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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2003


Conflicting (?) reports from Iran
A recent MSNBC article on Iran discusses how the mullah's have been warming to the US and its suggestions ever since that "axis of evil" business, and especially in the light of imminent conflict south of their borders. The students seem unimpressed, especially in regards to elections. Elections that, interestingly enough, the MSNBC article never mentions, which highlights, I think, the pointlessness that the student movement ascribes to them (though as a Muppet fan, I take umbrage with the term "Muppet show").

The optimistic take on the current Iranian regime of MSNBC and the pessimistic one of the student movement can certainly seem contradictory. But, when taken together, I think these documents show something about the "axis of evil" speech that some people fail to understand, and again, an aspect of Bush's diplomacy that many underestimate. Iraq's response and North Korea's response have been fairly predictable--Iraq denies and shouts insults, and NK rattles its sabre one more time. But Iran's has not been--Iran has started trying to get rid of that moniker through more realistic channels. Not that they've stopped their funny business, mind you. But they have decided to pull more of a Saudi Arabian stunt--playing nice in front, while less nice in the background. But any nice at all is a good thing, and anything that opens Iran up is good for the student movement.

According the to MSNBC article, "If Iran succeeds in winning assurances from the United States that it is not next for “regime change,” Tehran’s ability to keep Islamic fervor in check during a conflict with Iraq will be crucial to America’s attempts to stabilize region after a war." What the article fails to mention is that the regime change in Iran won't need to come from the outside, and with American troops just across the border, the true reformist movements in Iran will have an opportunity to pull it off.

Those who question Bush's tact in using the term "axis of evil" (a certain professor I've mentioned before) would do well to pay attention to the dividends--in hope for the students and pressure on the mullahs--that it's paying in Iran. This is, I think, another piece of Bush's strategy in cultivating "underdog" allies--those such as Eastern Europe, or the Iranian democracy movement, or the people of Afghanistan (and soon, Iraq), who may not look like anything much at the moment, depending on who's looking, but who thave the potential to play a key role in the decades to come.
Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!

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