I had a chuckle this morning reading the faux outrage on Daily Koz in reaction to my posting yesterday, “The Bright Side of Ahmadinejad’s ‘Win.’” I had suggested that this blatant act of election theft would undermine the fading credibility of the Iranian regime and thereby make more likely a robust response from the West to its attempt to acquire nuclear weapons. The Kossacks, who normally condemn any attempt to pressure the Iranian regime (or any other member of the “Axis of Evil”), much less to overthrow it, as “neocon warmongering,” now shed crocodile tears over my analysis:
Boot shows no concern for the people of Iran who went and voted and saw their vote discarded. The people who are being beaten like dogs tonight by Ansar-e Hezbollah’s thugs at Iran’s universities and on Iran’s city streets. … But Max Boot doesn’t care about them. He blithely assumes that Ahmadinejad will succeed in his coup d’etat, and he’s damn happy about it because he thinks it will give Israel the right to bomb these democrats.
Imagine if Max Boot had decided it was a bad thing for Poland to earn their freedom from Soviet domination because it would make it harder to sustain our immense defense budgets. That’s the kind of cynical callousness Mr. Boot is displaying…
Suffice it to say, I am not applauding the repressive character of the Iranian regime. I have always abhorred the theocracy in Tehran and have always believed the U.S. should do more to try to bring about peaceful regime change. I continue to believe and hope that the Iranian people will be so enraged by this stolen election that they will overthrow their dictators. That is, admittedly, unlikely, but certainly president Obama should do everything possible — overtly and covertly — to aid the demonstrators. My point was simply that, even if the Iranian theocrats outlast the current protests (as seems likely but not certain), they will be in a weaker position to continue their campaign of terror and their attempts to acquire a nuclear weapon: weakened both externally and internally. And that’s not a bad thing.
Likewise, the imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981, while a short-term tragedy for the people of Poland, brought about their long-term liberation by undermining the legitimacy of the communist regime. Of course if the Kossacks had been around in the 1980s they would have been arguing that it would be “destabilizing” to support Solidarity and that instead we should reach an accommodation with the communist world, that only simpletons like Ronald Reagan could imagine that we could consign the Soviet Empire to the ash-heap of history. Just as today the Kossacks argue — at least they do in other contexts — that any attempts to undermine the Iranian regime are misguided and that we should reach an accommodation with the mullahs at any cost.
Personally I’m against accommodation with evil unless it’s absolutely unavoidable — and in this case I don’t believe it is. My concern was that Moussavi’s election would not have changed the fundamentals of the Iranian regime but would have added a veneer of “reasonableness” that would have allowed the world to pretend that “moderates” were finally in control. What is good about the last few days — the only good development — is that the theocratic bullies of Tehran are showing their true face to the world. Now even the most dovish leftists have to condemn the government of Iran. That may be faint progress but progress it is.