October 24, 2005


A Syriajevo in the making? (Spengler, 10/25/05, Asia Times)

In Iran, a noteworthy set of statements from the Iranian leadership during the past several days makes it clear that the Islamic republic believes it can obtain its objective without confrontation. As matters stand, Tehran is likely to succeed.

I do not believe any formal understanding is in place, but the probable outcome is that Washington will refrain from military action to forestall Iranian nuclear arms developments, while Tehran will refrain from disrupting Washington's constitutional Potemkin Village in Iraq. Iran has the initiative, and the proof of the pudding is that Iran's press agency IRNA provides better guidance about the course of events than the Western media.

The Syrian affair is a diversion. Less than any other political entity from the Mediterranean to the Indus does Syria resemble a nation, and its ruling clique has no friends, only customers. If the United Nations investigation of the Hariri killing leads to the downfall of the Assad family, strategic implications will be small, and mourners few. Iran is a different matter.

One would have liked to see Spengler be honest enough to admit that he badly whiffed on the prospects for the constitution, which might encourage him to rethink Shi'ism a bit. Were he to do so he might conclude that Iran and America are collaborating because our goals are so similar. We both want a series of states founded upon Shi'a principles--principles that they share with Christians and Jews.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2005 10:01 AM

Well, except for that goal of killing the Jews...

Posted by: Rick T. at October 24, 2005 11:08 AM

. . . and the obligation of forcible conversion or subjugation.

Posted by: Paul Cella at October 24, 2005 12:00 PM

Neither has anything to do with Shi'ism.

Posted by: oj at October 24, 2005 12:24 PM

But they have everything to do with Islam.

Posted by: Paul Cella at October 24, 2005 12:31 PM


Shi'ism isn't Islam.

Posted by: oj at October 24, 2005 2:42 PM

One would have liked to see Spengler be honest . . .

Him and the New York Times both.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 24, 2005 3:08 PM