Iran makes me realize that 1. concepts like right and wrong are meaningless and 2. it's impossible to really know about another country until you go there. I don't agree with the author's conclusion that, "Everything Fareed Zakaria and Roger Cohen knew, or at least believed, was wrong."
I'm concerned the assassination of Soleimani will help Trump get re-elected.
Look, Iran is not my expertise, but although the article says makes good points - there really is a hard line anti West power block since 1979, and maybe the assassination will yield fruit where other things fail - it engages in false dichotomy, false unity, and curious omission.
The regime is hardly monolithic: there are fiercely competing centers of power, Hard liner and holocaust denier Ahmadinejad eventually gave way to the more moderate pro West Rouhani.
Some in US government tried to strengthen Rouhani; others took their own hard line and ended up strengthening the Iran hard liners. Obama may have been over eager but he seemed to strengthen the moderates, and the change in nuclear stance was driven by new intelligence in what methodologists see as surprisingly good analysis/ belief revision - unlike say Iraq WMD. (On the genesis of that policy, Bolton seems to have been not just wrong but willfully and deliberately so.)
Also, Iran’s behavior is hardly surprising. Given the list of grievances the author acknowledges - and curiously omitted, the US toppling a popular democratically elected government and installing a much hated dictator, directly leading to the 1979 revolution - it’s more of a wonder that many Iranians seem relatively positive.
It may also help to stop thinking of Iran as an upstart Third World country. The Iranian taxi drivers and hairdressers in my area off the US – refugees from 1979– refer to themselves as Persians.
A different take on Iran. I think most presidents are put in impossible situations in foreign policy. We want peace, we want troops home, we don't want genocides, dictators, or terror sponsoring regimes. Those are all good asks but you can't have your cake and eat it too. I think all the past presidents have done their best in a really difficult situation.
Excellent article! Glad to see it presented on this platform. Iran might be as divided as our country is. We really can’t afford to assume anything anymore.
I really appreciate this article and the responses of the readers. It is complicated and not something to think is easy to solve. If indeed there are Iranian people who don’t feel aligned with the current government, they surely can’t freely voice their opinion.
What I wish would have been mentioned was the mindset and culture of the people. Sometimes Americans forget that we don't know what it's like to be someone else.
While we do have much in common with Iran, such as desire for freedom, there are very different ideas on how to accomplish that. Right now the government in power is a bit radicalized, so the true voice of the Iranian people can be easily missed.
As food for thought, imagine everything you knew about America was based on a daily 30 to 60 second quote from the House floor. Might get your head spinning.
This was helpful, I've been feeling like I needed a "explain this to me like I'm 5" explainer to understand why we can't just leave Iran alone.
While this article is not that simplistic, it does elucidate just how complicated this all is.
American government has made a mess for decades, so I guess that explains why we can't just leave them alone and hope for the best.
What a mess :(
Worthwhile read. Definitely no easy or simple solutions here. Let's just hope this most recent flare up doesn't boil over.
I severely doubt that the "Death to America" chant is not meant sincerely.