Monday, June 22, 2009

Why We Should Ignore Iran

I've always felt, that during the cold war, the biggest mistake the United States made was assuming that everything was about us. After decades of colonial rule, many third world nations, newly independent, were struggling to find a political, economic, and national identity of their own. When countries embraced a leftist governmental model, we worried that they were part of a Soviet plot to encircle the United States. When third world countries went to the right, we assumed that they were supporting us.

Vietnam, our quagmire, was a wonderful example. When Vietnam was ruled by France, Ho Chi Minh fought the French. When Vietnam was ruled by the Japanese, Ho Chi Minh fought the Japanese. When the French returned, he, once again, fought the French. When far off Europeans, and the United States, with no thought to what the Vietnamese wanted, split the nation into spheres of influence, Ho Chi Minh fought to unite the country. And when the United States sent troops to support the south, he fought us. No where in that narrative, can any evidence be found that Ho Chi Minh was a dupe of the Soviet Union. Yes, he was a communist, but in the long run, Vietnam became communist in name only.

Today, Iran is at war with itself. The clerics seek to live in the 12th century, it's president lives in a fantasy world, and it's people struggle to define modernity in a way that works for them. Our George, when he was president, defined Iran as a member of the axis of evil, and as a civilization at war with ours. He was wrong. Like in Vietnam, what's happening in Iran has nothing to do with us. I hope that the clerics are overthrown, and are relegated to the status of spiritual leaders, rather than political leaders. I hope that Ahmadinejad ends up in the lunatic asylum, because if there was ever a man that was crazy, it's the president of Iran. I hope Iran ends up as a secular democracy. But, in the end, what happens in Iran, is up to the Iranians, not the United States. President Obama has it just about right. Express concern, and keep hands off.

No comments: