If one is going to go after sacred cows, one should really go after sacred cows. Most of the people in our society who get credit for "going after sacred cows" are just going after unfashionable ones. At least ones that are unfashionable in the circles they want to appeal to. We live in a world of iconodules posing as iconoclasts.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Indefensible: The Broad Picture

Regarding this swerve in policy, critics may miss the mark. The alternative being swapped in may or may not be better.

The real troubling aspect of this is one that seems to prevail on a lot of the current Administration's policy changes. For all their talk before the election, there seems to be less consultation with allies before anything is done, rather than more. But this should surprise no one.

The U.S. seems to be returning to the position Bernard Lewis once observed as being “harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.”

Given that, the people of Iran will have to free themselves, for no one else will help them.

Before anyone says "well, it was always the case that they would have to free themselves", let us remember that in the long history of such things, no one has done so without significant outside support and encouragement.

Not even the fall of the Eastern Bloc is a counter-example, nor that of Lebanon. Lebanon indeed is illustrative: Their brief dawn of Democracy occurred when there was significant outside pressure on the Syrians (and their proxies). When the support faded, so to did Lebanon's false dawn.

Outside support does not have to be bombs. But it does have to be something more than a handful of half-hearted statements wrung out largely to avoid criticism at home of indifference.

The best bet to end any menace posed by Iran has always been replacement of the current Iranian regime by one more typical of the Persian people. The heavy lifting was always going to have to be done by them, but they need buttresses supporting them from the outside for their efforts to succeed.



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