knows what the hell is going to happen. If we can help guide the situation in the direction of peace, democracy, and not too much bloodshed, all the better. Many Iranians seem hungry for liberty, representative government, and a return to normalcy, but to help them, we need leverage, and the current administration has ostentatiously surrendered any leverage we have in the hopes of currying the favor of the régime that celebrates Death to America Day. Consequently, we’ve put the Iranian democrats and liberals in a more precarious situation.
Peter Collier takes down an apologist for this supine diplomacy here:
Take a moment to get this straight: it’s a good thing we have a president who, to keep himself pure for that ultimate negotiation on nukes that will never come, refrains from using some of that synthetic eloquence of his to put us on the side of people who are getting cut down in the streets. By such scurvy logic, it was wrong of Ronald Reagan to go to Moscow and speak to and about the dissidents and their heroic struggle against totalitarianism because it might have given ammunition to wardens of the gulag. And wrong to have been unequivocally on the side of Solidarity and so on.
Word smuggled out of Teheran has told us that the protestors themselves would like a little U.S. affirmation so they won’t feel they are dying in the dark. And the citizens of our own country could certainly use the reassurance about the values we stand for that strong and steadfast support of the protestors, especially after being subjected to a punishing year- long Presidential apology tour for American exceptionalism. But from Obama we only beseeching admonitions that are far too little and always too late and always undermined by the reluctance with which they are delivered.
This has become a vain, small minded and morally anemic presidency…
The good thing is it’s not too late to rally and fix this. However, the apparent doctrinaire anti-American leftism that looks to be the Obamicans’ default position on every issue dictates we probably won’t: as we are inherently evil and taint anything we touch, we must keep our hands off, even if it means consigning the people whose welfare we’re ostensibly concerned with to a restored (or all-new) despotism that is preferable to our influence because it is, after all, indigenous and authentic. Despicable. This is why you want to keep intellectuals away from the levers of power—these are delusional corners they rationalize themselves into.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.