Let the Usurpers Writhe
New York Times / Roger Cohen
04-Jul-2009 (one comment)

I’ve argued strongly for engagement with Iran as a game-changer. America renewed relations with the Soviet Union at the time of the Great Terror and China at the time of the Cultural Revolution. Operation Jackboot has not, as yet at least, involved mass killings.But the Iran of today is not the Iran of three weeks ago; it is in volatile flux from without and within. Its Robespierres are running amok. Obama must do nothing to suggest business as usual. Let Ahmadinejad, he of the bipolar mood swings, fret and sweat. Let him writhe in the turbid puddle of his self-proclaimed “justice” and “ethics.”

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Another good one from Roger

by Mazdak (not verified) on

I've become a fan of Cohen's because of his passionate ("objectivity" be damned) and close-to-Iranians reportage over this election. He’s got the pulse of Tehran’s streets under his skin. And being an American Jew, he has a good understanding of the dilemmas of a society like Iran. Two points: first, it's been very clear that Khamenei has already signalled detente with the US. Even Mousavi mentioned this in the debates. It's quite possible that behind the scene they have conveyed to the US that regardless of what will happen Iran position will be determined by Khamenei. This explains Obama's very cautious approach to the election. Two: notice the spat with the West is being carried with the US proxy, the UK, and not the Americans directly. The ruling thugs cannot traumatize the relationship with the US and expect a rapprochement. Roger is correct on that one (who gets to pull a China, the Left or the Right) but not on his recommendation to Obama. Like it or not, foreign policy is not decided on what is good for another people. Kennedy's Berlin speech was no different. It happened during the hot days of Cold War's ideological wars. The Berliners were simply lucky to be the beneficiary at that time.