Monday, April 24, 2006
Amir Taheri published an article in the Arab News a couple of days ago that addresses the relevance of "regime change" in the Iran crisis.
Now let us have a look at the view from Tehran.
The Islamic republic is surrounded by regimes that feel closer to Washington than Tehran, to say the least.
What would happen when, say 10 years from now, the whole of the region is pro-American, included in the mainstream of globalization, and more or less prosperous and more or less democratic? Wouldn't an anti-American, isolated, more or less poverty-stricken, and openly undemocratic Islamic republic look like out of place in this new jigsaw?
One law of history, inasmuch as history does have any laws, is that no nation can play the odd-man out in its region for long. You cannot, for example, have a military regime in France when the whole of Europe lives in democracy.
So, if the US is allowed to create the kind of the Middle East with which it feels comfortable, it is obvious that the Islamic republic, as the odd man out, will feel uncomfortable, not to say threatened.
This is why the Islamic republic is determined not to allow the US to succeed in the region.
In every single country of the region — from Pakistan to Morocco — the US and the Islamic republic are engaged in almost daily political, diplomatic and, at times, even proxy military, combat, with varying degrees of intensity. The Islamic republic is actively engaged in sabotaging US plans for Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and has revived its dormant networks in more than a dozen Arab countries. It has to do so because the emergence of a pro-American Middle East would mean the death of the Khomeinist ideology and its global ambitions.
There are only two ways to end this undeclared war between US and the Islamic republic....
Read the whole thing.
I'm not sure I agree with Taheri, but his argument demands a response from those who would say that regime change should be "off the table."
The "odd man out" theory has some validity. No one would be looking at Belarus if it wasn't the only European dictatorship.
I myself prefer the analogy of high and low pressure systems, along with the attendant thunderstorms that result.