Friday, June 19, 2009

Iran: It is different this time 

An Iranian student has an excellent and enlightening op-ed in the New York Times this morning. He pointedly makes the case that much of what passes for "analysis" in the Western media is hogwash, founded on 30 year-old experiences and attenuated knowledge that simply does not capture what is happening there. And there is this surprise, too:

One final note: the election does reveal a paradox. There is strong evidence that Iranians across the board want a better relationship with the United States. But if Mr. Moussavi were to become president and carry out his campaign promise of seeking improved relations with America, we would probably see a good 30 percent of the Iranian population protesting that he is “selling out” to the enemy.

By contrast, support for Mr. Ahmadinejad’s campaign was rooted in part in his supposed defense of the homeland and national honor in the face of United States aggression. Americans too-long familiar with the boorish antics of the Iranian president will no doubt be surprised to learn that the best chance for improved relations with the United States perhaps lies with Mr. Ahmadinejad. But Mr. Ahmadinejad is perceived here as being uniquely able to play the part of an Iranian Nixon by “traveling to the United States” and bringing along with him his supporters — and they are not few.

In other words, Iranians believe they face a daunting choice: a disastrous domestic political situation with Mr. Ahmadinejad but an improved foreign policy, or improved domestic leadership under Mr. Moussavi but near impossible challenges in making relations with the United States better.

The question, of course, neither asked nor answered by the author, is whether the Obama administration also believes that the United States would fare better with Ahmadinejad in power. Does Obama, like Mao, pointedly prefer the devil we know?

Read the whole thing.


By Blogger DEC, at Fri Jun 19, 10:31:00 AM:

I avoid assumptions whenever possible. But I do remember this: Most Americans liked that "great freedom fighter" Fidel Castro before January 1959.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jun 19, 11:31:00 AM:

Did Obama or Rahm Emanuel write this NYSlimes piece under a pseudonym? Was Roger Stone too busy to give another suck up piece to amamadjihadi, so they had to go to his understudy? There is no indication that amamadjihadi was going to pull a Nixon on any aspects of foreign policy, and he reiterated his determination for nukes and Iran's ambassador also indicated that they are hellbent on obtaining nuke weapons. Once again the Slimes just keeps making things up out of whole cloth as its worth becomes less than soiled toilet paper.  

By Blogger antithaca, at Fri Jun 19, 11:42:00 AM:

I'm struck by "it wasn’t supposed to happen this way" and "No one knew that it would come to this" and again, "It wasn’t supposed to happen this way"....

To this day many say the same thing about the 1979 Revolution.  

By Anonymous Ah yes, the rabble, at Fri Jun 19, 01:45:00 PM:

Anonymous sounds just like our version of that 30% of who the author says want nothing to do with improved relations. There are hardliners like that everywhere and the rest of us are caught in between them. Luckily his/her likes are not in charge here. I do agree that Ahmadinejad probably doesn't want to negotiate which I think Obama believes too. So I disagree that Obama would prefer Ahmadinejad to the candidate who is on record as open to negotiation.  

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