Berlinski Burrows into Iran

January 14, 2020 at 7:40 pm (By Amba) (, , , )

in its full complexity, which is less about us than we would like (and, insofar as it is about us, in ways we don’t like).

if the Iranian regime falls, it will not be because of Trump. It will be because it is a regime that’s capable of shooting a civilian airliner out of the sky and then trying to bulldoze the evidence. It will be because that regime is rotten to the core. 

If the regime survives, it will not be because of Trump, either. It will be because it is a regime capable of killing as many of its own citizens as it needs to quell these protests. 

As I write this, the news that the Iranian regime has opened fire on the protesters has come across the transom. That is not Trump’s fault—but this point does seem very hard for some to grasp. . . .

Unless we invade and occupy Iran, the future of that regime is in Iranian hands, not ours. 

Read to the end if you have some notion of how to apportion the “blame” for Iran’s enlargement of power between Obama and Trump. Clue: Berlinski says “If you deplore one but not the other, partisanship has taken over your frontal lobe.” But what has ultimately empowered Iran is the wars in Iraq and Syria.

The bottom line:

The issue is not Obama versus Trump, Democrats versus Republicans. It is that we wish for things that cannot both be true. We don’t want to be at war, but we don’t want the world to be overrun by hostile and despotic regimes. We don’t want to go to war to prevent Iran from acquiring the Bomb, but we don’t want Iran to acquire the Bomb. We want to scare Iran. But we don’t want to be scared.

We busily project half of our incompatible desires onto the other political party, rather than acknowledging that our own desires are in conflict. Meanwhile, no one mentions that we have no recognizable strategy for anything and haven’t had one since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

2 Comments

  1. Polly said,

    “We busily project half of our incompatible desires onto the other political party, rather than acknowledging that our own desires are in conflict.”

    That has been my feeling, so far. Gonna read the article now …

  2. Polly said,

    Iran really is a problem, as are other adversaries. Reading this article modified my opinion that we should simply leave the world alone. Sometimes we should, and sometimes we shouldn’t. It’s like most things in life — there are no simple rules to follow, and there is no substitute for thought. And no matter how hard you think, it might all go wrong.

    And I definitely agree with her about the partisan divisiveness. It’s just a way to avoid thinking about, or feeling, the reality of the problems we face. If only the “good” party gets in, or stays in, power, things will be great.

    I call it the “Star Wars Syndrome” — there are good guys and bad guys and it’s easy to tell the difference. Life would be so much easier if that were true. And a lot of people want life to be easy.

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