The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022


As I recall, it was way back in 1979 when many Leftists overtly celebrated the downfall of the Shah of Iran (a staunch, but flawed ally of the West) and cheered as the Ayatollah Khomeni took dictatorial power. Sharia law became dominant, Islamist ideology reigned, women were relegated to second class citizenship, and Iran became a hegemon in the Middle East. 

As this happened, the Leftists remained silent, happy that the "fascist" Shah no longer ruled. Little did they care that the Ayatollah sent tens of thousands of young children to their deaths in the minefields of the Iran-Iraq war. I suspect many Leftists secretly wished that the Ayatollah's existential (but empty) threats against Israel would come to pass.

During the next 30 years, Iran became the world's largest state sponsor of Islamist terrorism, and was working overtime to develop nuclear weapons capability. Inside Iran, there was unrest, and this boiled over in 2009. But rather than supporting the Iranian protestors who wanted the Islamist rulers gone, another Leftist, Barack Obama, decided to make a deal the the Mullahs, all in exchange for empty promises that they would not develop nuclear weapons. In what can only be described as a catastrophically bad deal, Obama and his Democrat supporters applied a Diplomacy Based on Dreams (this post was written before the deal was finalized). The release of billions in sanctioned funds and additional billions in (literally) pallets of cash bribes allowed the Mullahs to accelerate nuclear development and foment terror around the globe.

Fast forward to 2022. Ayaan Hirsi Ali comments:

Is this it? Could this, finally, be the end of the Islamic Republic of Iran? As huge crowds of women and men surge through the Iranian streets, burning hijabs and calling for “Death to Khamenei!”, is an impossible dream finally about to come true?

The prospects certainly look better than in 2009, when the country’s protestors were primarily middle-class and more narrowly focused on the issue of Ahmadinejad’s election victory, rather than on dismantling the oppressive system in its entirety. Today, men and women, rural and urban, affluent and poor are all marching to bring down the Islamic Republic. Khamenei is also reported to be in very poor health, so the chants might just come true.

Yet senior US officials I have spoken to have cautioned against blind optimism. 

The senior U.S. officials are correct, partly because there's an eerie similarity between an earlier American president's lack of support for Iranian revolt against Islamist governance in 2009 and current American president's lack of support for a different Iranian revolt in 2022. Both presidents are left-leaning Democrats; both desire to enter into a bad deal with the Mullahs, and both adopted a feckless foreign policy grounded in a "Diplomacy Based on Dreams." 

The Biden administration should be doing everything possible—both overt and covert—to support the current protests in Iran. It should be rallying all countries in the West to support the Iranian women and men who want the freedom to choose their own destiny and break the yoke of Islamist tyranny. 

Instead, this administration remains largely silent, hoping that a "deal" based on the Diplomacy of Dreams will somehow boost its rapidly sinking political fortunes. It's interesting that Barack Obama himself is credited with the statement, "Never underestimate Joe Biden's ability to f*#$ things up."

The sad reality is that there's a low probability that the current Iranian protests will lead to an open revolt and the overthrow of the Islamists. But without help from the West that probability goes to zero. "Never underestimate Joe Biden's ability to f*#$ things up."